French musician Pierre Bastien blends live trumpet sounds with screen projections of on-site, mechanical sound sculptures. His work is described as “a timeless sounding orchestra, both futuristic and slightly dada, conjuring ancient traditions in its surprisingly sensuous music.”
Collaborating in the past singer and composer Robert Wyatt and Aphex Twin (who released three of his albums on his label Rephlex) to name a few, he is one of the most influential experimental musicians working in the field. In 1986 he formed his own self made one man orchestra, Mecanium and made over 20 records over the years.
“A typical gig features Bastien performing behind a table on which his machines are arranged. Once they are up and running, he will play along on his pocket trumpet, sometimes shoving a kazoo in its bell, or blowing it with a saxophone mouthpiece to twist the tone. It’s a deceptive act: the music and mechanics are simple, but have an unexpected emotional ring, a forlorn beauty that perhaps comes from the way that, just as the automatons make Bastien play more mechanically, so he seems to give the machines humanity.”
– The Guardian, ‘Pierre Bastien: the man who makes Meccano sing’