CaboSanRoque: La Cobla Patafisica

La Cobla Patafísica presents a collection of magical music machines created by CaboSanRoque.

CaboSanRoque is a Catalan band which has been performing for 14 years and has released 6 albums, but beyond that they are “sound collectors” and artists. The experimental instruments they create are works of art, they look nothing like the compact and streamlined musical instruments we are used to seeing. These are large, complex machines made from scrap objects, including tape measures, shells, typewriters, hockey masks, a cow skull, and even a washing machine making a gentle hum. The objects are assembled into crazy mechanisms which, when activated, create an array of sounds that range from the beautiful to the strange: clicking, squeaking, banging, rattling, hissing and more. The effect is a wild and jazzy orchestra.

The exhibition at Arts Santa Mònica is a sensorial delight. As you enter the dark room the machines are programmed to perform a repertoire of symphonies. Each instrument also has its own subtle lighting, which is activated when it is making music, the light jumps from one machine to another, creating a choreography which enhances the atmosphere. The many instruments are arranged around the border of the large room, leaving a big empty space of carpeted floor, inviting the visitors to sit, or even lie, and enjoy the music. In the center of the room is a plinth with a single, large, red button, ominous and tempting, which can be pressed to re-start the music at the end of a “song.”

The fascinating contraptions are reminiscent of Michel Gondry’s films The Science of Sleep and Mood Indigo. These films create surreal worlds which are full of bizarre inventions, like the “Pianocktail,” a piano programmed to mix and dispense cocktails. The setting created in this exhibition is similarly surreal and very magical. Whether you are walking around the room observing the strange instruments, or lying on the floor, eyes closed, immersed in the sounds around you, you will most likely experience a sort of trance.

It is a magical feeling to be inside CaboSanRoque’s wonderful musical world where you can be transported to another dimension and hear sounds you have never heard before. Do not miss this fantastic exhibition, you will leave feeling invigorated and full of positive energy.

CaboSanRoque: La Cobla Patafísica can be seen at Arts Santa Monica until the 12th of April 2015.