Glowing outdoor playground ready to make music in Quartier des Spectacles

A lit up, “vintage tropical” set of oversized dominoes are waiting to be toppled over by deep winter revellers in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles.

Domino Effect is part of Luminothérapie installations, on until Jan. 27

Brightly coloured dominoes are distributed across several stations and create a range of sound and lighting effects. (Nicolas Gouin/l'Hibou)

A lit up, "vintage tropical" set of oversized dominos are waiting to be toppled over by winter revellers in Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles.

The 120 giant plastic pieces glow orange, yellow, pink and turquoise, and they play music as people interact with them.

They are part of the ninth edition of the free Luminothérapie event that brings bright and playful outdoor art installations to the public space in the city's festival hub.

"There's magic with the sound — it becomes an orchestra, you become a DJ," said Katherine Melançon, from Ingrid Ingrid, the studio that created Domino Effect

Oversized dominos are waiting to be toppled over in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles. 0:39

She said the team at Ingrid Ingrid tested the installation in a refrigerated truck last summer to make sure it will function properly during Montreal's winter.

"It's a year of work that we see out there," Melançon said. "With interactive works, you never know if it fully works until you see people out there, using it."

As people play with the dominoes, lighting effects accompany the music they make.

"It's a new way to make the city alive," Melançon said.

Domino Effect joins bright seesaws and food vendors that bring life to the square off Jeanne-Mance Street as winter sets in.

The installation is in place until Jan. 26, and it may move beyond Montreal afterwards.

Melançon said her team needed to make sure the industrial design was "people proof and winter proof."

Previous Luminothérapie exhibitions have gone on to cities in the United States and Europe, but first needs to survive the winter in Montreal, and transportation to another city.

With files from CBC Montreal's Homerun


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