David Lettelier was born in France in 1978 and he lives and works in Berlin. He studied and graduated in architecture in Rennes (FR) and Berlin (DE) A long-time collaborator of Carsten Nicolai, David Letellier focuses on the perception of sound and space, on the edge of architecture, sound and art. His work, ranging from audiovisual performances, sound installations, to autonomous machines or conceptual drawings, can be defined as “an attempt to express sound as a form in movement”
Created for the Saint Sauveur chapel in Caen, Caten is a kinetic levitating sculpture, guiding the evolution of a sound composition. 300 fine wires suspended from two ropes, connected themselves at each end to a slowly rotating arm, form an evanescent surface which interacts with the architecture. Inspired by the inverted catenary models of Antoni Gaudi, the constantly changing shape is entirely determined by gravity. The invisible forces at work are used as a creative force. Caten opposes the ephemeral to the eternal, the movement to the static, and produce a tension between the lightness and the millenary stability of the space. The sound composition is inspired by the medieval solmisation prayers, especially the first verse of “Ut Queant Laxis”, also known as the “hymn to St John the Baptist”, used in the eleventh century to determine the names of the notes of the scale used in latin countries. At each turn, the engines emit one of the first 4 notes of the scale (Ut, Re, Mi, Fa), creating a sequence of intervals, constantly reconfigured. Low frequencies resonate in the space and emphazise the transcendental character of a place once dedicated to faith. The name is derived from the term catenary, which describes the plane curve formed by a rope or a chain hung between two points. This particular shape is the result of the action of the most universal force of all : Gravitation.