La chambre des machines is a project where two electronic musicians are driven by the desire to be involved, as physically as they can be, in a performance context,” explains Nicolas Bernier, discussing his ongoing collaborative work with Martin Messier. “It’s not a conceptual piece; it was made in action, from day one.”
A clock ticks, electronic signals beep, a high tone drones. The action on stage involves two mechanical boxes—one is taller and more old-fashioned in appearance, with a wooden frame and funnel-shaped speaker attached to its front; the other is more squat, housed compactly in metal. A performer approaches each box with the air of a technician, spot-lit in a darkened room. Images of machine-like shapes and forms flash and flicker on a backdrop screen. —Julian Cowley, excerpted from Musicworks issue 115