[ISEA2015] Artist Statement: Myriam Bleau — SOFT REVOLVERS

Artist Statement

Music performance (2014)

Soft Revolvers extends Myriam Bleau’s practice of exploring the sonic potential of everyday or familiar objects that engage audiences by triggering subconscious physical memories of their lived experience with those objects, including the ways in which they inform behavioural expectations, function and symbolic connotations. A music performance for four self-built spinning tops composed of clear acrylic, each top is associated with an “instrument” or element in an electronic music composition. The tops are equipped with gyroscopes and accelerometers that communicate wirelessly with a computer where the motion data collected (speed, unsteadiness at the end of a spin, acceleration spikes in case of collisions) informs musical algorithms. LEDs placed inside the tops illuminate the body of the objects in a precise counterpoint to the music, while the positioning of the lights creates visually stunning halos around the tops, enhanced by persistence of vision effects and projections. With their large circular spinning bodies and their role as music playing devices, the spinning top interfaces and some of the mappings between gestures and sound, have been borrowed directly from the bimodal action of turntables and the sampling culture of hip hop.

  • A composer, digital artist and performer based in Montréal, Myriam Bleau explores the limits between musical performance and digital arts, creating audiovisual systems such as sound installations and performance specific musical interfaces. A multi-instrumentalist from childhood, Bleau plays cello, guitar, and piano. Her hybrid electronic practice integrates hip hop, techno, experimental and pop elements with a focus on generating a physical response through pure tones and perceptual effects. She has presented across Canada, in the US and in Europe. Her recent work Soft Revolvers, received an honorary  mention for the Prix Ars Electronica 2015. She is currently working on a master’s degree in composition at the Université de Montréal, Canada.

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