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Machine Symphony uses aural and visual snippets taken from 19th century engines and machinery. Although the sound and image track are mostly concurrent they are not intended to be synchronous in a traditional sense. The piece uses dimensional sound and peripheral vision to explore the spaces which surround and separate the visual and the aural.

To best view the work the observer should look at the projected image in an unfocused, relaxed manner, trying to observe the whole screen in its entirety without attempting to resolve any detail in the flow of imagery.

Machine Symphony is a celebration of machines in their magnificent, even pompous, aural and visual diversity. All sounds are derived from recordings made in the Kingston Steam Museum and at the grounds of the Inverary Vintage Gas, Steam and Auto Show, all in Ontario, Canada.

All of the recordings used in this work are from fully functional and carefully restored steam engines, single cylinder combustion engines, and steam-driven farm equipment; i.e., archaic machinery.

The sounds were processed to create drones and repeated rhythmic patterns. These elements in turn, are arranged similar to an "orchestra" of different instruments, resulting in a "symphony" of sounds. The sounds range from "tonal" sonorities to percussive elements.

The video (in the video version) was created from source material recordings of the original Osbourn-Killey and Ingliss steam-powered fly-wheel engines during their last year of operation at what is now called the Steam Museum in Kingston. Multiple tracks of 4fps video are digitally processed and superimposed in order to create a mystical and quasi-dreamlike environment.



Audio: Kristi Allik
Video: Robert Mulder
Diffusion: (in live performance) Kristi Allik



  • 2001- Machine Symphony. (Audio version) © K. Allik, SOCAN.

    • 2003- Re-edited for DVD in November 2003. (Video version). © K. Allik, SOCAN. © R. Mulder
    • 2003: Machine Symphony, Version 2a: 4x3 NTSC, b&w, PCM stereo. DVD NTSC, 11:00 minutes. © K. Allik, SOCAN. © R. Mulder.
    • 2003: Machine Symphony, Version 2b: 9x16 NTSC, b&w, (letter boxed) Dolby AC3 5.1. © K. Allik, SOCAN. © R. Mulder. (currently not available)

Kristi Allik & Robert Mulder



  • March 13th, 2010 Neutral Ground, 1856 Scarth Street, #203, Regina, SK, Canada. (Video Version)
  • August 30, 2009, Electricities/Électricités Radio Nothing #1736
  • December 7 , 2005THE AUDIBLE WOMAN PLAYLISTS Host: Stephanie Moore
  • Friday November 5th 2005, 8pm Soundplay Performances, SOUNDplay Performance/screening 8 pm Latvian House, Toronto . (Video Version)
  • 2, 3, 4th. June 2003, 20:00hEar Popping Sounds Nr.9 Off Limits Festival, Dortmund.
  • Monday, July 7, 2003 from 2h00 to 6h00The Big Red Ball Floats Down The Creek And Out of Sight Edition.
  • 9/20/02Playlist for "ITDE".
  • Thursday, September 18, 2003WREK Playlist.





February 25, 2010



Still image from Machine Symphony .


Still image from Machine Symphony .



Still image from Machine Symphony .


Still image from Machine Symphony .