Surkin travelling the Vallée de Joux and visiting the Audemars Piguet manufacture – the artist captured while capturing sounds!

Le Brassus, July 20th 2016Audemars Piguet commissioned Surkin, also known as Gener8ion, to transcribe and visualize what the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie’s chiming evokes from a purely artistic point of vue.

After three days spent in Audemars Piguet’s premises in le Brassus and in the Vallée de Joux, Surkin went back to Paris with hundreds of taped tones including sounds such as key watchmaking functions, like striking timepieces and sounds found in nature, like thunder. Fascinated by how Audemars Piguet manages to innovate while keeping traditions alive, but also impressed with the discipline and degree of precision involved in crafting watches, Surkin decided to build rhythms with the raw material he collected through live recording to compose four different tracks representing the passing of time during a day in the Vallée de Joux.

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‘There’s a brutal contrast between the hostile surroundings and the calm you encounter in the workshops. While gigantism rules on the outside, attention to the smallest details prevails inside. Each step involved in the making of a timepiece delivers an extensive range of sounds ready to be captured. The soundscapes of these worlds truly personify Le Brassus. They convey rich emotions that I wanted to transcribe in my tracks.’ he admits.

Each soundtrack dedicated to the brand and its environment represents a particular time of the day and opens up with the Royal Oak Supersonnerie striking the time.

6h03 represents the start of a day in Le Brassus. Mist vanishing above the fields and the Lac de Joux with the sun rising over the Vallée, the beat of a watch escapement and the characteristic sounds of a complicated watch movement recorded in Audemars Piguet’s Museum distinguish the first track.

10h45 ticks off the start of the activities in the watchmaking workshops. Filing sounds have been mixed with machine noises. The combination of handmade work with machine work illustrates the duality of the watchmaker’s task.

16h15 captures the extreme climate and landscape variations of the Vallée de Joux. ‘I wanted to transcribe nature’s force, the contrast between mountains and valley, while combining beauty with threat’ says Gener8ion.

22h17 symbolizes the accomplishment of the day. The sound of the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie brings along melodious patterns in which organic sounds coexist with synthesized sounds.

Surkin’s take on Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is not his first collaboration: ‘Bring on the Noize’ with M.I.A. is just one of the many examples taken from his extensive career. Originally, Surkin is a French house electro DJ and producer. However he admits that he was always more predestined for a career in visual art, so he launched Gener8ion, a creative entity open to other artists active in various domains and a perfect name for transversal projects and ideas such as the Audemars Piguet soundtracks.

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