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.

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