Chaise Résonnante

Tony Di Napoli


A wooden seat invites passers-by to take a break and sit down for a moment. The bench is anchored in a buried case containing a lithophone. This instrument is made of six limestone bars tuned to slightly different pitches around a low F (at micro-intervals of a ninth of a tone). Whenever anyone approaches the Chaise Résonnante, they trigger a mechanism that makes the six stone bars inside the lithophone start vibrating, which in turn makes the seat itself vibrate. Pipes with the same natural frequencies as the musical stones act as resonators. They conduct the sound up out of the ground. Physical contact with the seat means you can feel the sound as well as hear it. 

With the support of the Centre Henri Pousseur - Musique électronique / Musique mixte, Liège

Tony Di Napoli (FR) studied sculpture and bookbinding in Liège and Brussels. Di Napoli teaches at the Walloon International Summer Academy, where he leads a workshop in 'Sculpture and Sounding Stones.' Since the very beginning, stone has been a constant theme of Tony Di Napoli's oeuvre. His work is characterised by 'complementary oppositions': on the one hand stone as material and a durable element, on the other vegetation as an ephemeral element. He enjoys experimenting and is particularly fascinated by the creation process.

Di Napoli combines his skills as a sculptor with his interest in music. He has designed and produced a series of stone instruments which are also used during concerts and other productions. In 2002 he was awarded a grant from the SPES Foundation to study the history of the use of lithophones in Vietnam. This included work with a Vietnamese composer and percussionists.

Since 2011, Di Napoli has been a member of the Ensemble Orchestral de la Freta, a company in which professional musicians make music alongside people with a disability.