Pierre Bastien

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Pierre Bastien
Belgrado en 2006

Pierre Bastien (born 1953 in Paris) is a French musician, composer, and experimental musical instrument builder. He began building mechanical-based musical instruments at an early age, using items such as metronomes, cymbals, and pulleys. In 1977 he began collaborating with Pascal Comelade and composing music for dance companies. He performed in ensembles such as Operation Rhino, Nu Creative Methods, and Effectifs de Profil.

In 1986 he formed his own orchestra, Mecanium, composed of Meccano machines which play various instruments, such as Chinese lute, Moroccan bendir, Javanese saron, koto, and violin. These machines were often driven by the rotation of old turntables. By the 1990s Mecanium consisted of up to 80 machine 'musicians', and toured various art and music festivals, including events in Norway, Australia, Japan, Canada, Poland, and the United States.

Bastien has collaborated with artists such as Robert Wyatt, Jac Berrocal, Jaki Liebezeit, Pierrick Sorin, Lukas Simonis and Issey Miyake. He has released material on record labels such as Lowlands, Rephlex, Tigersushi, and Alga Marghen. He has also completed a doctorate on 18th century French literature, his thesis being on pre-surrealist Raymond Roussel.

In 2012 he published an album on Rephlex Records. In 2014 he made installations with paper as the main sound source. In 2015 he came up with a new project called Silent motors, two frames with wheels and gears that are beamed on a screen with an overhead projector.


  • 2010 7" Automatic Music Voorkamer
  • 2010 7" Among The Skulls (split) Emphase Records
  • 2008, w/ Dominique Grimaud, cd, Rag-Time vol. 2, InPolysons, IPS0308
  • 2007, cd, Les Premières Machines: 1968-1988, Gazul, distribution Musea
  • 2005, cd, POP, Rephlex, Cat 162
  • 2005, cd, Téléconcerts, Signature, SIG 11042
  • 2005, cd, Sé Verla al Revés, g33g, G3GPB1
  • 2004, Mcd, Boite Nº 7, Editions Cactus, cd 007
  • 2001, lp/cd, Mecanoid, Rephlex, CAT 119 cd/LP
  • 2001, w/ Alexei Aigui, cd, Musique Cyrillique, SoLyd Records, SR0308
  • 2002, w/ Lukas Simonis, cd, Mots d´Heures: Gousses, Rames, InPolysons, IPS0402
  • 2000, cdrom, Neuf Jouets Optiques, Éditions Cactus
  • 1998, cd, Musiques Paralloïdres, Lowlands, 012
  • 1998, w/ Klimperei, cd, Mécanologie Portative, Prikosnovénie
  • 1997, w/ Pascal Comelade, Jac Berrocal & Jaki Liebezeit, cd, Oblique Sessions, DSA, DSA54054
  • 1996, cd, Eggs Air Sister Steel, In Poly Sons, IPS 10-94
  • 1996, cd, Boîte N°3, Éditions Cactus, cd 003
  • 1994, 7", Mécanisme de l'Arcane 17, G33G
  • 1993, cd, Musiques Machinales, SMI NM204
  • 1988, lp, Mecanium, ADN, DMM 007R
  • 1988, K7, w/ Peter Bastiaan & Bernard Pruvost, Hommage à Jean Raine, BPC
  • 1977, Nu Creative Methods, Nu Jungle Dances, NCM

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