21 Balançoires (21 Swings)
Quartier des spectacles, Montréal, CA
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, US
Gentle exercises in cooperation: two permanent musical artworks with healing powers are installed at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), integrating collaborative musical creation and soothing collective motions.
Imagined as a collective experience, the Musical Swings invite people of all ages and backgrounds to make music together. It’s an intuitive game, where people enter a highly sensory performance, making music with their entire bodies, while cooperation between them unlocks secret melodies.
The artwork is a studio staple project that has toured the world and won international recognition. A set of ten swings is now permanently installed at NCMA’s park, featuring a classical ensemble comprising piano, guitar, vibraphone, and harp.
The studio’s new sculptural series of interactive, slowly rocking benches, Daydreamer, composes gentle music while stimulating synced up choreographies.
When people rock or spin the benches, music and light animations are triggered through motion detection, merging analog and digital movements. Each bench features recordings of human voices, with soprano, alto, and tenor registers. The ensemble weaves an evolutive tapestry of tension, release, motion, and stillness.
Both artworks play with soothing motions that reduce stress and anxiety. The harmonious interplay between the classical ensemble of Musical Swings and the human voice recordings of Daydreamer creates an ever-evolving calming soundscape. Played by the public, harmonies respond to the height of swings, the direction of bench movements.
Moreover, when participants play in synchronicity, more complex harmonies are produced, fostering awareness and collaboration among players. According to various studies, synchronous movements strengthen social attachment and empathy within a group, extending well beyond the moment of coming together.
At night, integrated lights in the interactive pieces elevate the performance to mesmerizing visual heights.