Most of the time the score and the instrument are two different entities. For this project, I morph these two entities into one unique scenographic-score: the brick becomes the instrument while it is at the same time the score. With a precise  non-conventional notation system, the score indicates the cavities, resonances and tonalities of the bricks. For years I have been researching and working on hybrid techniques between drawing, drumming and dreaming that reflect within my practice as a composer and performer. In Bricophone the bricks become a non-conventional score intended for the specific interpretation of the piece within the cistern of Maison Tavel, to which the composition is dedicated.

Built between 1334 and 1339, the Maison Tavel is one of the oldest surviving private residences in Geneva and one of the most remarkable buildings in its architectural heritage. In 1979, excavations brought to light the remains of an 11th century tower and a huge 17th century cistern for the rainwater harvesting. 

In BRICOPHONE this cistern becomes a sonic temple and the auditor is immersed in the constructive power, musicality and poetry of the brick.

"Bricks, tiles of all kind and pipes are all common ceramic elements used in construction that draw from diverse ancestral skills. Whether discovered in Geneva or brought back from faraway lands, whether fired in a Gallo-Roman kiln or cast in a twentieth century factory, terracotta elements have for a long time been considered for their documentary value. Yet studies reveal important technological innovations, vast trade circuits and the presence of workshops whose productions were marked by stamps or finger-made signatures. Certain pieces even immortalize fleeting moments, like the chance imprint of a dog’s paw or goat’s foot in the still soft clay. Brought together at the Maison Tavel, these architectural ceramics from different times are viewed from both a functional and aesthetic angle."

For the exhibition “EMPREINTES construire en Ceramique” organised by MAH (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire Genève) at Maison Tavel,  Alexandra Bellon is invited to create the concert performance “BRICOPHONE” that brings an ode to the musicality of these essential construction materials. To compose the music of this piece Alexandra Bellon explored the sonic and musical cavities of the bricks to create and write a unique score, noted precisely on each brick. 

An invitation to immerse yourself in the constructive power, the musicality and poetry of the brick!


Composition and interpretation: Alexandra Bellon
Duration : 2 hours
Instruments : a selection of bricks 
Recorded live at Maison Tavel 13/11/2022, Geneva : Nadan Rojnic
Mixed by: Nadan Rojnic
Video captation & Images : Karla Isidorou
Curated by Isabelle Burkhalter
Première : 13th november 2022

This composition is part of the cycle ONGOING composed with the support of Landis &Gyr Stiftung
BRICOPHONE was supported and hosted by MAH Musée d’Art et d’Histoire of Geneva