Felix’s Machines are a series of extraordinary mechanical instruments put together by the artist and musician Felix Thorn in his South London bedroom. The project, which began in 2006, is continuously evolving and will do so throughout and after its time at Gasworks. During the exhibition, musicians and producers will respond to Felix’s Machines in a series of events exploring its musical potential.
When connected to a computer, Felix’s Machines translate Thorn’s compositions into mechanical actions performed by customised drums and piano parts and animated by solenoids, springs and motors. In this way, an electronic means of production is transposed into an acoustic output. Each element of the machine has its own light emitting diode (LED). In the darkened space of the gallery, this creates an arrangement of coloured projections illuminating the sound source and synchronised with the music.
Felix’s Machines developed from the artist’s desire to have his compositions played without a performer. As such Thorn looks to focus the listeners’ experience onto the visual representation of the music’s structure: combining sound, visual motion and flicker into an experience that stimulates and intensifies perception.
Follow this link to hear one of Felix’s Machines compositions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_Ajg1G3vik
Click here to read an interview with the artist.
Felix Thorn, born 1985, lives and works in London. He graduated in 2007 with First Class Honours from a BA in Sound Arts and Design at the London College of Communications. Felix’s Machines have performed at Faster than Sound as part of the Aldeburgh Music festival (2008), at the Royal College of Art, London in association with Dazed and Confused Magazine (2008), the British Library (2007) and Battersea Arts Centre (2007).
Friday 5 December 2008, 8pm - 12am
Lumin presents a night of experimental DJ sets by Leila (Warp) and Paul (B) Davis (Beige Records).
MUSIC: Open Music Archive and Felix's Machines
Friday 19 December 2008, 8 - 10pm
Eileen Simpson and Ben White (Open Music Archive) will play a DJ set featuring out-of-copyright clips, blips and loops sampled from 19th Century music boxes, player pianos and other automated music machines. This is followed by a performance of a new composition made in collaboration with Felix Thorn for Felix's Machines, and assembled from out-of-copyright material for the player piano.
Free Gift: a copyleft licensed CD featuring the new composition and source files was given away on the night. It can be downloaded from this link.
Friday 9 January 2009, 8-10pm
Ed Baxter presents a short audiovisual lecture about the Victorian-era Standard 54 carousel organ on Brighton seafront, before giving the stage to a range of contemporary machine-music players, who use everything from hand held music-boxes to theremin.
MUSIC: A radiophonic intervention
Friday 16 January 2009, 8-10pm
The Resonance Radio Orchestra is a pool of musicians, engineers, actors and performers making specifically radiophonic work. Tonight they present newly written pieces and improvisations.
All events are free. Please note that for all events, doors will open at 7.45pm. The gallery will be closed between 6 and 7.45pm to set up. The exhibition will be accessible throughout the events.
Please note. Gasworks will close for Christmas from Monday 22 December 2008 and will reopen to the public from Wednesday 7 January 2009.