The Orchestra (1984-1987)

2012/09/25 - 18:20

"Peter Sinclair is a young English artist who has lived and worked in the South of France since the turn of the decade. During this time he has developed a rather becoming suntan and a distinctive and original style that always combines his three main interests - music, sculpture and performance. His work utilises the discarded flotsam and jetsam of middle class society - vacuum cleaners, car doors, wheels, bicycle pumps, footballs, fans oil drums... ooh! everything and anything you are likely to find in a typical garden shed or skip. Peter scoops up the debris , shuffles, cuts then re-assembles the bits into marvellous crackpot musical instruments/machines that ooze offbeat humour. Take for example the moonhopper, with its throbbing rythmic clatter, occasionally pausing to let off a long piercing, vibrating, fart of a sound. The eventual climax sees the bloated extraterestrial exploding into a million particles. Find also an old piano which sits on an old railway line that gets jacked up by a cogged wheel before being dropped to create a bloody great bo-oing! There's a car door which forms the frame for a harp with wires lashed across the window which are gently caressed by streamers that in turn are attached to a fan. The whole contraption sits wavering on an old industrial spring... click here for the rest of this text There are twenty or so machines on this scale, and all connected to 'The Brain' - a kind of central nervous system at which Peter sits in order to coonduct the resulting crashing, pumping wheezing noise created by his mutoid orchestra. It's an ugly, idustrial sex of a sound, and it's humour is unmissable. the pieces can be played individually, in conjunction with each other , or with other live musicians in support. His interest in Jazz has led to such concerts and a record with Michel Bachevalier, JM Padovani and Claude Barthelemy.In France they consider the work to be typically English, a fact Peter attributes to the influence that British comic culture had on him. He seeks to recreate the Yeowls!, Arrghs! and Boom-Bash-Creak! exclamations uttered by the likes of Desperate Dan or Robot Archie. The Brithish childhood influence is perhaps explainable as a nostalgic hommage or reaction to a time before he became an alien in his new society. If the Gallic lifestyle has had little effect on the content or personality contained in the work, it hasn't affected Peter's popularity in thet normally insular society. He is constantly in demand for performance and exhibition. If you are visiting Paris over the summer you can see five pieces recently completed for the major exhibition of sculptoral machines at La Cite des SCiences et de l'Industrie. The exhibition also includes work from the likes of Jim Whiting (of herbie Hancock fame), Rebbeca Horn and Jean Tinguely." R.R.


"Loving the sound of breaking glass", article by Ronnie Randall, ID magazine August 1987.