Liaisons mécaniques

Nicolas Bernier

Liaisons mécaniques has been performed in Birmingham, Brussels, Helsinki, Lisbon, Manchester and Montréal…


The event is triggered by a profound attachment to physical matter and nostalgia of an era I did not live through: the era of machines, real ones, set in motion by physical mechanisms.

I proceeded to gather peaces of machines and gears. My collection held reminiscent objects: cameras, 8mm projectors, music boxes and antique toys. I discovered naturally rich materials made of different granular textures and an abundance of micro-articulations. The gears are expressive and precise; they engage a defined process.

I sampled the small objects before deconstructing them, splitting them, dividing them up. From these fragments, I constructed new gears. I wanted to maintain, as much as possible, the essence of the physical characteristics of the sounds. The only thing left to do was to activate the musical mechanics.

In this context, the gears are release mechanisms. They engage a change in space, a material transformation, a stop, a change of direction or simply another mechanism. They play a double role: sound material and transition between events, just as the ties and slurs of musical writing.


Liaisons mécaniques was realized from December 2006 to April 2007 in the studios of the Université de Montréal (Québec) and Musiques & Recherches (Belgique) and premiered on April 27, 2007 at Petit théâtre Mercelis in Brussels (Belgium). The piece was commissioned by Musiques & Recherches. It was realized with support from the Conseil des arts des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Agence Québec-Wallonie-Bruxelles. Thanks to Robert Normandeau and Annette Vande Gorne. The work was awarded the 2nd prize ex æquo at CIMESP 2007 (Brazil) and mentions at Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Portugal, 2007), Digital Art Awards (Fujisawa, Japan, 2007), and 34th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art Competition (France, 2007).


  • April 27, 2007, Concert de créations, Petit théâtre Mercelis, Brussels (Belgium)



Liaisons mécaniques (2006-07), 10:02
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