Photo of the installation Qi


Jean-François Laporte


Hellerau, European Center for the Arts

Written by

Jean-François Laporte

as part of:

Tonlagen Festival

Original idea:

Jean-François Laporte

“In traditional Chinese culture, qi (or chi, also Ki in Japanese) is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as ‘natural energy,’ ‘life force,’ or ‘energy flow.’ Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts. The literal translation of ‘qi’ is ‘breath’ or ‘air.’" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi

Qi is an audiovisual installation made with several of the musical instrument that I call the Overtones Tube. The exhibition space is filled with many instruments that are spaced methodically on several rows, all at equal distance from each other. The top part of the instrument, which is made of a white acetal material, is the main sound generator. With this system I am able to create many different types of rhythmical patterns.

Audience members are able to walk inside the installation and make their own path through the sounds of each individual instrument. This installation explore the close relation between the sounds of the instruments, the instruments themselves and the position of each instrument in the space where the instruments are installed.

Design: Jean-François Laporte
Production: Jean-François Laporte and Productions Totem Contemporain
Development of the electronic system: Samuel St-Aubin
Programming: Benjamin Thigpen, Olivier Pasquet, Jean-François Laporte
Commissioned by: HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts Dresden
Thanks to: Hellerau, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

This version of Qi was performed and filmed at the Tonlagen Festival HELLERAU in Dresden (Germany) on 15 October 2014.