Pendulum Choir uses a a hydraulic system to move the choir singers. The idea behind the Pendulum Choir was to find a direct physical relationship between sound and movement, where the parameters of speed, acceleration and movement physically influence the voices of the singers.
Based on research on the relationship between orchestral music and movement Pendulum Choir was realized through the direct interaction of human physical action and the robotic actor. Thie work was created by brothers, André and Michel Décoster, who are working the collaboratively. Since 1997, the Swiss brothers have worked under the name Cod.Act, creating artistic projects which combine the former’s background in electronic music and the latter’s in engineering.
The musical composition depicts the transition between life and death, the final note characterising the last breath. However, constructing the narrative was not the most challenging part of the composition.
The result of three years of development, Pendulum Choir took a long time to complete because it was essential to keep in mind that the choir would not be conducted, and that the singers would not see each other as well as the effects of the movements on the vocal capacity of the singers. The finished result is a choir comprised of nine singers fixed rigidly to platforms, each mounted on two hydraulic pistons and leaning at 45 degrees in opposing directions. The machinery was built after the brothers created several prototypes, in order to optimise the movements and their fluidity as the piece itself is intended to represent breathing.
The Pendulum Choir’s last performance took place at the Jardins Musicaux festival in Cernier, Switzerland, on 25 August