Artist Turns Retro Sewing Machines Into Electronic Musical Orchestra

10/17/2013 08:38 am ET | Updated Oct 17, 2013

What can you do with a gaggle of vintage sewing machines that date back to the 1950s if you don't know how to sew?

We'll defer to artist Martin Messier for an answer. The Montreal-based artist gathered together eight Singer sewing machines to create quite the electronic musical feat. He rigged the wheels of the machines to function like a potentiometer (a devise that's used to control audio equipment), and with the help of some music software and a few homemade electronic devises, transformed the machines into musical instruments.

"I’m interested in objects that can be manipulated and which have a sonic potential," Messier, part of the Perte de Signal collective, explained to The Creator's Project. "When I came across the Singer sewing machine, I realized right away that it had that sonic potential."

The resulting sound lands somewhere between industrial dissonance and electro pop, which seems appropriate given the partnership between a contemporary mixed media artist and an octet of retro Singers. Watch the videos above and below, and let us know what you think of Messier's skills in the comments.

SEWING MACHINE ORCHESTRA V.INSTALLATION : Martin Messier from Martin Messier on Vimeo.

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