Apertures (EN)


Apertures is an invisible, impalpable and interactive installation to discover and explore through gesture and listening.
Three suspended frames resembling three open windows offer three different viewpoints out onto a sonic landscape awaiting exploration.
In this space of collective musical play, the audience is invited to form a trio interpreting an open and interactive composition.

Apertures is a sensitive and reactive musical device, questioning the border between digital lutherie and interactive installations.
Gestures, even the tiniest, are captured and interpreted in order to modulate and knead the sonic material, thus revealing an electroacoustic piece for three players which unfolds fragment after fragment. The visitor is the interpreter, motions are the instruments, our senses of touch and sight step aside, hearing and the imagination take over.

An arena for play and interaction is materialized by three suspended frames set up to form a triangle. Three windows face each other, opening up onto an invisible landscape. They form three intangible vistas opening up onto a world ready to explore: Each frame is an entrance, an opening (an “Aperture”) beckoning us in to visit this immaterial universe. The frames define the limits of the space within which hands and fingers are captured, where gestures are analyzed and interpreted. Thus, we begin to interact with a landscape of virtual sonic objects.

Only the frames and hands of the instrumentists are made visible thanks to the effects created by lights reacting to the captured gestures and the sounds produced. This is a meander through electroacoustic territories where the visitor becomes a listener, a spectator and a performer.


Apertures offers the experience of a musical game where the instrument has disappeared – no interface, no visible object – creative actions are disconnected from all support, all physical and material contact. It is up to the visitor to discover and invent gestures which create the music.

And what if our senses of sight and touch were replaced by… listening?

Let us try to connect our gestures to our ears directly, by casting our hands into an invisible realm where the motion IS the instrument. The movements of the visitor not only trigger sound, these gestures also play a genuine instrument which creates its own music.

This deceptively simple device does not require a user manual: its learning curve is conquered in no time – every movement creates a sound. Yet the possibilities and variations are endless.

Initially inquisitive, then exploratory, our gestures naturally become more “instrumental”. Each hand movement, even infinitesimal, captured at our very fingertips, modulates and digs into the sound. The interaction and sonic materials available are extremely varied and strikingly contrasted; they invite each visitor to fashion unique modes of play.
It is not so much a question of learning to play an instrument, but more of inventing ones own musical gestures by letting sound and collective play lead the way.


Apertures is a device conceived to be played by six hands each reacting to the other.
It is a structure with three faces, three suspended windows, three instruments for three players, each the agent of just one composition, or quite simply three people, improvising together. [Each frame offers its sonic palette and its distinct modes of interaction which intentionally complement each other.]
The three members of a trio round each other off: they are essential, and one of a kind; each brings their own timbre and sonic material, their personality and energy to the elaboration of communal, living music.
The visitors / participants are therefore invited to an experience of collective listening and musical creation.
Through this device, a form of non-verbal communication is naturally established: we listen to each other, observe one another, each gesture brings new sounds, offers new ideas which in turn nourish this polyphonic conversation, naturally leading to the construction of what could be dubbed instantaneous collective composition.


Apertures is not a static creation; nor is it limited to just one incarnation: a whole palette of distinct scenes are featured, offering the possibility to discover and experience a multitude of different musical situations.
Each scene is a new sonic universe to be explored: concrete material to be handled which could include extracts from electroacoustic pieces, musical fragments borrowed from trios of musicians or imaginary landscapes and locations to be visited.

The scenes can file by in succession, dovetail, merge into one another or be called back upon request.


3 axes to explore

Interactive installation :

Apertures is an intuitive interactive installation, which needs no user manual. Visitors must be able to claim the device as their own simply and quickly. The main idea is to invite them to play and improvise together.
For each scene / frame, possible types of play must be clearly displayed and easy enough to approach so that the visitor feels they have mastered the instrument in the shortest amount of time, and is inspired to ‘play’ it with no other interface besides the frames.

Pedagogical tools :

In the installation, an intermediary / accompanyist can, with the help of an added control interface (an iPad, for example) manually select a given type of play / musical universe. (= select a scene)

This mode allows for a more detailed exploration of certain specific aspects of the device.

Scenes will be specially composed to offer different types of play and musical principles adapted to a variety of audiences: younger visitors, rhythmical and melodic games, work on the voice and words, study of themes, etc.

The interface will allow visitors to “compose” very simply by selecting and assembling sonic materials and types of play on the 3 frames

With the device, it will also be possible for a trio (of students or musicians, for example) to compose for the device and:

– Imagine / reflect on a sonic and musical universe;
– manufacture sonic material (recording / recycling, editing, treatment, shaping and so on);
– choose types of interaction (understand and experiment the process of motion capture);
– place sound inside the performance zone / broadcasting – experimenting with the device.

New Lutherie :

Cet this instrument possesses several degrees of complexity which vary according to users and contexts.
When made available to the general public, the device should be simple and intuitive, but when it is put to the service of one (or several) musician(s), in a performance / live context, it will then be possible to fully utilize the possibilities offered by the capture system: extreme subtlety and precision of motion capture, high reactivity, scenographic (and possibly choerographic) aspects of the instrument.

Modular instrument: can instantly change configuration (gestures and sound) possibility of augmenting this device by adding extra interfaces, by using an existing instrumental device to complete it or by adding physical controls as well as a control interfaces (screen / touch sensitive surface / pedals, and so on) thus accessing additional parameters.

Conception, composition & development : Mathieu Chamagne
Construction : Sébastien Servais

Coproduction CCAM – Scène Nationale de Vandœuvre, Césaré – Centre national de création musicale de Reims, GMEA – Centre National de Création Musicale d’Albi / Participation : École Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Reims.