AKOUSMA @ EMPAC
An acousmatic music performance in the open spaces of EMPAC highlighting the best works from the annual AKOUSMA festival in Montréal, Quebec. Known as “cinema for the ear,” acousmatic music is a compositional form traditionally presented in the dark to help focus and intensify the audience’s sense of hearing. In this performance, EMPAC will be appointed with dozens of specially placed loudspeakers while the audience is seated throughout the building’s lobby and the public hallways across its nine floors. Composers and performers will jointly manipulate their pieces in real-time, creating an all-encompassing aura as electronic sound moves throughout the building.
Louis Dufort - Étude no.1 for the EMPAC Lobby
Gilles Gobeil - Des temps oubliés
Seth Nehil - Collide
Adam Basanta - instant gris
Adam Basanta - is not a / a / is not
Olivia Block - Dissolution
Louis Dufort - Étude no.2 for the EMPAC Lobby
Please note: Evelyn’s Cafe will not be open for service prior to this performance.
AKOUSMA is produced by Réseaux, a composer-run organization founded in 1991 to commission, promote, and support electroacoustic music. Montréal is the North American hub for electronic music, offering a wide range of festivals spanning dance music, acoustics research, and everything in between.
Seth Nehil makes sound for listening, performance, and installation. Over the last 15 years he has crafted a unique and unusual sonic world, mixing acoustic and electronic sources, field recordings, granular synthesis, and voice. He has released over 15 albums and has collaborated with dance companies, performers, and video artists.
Olivia Block creates original sound compositions for concerts, site-specific multi-speaker installations, live cinema, and performance. Her compositions often include field recordings, chamber instruments, and electronic textures. Block creates scores for large ensemble, string quartet, and orchestra. Her solo performances include partially improvised pieces for inside piano, electronics, and amplified objects, presented in a slow and deliberate gestural style that Steve Smith of the New York Times described recently as having “palpable sensations of volition and emotional involvement.” She also creates multimedia works for sounds and video.
Block has performed, premiered, and exhibited her work throughout Europe, America, and Japan in festivals including Sonic Light (Amsterdam), Kontraste (Krems), Dissonanze (Rome), Archipel (Geneva), Angelica (Bologna), Sunoni per il Popolo (Montreal), and many others. Additionally, she has presented work at the ICA (London), MCA (Chicago), La Biennale di Venezia 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, The Kitchen (NYC), ISSUE Project Room, and Experimental Intermedia (Brooklyn). She has completed residencies and premiered works at Mills College of Music, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Berklee College of Music. Block has presented talks at additional universities in film, music, and media arts departments, including Yale University and Indiana University. She has created sound installations for public sites and exhibition spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the library at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the Lincoln Conservatory Fern Room in Chicago, and at the “Echoes Through the Mountains” exhibit at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Her latest LP/download release, Karren (Sedimental, 2013), recorded with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, was chosen “Best of 2014” by The Wire, Pitchfork, and Artforum, among other publications.
Adam Basanta is an award-winning composer and media artist whose work traverses electroacoustic and instrumental composition, audiovisual installations, site-specific interventions, laptop performance, and dynamic light design. His work explores notions of listening and audiovisual perception, the re-animation of quotidian objects, and the articulation of site and space.
His concert works have been presented worldwide and awarded multiple national and international prizes, including Métamorphoses 2010 (Belgium) and the John Weinzweig grand prize in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers (Canada). His sound and audiovisual installations, both solo and collaborative, have been presented across North America and Europe, and awarded in the Prix Ars Electronica 2013 (honorable mention, Hybrid Art category) and the 2014 Edith-Russ-Haus Awards for Emerging Media Artists.
Adam holds a BFA in composition from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC) and an interdisciplinary MA in composition and sound art installation at Concordia University (Montréal, QC). He lives and works in Montréal.
Gilles Gobeil has been focusing his work on acousmatic and mixed music since 1985. His works fall close to what is called “cinema for the ear.” Many of his pieces have been inspired by literary works and attempt to let us see through sound.
Gobeil has won over 20 national and international awards at Ars Electronica (Austria), Bourges (France), Stockholm Electronic Arts Award (Sweden), CIMESP (Brazil), Métamorphoses (Belgium), Ciber@rt (Spain), and Luigi Russolo (Italy) competitions, among others. His DVD-audio Trilogie d’ondes won the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM)’s Prix Opus for Best Album in 2004-05; his CD Le contrat was nominated in the same category in 2003-04.
He has received commissions from Codes d’Accès (Montréal), empreintes DIGITALes (Montréal), Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges (GMEB, France), Musiques & Recherches (Belgium), Réseaux des arts médiatiques (Montréal), Société Radio-Canada, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM, Germany), and from performers Suzanne Binet-Audet, René Lussier, and Arturo Parra. He has been composer-in-residence in Banff (Canada, 1993, ’95), Bourges (France, 1991), at the GRM (France, 1993) and ZKM (Germany, 2005, ’06, ’07), and guest composer at DAAD(Germany, 2008).
Gobeil is a professor of music technology at Collège de Drummondville since 1992. He has been a guest lecturer in electroacoustic composition at Université de Montréal (2005-06) and the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (2007). He is a member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC), associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC), and co-founder of Réseaux, an organization devoted to producing media arts events. He has a master’s degree in composition from the Université de Montréal.
The music of Montréal composer Louis Dufort ranges from a cathartic form of expressionism mostly found in his early works to organicism focusing on the inner structure of sound matter in his latest works.
Although he first developed his style through electroacoustic music, he quickly delved into mixed music and multimedia music, which drew attention from a number of extremely diverse Montréal-based organizations.
Dufort’s international profile has been increasing since the early 2000s. In 2001, he received a mention from Prix Ars Electronica (Austria). In 2005, he collaborated with the German Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) and two years later, the Recombinant Media Labs (RML) in San Francisco. His recent AV works were presented at Berlin’s Transmediale festival in 2011, Mutek festival in 2012, Elektra festival in 2013, and a new piece with live electronics for ECM+ in 2014. He is also well known for his collaboration with internationally renowned choreographer Marie Chouinard since 1999. Dufort teaches at the CMM and is the artistic director of AKOUSMA festival in Montréal.