Claudine SIMON : prepared and hybrid piano

Vivien TRELCAT : electonical lutherie


In the first half of the 20th century, the composers Henry Cowell and John Cage considerably extended the field of possibilities of the piano. The first one infiltrated inside the instrument to manipulate directly the strings. The second inserted various objects between these same strings, to transform it into a form of percussion orchestra driven by the hazards of matter and movement.

The duo is part of this filiation, between sound engineering and artistic exploration. In complicity with Vivien Trelcat, Claudine Simon goes in search of the secrets hidden by her instrument by dressing it with appendages, by feeling it with electromechanical devices as well as with incongruous objects. Much more than a high tech performance, this duo of improvisers allows a dialogue with the instrument, its lutherie, its history, revealing the poetic relationship between the organic and mechanical bodies.

Delegated production : GMEM-CNCM Marseille, development and design Machines : Collectif Sonopopée, with the support of Saintex numérique Reims, Césaré-CNCM Reims

–>> Extracts and interview

© Romu Ducros

The duo SIMON | TRELCAT is a duo of improvisers who assert a will to question the piano playing, the lutherie, its coupling with technology and the digital. The main axis of this collaboration is constituted around the hybridization of the piano realized by an electromechanical device which comes to transform the traditional lutherie and to disturb its use. The modelling of the instrument’s sound capacities opens up a new playing space.

The electroacoustic augmentation of the instrument, via a work of timbre by digital treatment allows to revisit the know-how, a knowledge to hear, in the instantaneousness of the improvisation. A new musical and gestural grammar takes shape.

This device was created in 2020-21 by the Sonopopée collective thanks to a commission from the GMEM-CNCM of Marseille.