21 Balançoires

September 19, 2012

The concept of cooperation is sweet: together we achieve better things than separately.

21 Balançoires is a giant cooperative musical instrument in front of Université du Québec à Montréal’s Science Faculty. Comprised of 21 musical swings, it’s quickly clear that this is less about music and motion, and much more about working together to make something beautiful. Individually, the swings in motion trigger notes. Together, they compose a kind of symphony.

My favorite part was when the adorable skater boy noted, “I find it adds to the beauty of life because a single sound isn’t really nice…but together they make a beautiful melody.” Lovely! Especially when said in French!

Thanks for sending the link, Britt! This made me smile.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan September 19, 2012 at 7:09 am

This is beautiful. It really shows the importance of music…


2 Shannon { A Mom's Year } September 19, 2012 at 7:14 am

Love it! This reminds me of the musical stairs at our local science museum. A great cacophany of sound when the crowds pour out of the IMAX theater and head down the stairs. Always makes me smile.


3 Andrea Jay September 19, 2012 at 7:34 am

It’s all lovely. I like the illuminated seat bottom, that was a great touch!


4 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

Agreed. I thought it was a stroke of genius!


5 Tania September 19, 2012 at 7:47 am

I jumped a little in my seat when I saw this photo. We pass by these a few times a week in the spring and let me tell you it’s not easy to find a spot! :)


6 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

Oh how lucky, Tania! What a neat thing to have as part of your weekly routine.


7 Janey September 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

I love this! Beauty!


8 Katt September 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

THAT IS AWESOME!!! Thank you for sharing! :0)


9 Maria McClure September 19, 2012 at 8:53 am

Beautiful! Thanks for taking me back to my college days in Montreal. Must plan a visit soon!


10 nicole h September 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Ooh now I have one more reason to go to Montreal! I would love to take my little 5 yr old here and see her face as she swings! Le sigh, better save my pennies!


11 Marysol September 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I live in Montréal. So each spring, we try to go to those swings with the kids (4&2)… It’s really interesting because it’s a collaborative installation, so the sounds are not the same if you are alone, or swing in “harmony” or in “complementarity” with the others… It’s a good way to introduce them to art; and for me, it’s really amazing to see my babies doing something bigger then them and outside of our family. I think that I saw somewhere that they plan to “export” this adventure to others cities… (just not remembering witch cities, sorry)


12 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

Thanks for your comment, Marysol. It sounds like they’re even cooler in person than they look in the video!


13 mom in mendon September 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

So clever. I want to be there and swing.


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