“Stupid Orchestra”: A Symphony Of Household Appliances

“Stupid Orchestra”: A Symphony Of Household Appliances

Over 150 historic vacuum cleaners, mixers and washing machines comprise this unique orchestral ensemble.

Kyana Gordon
  • 22 march 2011

After eight years of preparation, Michael Petermann‘ s Blödes Orchester has finally come into being. The German composer, harpsichordist, and conductor has created the ultimate intersection of design, technology, and the arts. Translated as “Stupid Orchestra” as a result of the “musicians” limited capabilities, the Blödes Orchester features classic household design appliances made between 1912 and 1975 as the players. Some notes in the symphony were played by the Braun Aromaster, a coal-fueled Miele washing machine from 1955, Braun Sixtant razors from three different decades, and Goertz’s Starmix mixers, all of which Petermann purchased at flea markets or on eBay. As part of an exhibition currently on display at Hamburg’s Museum Für Kunst Und Gewerbe, Petermann composed a 30-minute piece, which is relayed to the appliances through a midi interface. Below is a preview of the unique orchestral ensemble:

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