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Three Boxes and a Cube : 

Box 1: The Amputee (2004)

Box 2: The Foetus on the sofa (2006)Box 3: The Mirror Dwarf (2006)Cube (2007)

Three collapsable cubes made up of six 15 x 15 cm panels made of mild steel, machine engraved and held together with five modified piano hinges.


Solid brass cube 7.1 x 7.1 x 7.1 cm, machine engraved.

Constructed by John Delacour.

The sculptures are an homage to various films.

Their recorded results are featured on the album The Best of 'Futility Music" - Volume 1:

(click image for album info)

Box 1: The Amputee   (2004)

Forces: quarter-tone tuned e.guitar/2 hairdryers/VCR hum/breathing/laughter​

Duration: ​3'33"


As a student at the University of Southampton I was asked to write a soundtrack to a student's short film, and this track is the result. It turned out the student wasn't too happy, so it didn't make the final cut.

Still wanting to use the track I decided to re-score it;  as the recording was created by using the film as a graphic score, I decided to use the recording to create a new graphic score. This eventually took the form of a box, as at the time I had been influenced by the concept of Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel, and the imagery of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

The use of hairdryers refer to props used in the original student film. The guitar part was made by tracing the movement of the main character in the film with a steel slide.


As with all three boxes, the piece is governed by bracketed frame-notation.

Box 1_ The AmputeeAdam de la Cour
00:00 / 03:30
Box 2: The Foetus on the Sofa​   (2006)

Forces: 2 vacuum cleaners/vocalist in foetal position on a sofa/'daemon' voice/sample of a cat purr​

Duration: ​6'38"


The title comes from a weird thing I used to do as a kid. When my mum was hoovering I'd lay on the sofa in the foetal position and sing with the pitch of the vacuum cleaner. This activity becomes an integral part of the piece.

The repetitive circling of the vacuum cleaners are governed by the intricate choreography of a scene from Jacques Tati's Playtime; transcribing specific characters' walking speeds and direction​.

The Daemon voice text found etched on the outside of the box, relates to a recurring nightmare I had, again when I was a child. The gaps in the outer text for this part, are a direct reference to Duchamp's With Hidden Noise.

Box 2 The Foetus on the SofaAdam de la Cour
00:00 / 07:00
Box 3: The Mirror Dwarf​   (2006)

Forces: 3 video cameras producing feedback/sample of a bird's wings flapping/sample of dwarf laughter/chef's torch​

Duration: ​5'16"


Polyphony of camera feedback is created by the tracing of dwarfs (from Werner Herzog's Even Dwarfs Started Small) on a TV screen. The dwarf laughter is also sampled from this film.

The sound of gas throughout implies the inevitable destruction of the inhabitant of the box.


The DVDs found within the box contain footage of the original camera traces, to be imitated (indicated by the mirrors opposite each DVD panel when the box is closed).

Box 3_ The Mirror Dwarf 2Adam de la Cour
00:00 / 05:22

Cube  (2007)

Forces: Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, morse code​

Duration: ​?



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