Calum Stirling

Image: Remote Village,
Copyright the artist 2019

Frolicsome Engines aka Remote Village
Electromechanical sound Orchestrion

Short video clip >

Stirling's mechanical drum machine and lo-fi sequencer plays multipart compositions using solenoid beaters on re-purposed musical instruments, kids toys and workshop detritus. From angular staccato to loose swing this machine plays beats reminiscent of other musical genre but infected by the mechanical quirks and limitations of this machines unique construction.
The automaton is a synthesis of digital and analogue technologies transforming digital sequencer notation directly into solenoids and motor action, forming a type of polyrhythmic dance music of lo-fi mech-tech beats. It follows a long line of enquiry by artists such as Jean Tinguely building sound and vision sculpture machines. In this case a mongrel update to the traditional fairground organ as it attempts to replicate the crisp sound of an 808 drum machine in reality however sounding more like the rhythmic bump and grind of regional British train as it bangs, squeaks purr's and rattles along. An object of machine like precision and faltering fragility in equal measure.