Von Roll Twist

Von Roll Twist – Installation and sound performance

The installation Von Roll Twist is a mechanical device, which can be used either in the form of an interactive installation for the visitors, or in the form of a performance.

The devise is an old ski lift drum manufactured by Von Roll. These ski lift contraptions are extremely strong and precise. We equipped them with sensors that measure the speed and the direction of the progress of the rope, and that can be used as a controller (digital potentiometer, joystick?).

Connected to loudspeakers, these simple drums become real instruments. The operator, by pulling and by releasing the rope up to a distance of 10 meters, moves through a number of compositions of concrete sounds, spoken texts and music. He can vary the shape as well as the rhythm of the execution. He can also precisely locate words or sound motives and play on their repetition by applying back and forth movements to the rope. The operator is at the same time a composer and a choreographer.

The sound material is predefined and is produced according to the theme of the event and the specificities of the space where it will be installed.




  • Inauguration du Quartier des Arts Plateforme 10, Lausanne (CH)
  • Percussions Festival international, Lausanne (CH)


  • Total Cod.Act, Retrospective, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH)
  • Flash! Festival, Bern (CH)


  • Festival Label Suisse, Lausanne (CH)


  • Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH)


  • Exhibition “From la Chaux-de-Fonds, with love”, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH)


  • Immanence gallery, Paris (FR)


  • Château de La Sarraz, 100 ans du Musée Romand, La Sarraz (CH)


  • Bienne train station, Bienne (CH)


  • Théâtre Arsenic, Lausanne (CH)


Von Roll Twist I

The installation was developed in 2006 for a play that required the implementation of a spatial device allowing to broadcast and to control a recorded text. Bound to the ropes, the comedians could move through the text and control the speed and the rhythm of speech.

Von Roll Twist II

Von Roll Twist II is a sound performance for four drums / loudspeakers and an acrobat, developed for the inauguration of a renovated train station..

Sounds contained in the drums are recordings made within and around railroad stations and tracks (brakings, whistlings, announcements broadcasted on platforms). An acrobat manipulates the ropes according to a choreography capable of combining the various tones produced. He is both operator and composer.

Von Roll Twist III

The project was realised in a medieval castle (the castle of La Sarraz in Switzerland) on invitation of its owner, to create a temporary work.

VonRoll Twist III is an interactive sound installation composed of eight drums and loudspeakers placed in various characteristic spaces of the castle. The idea was to realize a kind of machine to travel back in time, to extract the sound tracks accumulated in the masonry of the castle during more than a thousand years, by pulling on the ropes. Von Roll Twist III allows the visitor to reactivate the memory of the place and to make the castle resonate with the tones that marked its history.

The sound material was created according to the history and to the specificities of the spaces where it was produced, such as sounds of parties in the kitchen, psalms in the chapel or bells in the courtyard of the castle…