Les Percussions de Strasbourg have built up its collection of musical instruments gradually, the fruit of many meetings, many voyages, and many creations. It slowly expanded to become an impressive potential resource for composers, even actually influencing their composition.
For example, our first set of chromatic cowbells inspired Olivier Messiaen, and our Thai gongs were used by Hugues Dufourt in his symphony for percussion "Erewhon". This instrumentarium now encompasses a vast range of instruments featuring membranes, wood and metal as well as numerous sound accessories. Each piece requires particular skill to bring out its full musical potential. Our six musicians can play over four hundred of these percussion instruments. The instrument research workshop is a hive of creativity. By linking experimentation with combinative art Les Percussions de Strasbourg are furthering instrumental research. Their exchanges with composers have proceded unique instruments such as the famous sixxen, an instrumental compilation offering 109 different metallic sounds devised specifically for the ensemble by Iannis Xenakis. Traveling around the word has also proved to be a source of inspiration, our 6 "musicians-researchers" have brought back highly unusual instruments such as gongs, cowbells, marimbas, tom-toms or wooden drumns. Closer to home, the latest technologies also offer almost limitless research possibilities. Everyday objects can be deflected from their original purpose for the purpose of producing a particular resonance. All these resources contributes towards evolving sound perceptions and enriching tonal colour.