Artist Martin Messier created the Sewing Machine Orchestra.
As his website
says: “Messier doesn’t sew, he resuscitates old Singer sewing machines put asleep years ago in order to release, in some magical ways, the luminous and sonorous presence of the past. He carries his public in a dreamlike universe where each machine, as singular subject, is magnified. After years of silence, sewing machine orchestra is giving speech to these surviving objects of the industrial era.
Having performed live in The Shirt Factory
exhibition his orchestra of sewing machines remained on exhibition under automated control, switching on whenever anyone entered the room.
The Shirt Factory
exhibition is one of the featured events in Derry's year as UK City of Culture 2013
The sound heard looping here is a small fragment recorded at The Shirt Factory exhibition while shooting the photographs.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Derry had a long history as a world centre of shirt manufacturing. In Das Capital Karl Marx mentioned Tillie and Henderson's shirt factory in Derry as an example of the forefront of factory automation in his era.
Right up to the 1970s the shirt industry shaped Derry and was the heart of employment for many families in Derry. In the last decades of the twentieth century shirt making faded. Almost all the factories have now closed. The building housing this exhibit was once a shirt factory. Now it is a Visual Art Space.