Sonic inhabitation of Silo #5
Silophone is a sonic occupation of Silo #5, an abandoned grain elevator in Montreal. Changes in the global grain market in the late twentieth century left the elevator redundant; it was shut down in 1994. The building is situated in one of Montreal’s oldest industrial districts, now rapidly being gentrified and renovated for high-tech commerial and luxury residential uses. The Silophone project is an intervention into this urban condition.
[The User] has transformed Silo #5 into a musical instrument by installing microphones and loudspeakers inside four of the elevator’s empty grain storage chambers, making them accessible to the outside world via internet (www.silophone.net), telephone (+1.514.844.5555), and the “Sonic observatory,” a permanent public sound installation located near the site in Montréal. These three elements of the Silophone public instrument have been active continuously since 2000 and have been accessed by hundreds of thousands of individual participants from around the world. In addition, a series of punctual interventions took place in galleries and performance spaces in North America and Europe between 2000 and 2003. Original works using the Silophone instrument were commissioned from twenty-five sound artists and musicians. Audio recordings of these works are available at Reservoir, Silophone’s online archive.
For more information and to hear and play the Silophone, visit silophone.net, the project’s website.
Silophone is created by [The User]. The inaugural season of Silophone (2000-2001) was presented by Quartier Éphémère, the Society for arts and technology [SAT], the Chaîne culturelle Radio-Canada with the technical collaboration of Bell and the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Daniel Langlois Foundation, the Port of Montréal and Mackie Designs. The Silophone website was created with the technical and design expertise of Simon Piette and Étienne Désautels. Silophone’s telephone interface was developed in collaboration with the Bell Canada’s DATEC Emerging Technologies laboratories. Since June 2001, the ongoing production of the Silophone project has been maintained by /Undefine (formerly the Silophone organization) with ongoing technical support and bandwidth provided by the SAT and financial support from the Conseil des arts de Montréal. [The User] wishes to thank the many individuals who contributed to Silophone. Special thanks to Virginie Pringuet.
2000.12 Honourable mention, Performance section, Festival Interférences, CICV, Belfort France
2003.10.18 kill your timid notion, Philip Jeck, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Scotland
2003.10.13 Mass/Volume, [The User] & ‘abandon’ CD launch, FCMM Festival, Society for Arts & Technology [SAT], Montréal QC Canada
2002.04. linkage Festival, [The User] & Diana Shearwood, Western Front, Vancouver BC Canada
2001.09.25 – 10.06 Silophone installation, [The User], The Kitchen, New York NY USA
2001.06.17 Season One closing event with Carsten Nicolai, Aube, Steve Heimbecker, Jean-François Laporte and [The User], Silo n° 5, Montréal QC Canada
2001.05-06 Silophonic, Carsten Nicolai, Silo n° 5, Montréal QC Canada
2001.05.23 Jaap Blonk, Tom Walsh, Discom, Staalplaat sound system, Society for Arts & Technology [SAT], Montréal QC Canada
2001.05. FA3 Festival, Michel Desrochers, Alexandre Saint-Onge, Magali Babin, Martine H Crispo, Philippe Lambert, Benjamin Muon, World Beat Club, Montréal QC Canada
2001.03.10 Theremin Tremens, Neil Conway, Brian Damage, Anna Friz, François Martel, Adam O’Callaghan, Katarina Soukup, Society for Arts & Technology [SAT], Montréal QC Canada
2001.02.03 Martin Tétreault, Society for Arts & Technology [SAT], Montréal QC Canada
2000.12.16 Interférences Festival, [The User], Atria, Belfort France
2000.12.02 Sommet mondial des arts et de la culture, [The User], e_lounge, National Arts Center, Ottawa ON Canada
2000.10.07 Francisco Lopez, Martin Tétreault, I8U, Fonderie Darling, Montréal QC Canada
2000.09.16 Elektra Festival, [The User], Louis Dufort, Émilie Laforêt, Usine C, Montréal QC Canada
2000.08.21 Diagram 11h: Silophone, blunderspublik, duul_drv, rk olson, vitaminsforyou, Video Pool, Winnipeg MB Canada
2000.08.13 Auralphobic Silophiliac, OMZ, saibot, sseiss, Pirate Jenny, The Sugar Refinery, Vancouver BC Canada
2000.06.09 Project launching event, Quai des écluses, Montréal QC Canada