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International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music

After his rhythmic beginnings as a child with a rattle like the rest of the world, Pierre Bastien took close to 10 years to work his way up to a guitar with two cords by playing elements of the game “Le Petit Physicien.” Around the age of 15, his interest in machines led to the construction of a makeshift metronome out of kitchen utensils and a paella pan.These childhood experiences could be considered bizarre, but they’re nothing compared his initial foray into musicianship as an adult: he “played” a dishtowel by whipping it against the microphone on the Jac Berrocal disc Parallèles. Thanks to his Dadaism spirit and his lack of regard for conventions, Pierre Bastien has since worked with known artists such as Dominique Bagouet, Pascal Comelade, Pierrick Sorin, DJ Low, Robert Wyatt and Issey Miyake. His proposed performance for MUTEK follows in the tradition of Mecanium employing a domestic and private orchestra composed of 10-odd Meccano robots, which Bastien has labored over for a number of years. These machines are present on numerous records recorded by the artist, including the following: Musiques Machinales (1993), Boîte N°3 (1996), Mécanologie Portative with Klimperei, Mecanoid (2001), the CD-Rom Neuf Jouets Optiques with Karel Doing (2000) and more recently Pop on British label Rephlex. A unanimous reason for attending a Pierre Bastien concert: the beauty of the mechanisms and generative progress of sounds and images through the diffusion of music rich and complex, the fruit of demanded sound perfection from his objects. The marvelous world of Bastien evokes an unoccupied, but comfortable space where the likes of Wallace and Gromit take tea with Aphex Twin. It’s a world where experimentation doesn’t have to mean exclusion.

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