Role reversal. The emphasis in this performance is not on movement but on sound. It grabs the spectators by the senses, plunging them into the adventure of a woman who is a prisoner of the night. The sound digs in from the ear to the brain, making the blood run cold. Blending the blackness of a space pierced by makeshift lighting, it meticulously cuts a swath through the contours of our imaginations, placed on alert by the strange set. Extreme concentration and suspense. Revealed in all its rustling and shifting, the movement appears through the magnifying glass of the sound, so close that it could be us, our bodies there in the darkness. Watch your step, for Derrière le rideau, il fait peut-être nuit.
Created by the composer-performer Martin Messier and the choreographer-dancer Anne Thériault, this short piece is a little gem of precision and inventiveness that abolishes the distance between audience and performers, highlighting the link between sound and movement in a moving piece.
Anne Thériault, The Art of Collaboration
Anne Thériault has danced for several Quebec choreographers, including Dave St-Pierre, Marie Béland, Nicolas Cantin and Lynda Gaudreau. She was the latter’s assistant for the Out of Grace exhibit. She has been choreographing since 2004 in a style that incorporates performance art, and has danced in most of her pieces. She has also danced in works by the collectives La 2e Porte à gauche and POP, an ensemble created recently with four colleagues. She did the choreography for a Misteur Valaire videoclip, and called on the services of Martin Messier for the sound ambience of the piece La Physique.
Martin Messier, Looking at Sound
The composer, performer and drummer Martin Messier has long been interested in electro-acoustic music. Fascinated by the division of time and by the correlation of sound and image, he directs his talents in several directions. Apart from his collaborations with the choreographers-dancers Caroline Laurin-Beaucage and Anne Thériault, he creates audio performances (L’horloger, using old alarm clocks, Pencil Project, with lead pencils) and designs sound installations (Sewing Machine Orchestra, with eight sewing machines from the 1930s-40s). His video work includes the diptych Autoportrait. He also composes for theatre and dance, and worked on the soundscape and score for Ginette Laurin’s Onde de choc (FTA 2010).
« Un ingénieux opus. Artiste de l’installation, de la performance, électroacousticien et vidéaste, le Montréalais Martin Messier intègre souvent danse et robotique à ses nombreux spectacles sonores. (…) Multi-instrumentiste (…) [I]l se considère en outre davantage un performeur qu’un musicien de studio. Voici ses précisions: “J’ai toujours été plus proche de la scène et de la performance que des studios de son, et dans tout ce que je fais, il y a toujours un côté rythmique en évidence… ” »
Yves Tremblay, Convergence, octobre 2010
« All the ideas and directorial decisions inherent to this project are guided by the fact that this performance is first and foremost about the soundscape. With this in mind, the piece is performed in near darkness, which makes the audience concentrate on the progressions of the soundscape. Wanting to inspire feelings of insecurity, unleashing an element of fear in the audience and placing them in visual universe akin to the aesthetic of horror cinema, the visual construction of this performance is built around the idea of suggestion without revealing anything. It is through this lens that striking images are expanded while never causing the emergence of narrative evidence. »
CREATED BY 14 LIEUX
DRAMATURGY AND PERFORMANCE BY ANNE THÉRIAULT COMPOSITION, SOUND DESIGN AND DRAMATURGY MARTIN MESSIER ARTISTIC ADVISOR SIMON-XAVIER LEFEBVRE
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH SOCIÉTÉ DES ARTS TECHNOLOGIQUES [SAT]
PREMIÈRED AT FESTIVAL AKOUSMA, CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE DE MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 2009
WRITTEN BY FABIENNE CABADO TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED / FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES