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Poème Symphonique A Week-Long Sound Event

Experience the intense soundscape of a rarely performed work for 100 mechanical metronomes.

Aug 21, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

Daily 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm
A Kid-Friendly Event
$10 per group for a 10-minute private viewings for social bubbles of up to 5 persons.
42 West Street
Wellington, ON K0K3L0 Canada
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BIGLAKE presents this work as a week-long sound installation, positioning the metronomes or “performers” as large 100-piece symphony orchestra, as an homage to all the silenced performing arts institutions.

Poème Symphonique is a work composed by Hungarian composer György Ligeti in 1962, for 100 mechanical metronomes, all set to tick at random different speeds, beginning and ending with silence. This work was intentionally composed as a critique to a so-called radical contemporary scene. Ligeti said “I am in some measure proud that I could express criticism without any text, with music alone.”

As you enter the room, the indistinguishable cacophony of frantically ticking metronomes will strike you immediately, possibly irritate you. The white noise will seem indistinguishable and chaotic. But as time passes, patterns will begin to emerge from chaos, and your senses will gradually be attuned to an inherent, yet random, logic. You may even find the resounding clamour to be soothing.

Please note: Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Poème Symphonique, György Ligeti (composed in 1962)
(Visit duration: up to 10 minutes)

100 mechanical metronomes, from a private collection

Sponsored by

Cheryl Douglas and Gregory Oh