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Musical Swings Harmonize the Streets of Montreal


Lights and sounds that musicalize the urban environment.

In an urban environment, it’s rather easy to come across swings, whether in parks, schools or houses. And along with swings you will often see smiles, games, tumbles or even the occasional stolen kisses.

Most of the time, swings are meant to be something fun, but Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat decided to add a little flair to the common swing by adding lights and sounds to the delicious experience of swinging in the hopes of touching the sky.

Andraos and Mongiat are part of the Canadian Design Collective, whose most recent project is called Balançoires. The 21 swings that they installed in the city can be found at a science research center and a music hall, and with these they also are, literally, a bridge between the two disciplines.

By riding these swings we create melodies, aided by musical notes from prerecorded instruments, which envelop its users in different rhythms. Those who are able to coordinate their movements can create more complex and harmonious rhythms, bestowing a novelty sense upon the idea of social cooperation.

In the same sense, the artists have also designed a “secret mode” that is implemented only when all 21 swings are being used at the same time.

In recent weeks, a few blogs have commented that perhaps the swings should also be used as a new bus stop. Andraos, however, thinks that the proximity of the swings to the street does not make them places to wait for public transport. The divergence is surpassed when we see the many photos and videos of the swinging citizens: the responses are emotional and genuinely satisfactory.

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