« show was like nothing that had even been seen before »
«Messier's stage presence is mesmerizing; he communicates abstracly but directly with his audience, without artifice.»
With this project FIELD, Martin Messier assumes that it is possible to create sounds using electromagnetic fields of our environment. These residual and imperceptible electric signals are picked with electromagnetic transducer microphones, and become generators of the performance. On stage, he plays with two connections patches that offer many possibilities to connect many outputs to many inputs. By a continuous movement of plugging and unplugging, Messier interacts with them, thus noise and light composition emerges. With FIELD, Messier makes material this flow of power otherwise inaudible and invisible.
Martin Messier concept, audiovisual composition, programming and performance • Interface Thomas Payette • Nathanaël Lécaudé Electronics • Technical design Thomas Payette, Maxime Bouchard, Frédérique Folly • Production 14 lieux • Support Canada Council for the Art for their support
With BOÎTE NOIRE (Black box), Martin Messier puts a beam of light, projected into a large transparent prism, into sounds and movements. Trying to define the edges of this elusive element, he materializes the extension of its shapes and decomposes its frequencies. In a dark room, the spectator sees and ears the development of the white specter: its contradictions and distensions, its curves and lines, its appearances and disappearances. It is as if the box, filled with ghostly signals, was containing pieces of past events and with his installation, Messier invites the public to put history back together.
Martin Messier Artistic Director, Concept, Music • Étienne Després Visual • Maxime Bouchard, Frédérique Folly, Thomas Payette Technical directors • Nathanaël Lécaudé Electronics • Martin Messier Photo credit • Production 14 lieux• Support Canada Council for the Art for their support
Choregraphy and creation / Directed by : Martin Messier
Corps mort features four performers and a dozen of chairs suspended by a rope and pulley system. With this performance, Martin Messier continues his reflection on matter, gravity and movement. By controlling the performers’ actions and the movement of the chairs simultaneously, he rethinks the relationship between living and inert, loud and silent bodies. The chairs are not fastened to the ground to support the weight of bodies; nor are they immobile and silent anymore. They float, move and are heard in a moving scenography orchestrated and choreographed by Messier. They become, like the performers, full-fledged members of the cast.
Performers : Kimberley De Jong, Patrick Lamothe, Simon-Xavier Lefebvre, Martin Messier • Research help : Brianna Lombardo
• Lighting : Jean-François Piché + Martin Messier • Music : Martin Messier, Simon Trottier • Technical director : Dominique Hawry • Tech helper : Laura-Rose Grenier
For this project, I had, with the help of different collaborators, to conceive a new media tool but also to put it online so it could be used by everyone else.
But more than that, I had to use this tool to create the piece Corps mort with 3 performers. They were manipulating chairs and objects suspended rigged to the ceiling using a system of rope and pulley. Performers actions were answering the indications programmed in advance. Those indications were dictated by a synthesized voice they were hearing in their in-ears. This programming tool was also used to control and synchronized chairs movement lifted by a motorized system (winches).
Programming : Martin Messier, Nathanaël Lécaudé • Performers : Kimberley De Jong, Patrick Lamothe, Simon-Xavier Lefebvre, Martin Messier • Lighting : Jean-François Piché + Martin Messier • Music : Simon Trottier • Technical director : Dominique Hawry
« clever & effective » —Nick Chapman, twitter, 2014
Martin Messier's PROJECTORS is a surgical work of art in which he orchestrates the engineering, manipulation and distortion of 8mm projectors under the lights of a digital projector. Through a taut stage lighting and the resynthesis of the 8mm projectors‘ quasi-mythical roar, the machines come alive outside of the projection room and turn into bizarre and explosive noise mechanisms. All at once offbeat, unfamiliar and marvelously incongruous, this performance leads the public to a timeless universe, somewhere between dialogue, confrontation and technological contrast. Here, the projectors do not project: Everything but discrete, they take action and become the performance itself – loud and luminous.
Martin Messier Artistic Director, Performance, Video, Light, Music • Maxime Bouchard Technical Directors, Electronic, Photo • Jean-François Piché Electronic • Thomas Payette Technical Design • Production 14 lieux • Aknowledgements Perte de signal • Support Canada Council for the Art for their support
« the most eye-widening and jaw-dropping sculpture put into action I have witnessed »[...]
« gets you to the point of not being able to blink for fear of missing one of their very rigid and addictive movements » —quipmag.com
MACHINE _ VARIATION is the latest project by Martin Messier and Nicolas Bernier. Key to this duo’s work is the human body as an aspect of digital creation: on stage the two performers’ bodies operate and control the creative process by forging direct connections with what we see and hear. The central piece to the performance is a gigantic physical structure built with the artist Jonathan Villeneuve .
Martin Messier, Nicolas Bernier artistic direction, performance, music • Jonathan Villeneuve structure • Karine Gauthier lighting • Jean-François Piché technical help • Julie Artacho photo • François Laflamme camera • Production 14 lieux • Support Festival Sonàr, Festival Maintenant, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec et Conseil des arts de Montréal, Conseil des Arts du Canada, Cirque du Soleil
« humming, thrumming hymn to the tangential possibilities of everyday objects »— Mary Brennan, The Herald, Glasgow, Écosse, mars 2012
Messier doesn’t sew : with a computer and microcontrollers, he reactivates old Singers as to release the luminous and resounding presence of the past. By narrowly controlling and amplifying the machines’ noises and micro-movements, he carries his public in a dreamlike universe where the old Singers, as singular beings, are magnified. After years of silence, Sewing Machine Orchestra gives the floor to these surviving objects.
Martin Messier sound, performance, programming
Samuel St-aubin electronic
Alexis Bellavance photos credits
14 lieux production
Support Conseil des Arts du Canada
« Un projet unique jamais vu ... »
« Le bruit des machines à coudre est évocateur et réconfortant ...»
— Carlos Albuquerque, O Globo, Brésil, août 2011
The Sewing Machine Orchestra installation invites the spectator to closely observe a computer-coordinated choreography of twelve sewing machines. Like sprawling beasts, the powerful machines invade the space with their unstoppable movements and heavy sounds. With this installation, after a performance where he wakes them up gently, Messier gives his machines free rein, creating a ghostly and terrifying universe.
Martin Messier installation, music, programmation
technical director Jean-François Piché
production 14 lieux
support Festival Exit (Paris), Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec
« a desire to manifest digital creation into the physical world »
— wired (UK)
• Mention, Prix Ars Electronica (2011)
• Jury selection, Japan Media Art Awards (2011)
Machines made of gears and cranks are manipulated to produce a sound construction at the crossroads of acoustics and electronics. Submerged in surround sound, the audience discovers the interaction between mechanical and synthetic sound. With specifically tailored programming, digital processing are enlarging the sound palette of the machines. La chambre des machines stems from a desire to return to the physical world in an environment of digital creation. The project also refers back to the intonarumoris, sound machines built by Italian futurists at the beginning of the 20th century. These machines contained mysterious mechanisms, just as computers do today.
•Martin Messier, Nicolas Bernier concept, composition, performance Alexandre Landry Intonarumoris (Machines), •video foumalade.org
•production 14 lieux •supports Perte de signal
« un petit bijou qui immerge le spectateur dans un univers artistique complet » — Laura Pinsonneault-Craig, DFDanse, Montréal, janvier 2012
Emptied of their identity, dispossessed of history, anonymous beings are projected in a black hole. Moving, lost in the midst of time, as intuitive and instinctive bodies. Stroked by lighting and sounds as vanishing flashbacks of a tattered memory. There is no mild glimmer, no melody: Within obscurity, fugitive luminous stains enlighten the bodies while the fragments of staccato sounds hit them. Soak immerse us into the obscure universe of lost bodies trying to remember.
Choreographers : Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, Martin Messier
Created with : Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, Brianna Lombardo
Substitute dancers : Manuel Roque, Elinor Fueter
Sound Martin Messier
Lights : Martin Messier, Karine Gauthier
Photos : Julie Artacho
Production : 14 lieux Residencies : Studio 303, Usine C, Circuit-Est
Support : Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec, Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Ekumen
« Un Répulsion de Polanski, version performance-sadomaso-trash- XXIe siècle, fort cinématographique et très efficace.»
—Catherine Lalonde, Le Devoir, janvier 2012
« ...un oppressant suspens. »
—Catherine Lalonde, Le Devoir, décembre 2011
« ...une expérience à vivre. (...) C’est efficient, troublant. »
—Myriam Daguzan Bernier, Ma mère était hipster, mai 2011
Having been a sound designer for many years in dance and in theatre, Martin Messier set out to reverse the usual hierarchical roles existing between the choreographer and the composer in order to put the soundscape at the forefront. 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.
•Anne Thériault : Dramaturgy and performance
•Martin Messier : Dramaturgy, music composition and sound processing
•Simon-Xavier Lefebvre : Artistic advisor
• Révélation de l’année - Revue de l'année 2011, La Presse, Montréal, Canada
« ... corps à corps très efficace, d’une belle crudité ... »
—Catherine Lalonde, Le Devoir, Montréal, Canada, juin 2011
« ... Hit and Fall, combo rare et étonnant »
—Stéphanie Brody, La Presse, Montréal, Canada juin 2011
A drum set, a man, and a woman: two bodies invade each other armed only with their instrument. Sound reverberates through and dominates the flesh. Defending their territory, struggling against the fall, tearing off from the ground, the bodies, masters of their space, engage a taut dialogue of charged and raw sonic language. Hit and Fall is a visceral outpouring of red ink on white paper.
•Caroline Laurin-Beaucage Artistic direction, performance
•Martin Messier Artistic direction, performance, Music Composition, video
•Artistic advisor Sarah Hanley
•Photos credits Alexis Bellavance
• «Une onde de choc au Mois Multi? Certes que oui, avec prime, une ondée de sonorités manifestement inspirés du grand Chronos !!»
—Jimi Paulz, moismulti.blogspot.com, 2010
« sounds almost as if my mental audio library was being consulted »
—artengine.ca, Mireille Bourgeois, 2 juin 2010
L'horloger (the "Clock Maker") is an audio performance that uses old alarm clocks as sound sources. During the piece, clocks and dials are meticulously and brutally animated to extract their musical qualities.
This project is based on memory, on the present, on cyclical activity, and therefore on time! It speaks of time and space, its elasticity, its irreversibility and more troublingly, of its capacity to continue when the individual has stopped!
•Martin Messier : Concept, performance, sound
•Photo : Martin Boucher
• Prix du meilleur court-métrage de fiction
—Lausanne Underground Film Festival 2013
« notre devenir-folie, notre devenir-animal, notre devenir machine... »
—24 images, automne 2010, no 63
A breathless body, articulated through a surgical dissection of time. Like a collection of fragments, a being grown increasingly fractured—likely as it searches for itself, for the moments it is made of. Then the intensity of the cry, until the pain is exhausted. An act of desperation, pulverized, until man finally becomes machine, a mechanical monster. And yet, the universe stays put.
•Martin Messier : Concept, performance, video editing, sound :
•Photo : Véronique Béland
A submerged face, latent, despite the tension between air escaping out the nostrils and water gradually seeping in. Like two conflicting elements in a single body — a struggle experienced internally, in weightless time. Then eyes that finally open, renewing hope of seeing the head emerge from water. Getting some air. Something like a dream of waking up, maybe. Features are then obliterated in the waves, the better to dissolve one’s being.
•Martin Messier Concept, performance, video editing, sound :
•Photo Véronique Béland
«l'exploitation simultanée de la vue et de l'ouïe a encore de beaux jours
devant elle »
—Le quotidien, Daniel Cîté, 22 mai 2009
•Dans Luminescence, ce sont des points lumineux déplacés par le musicien qui jouent les éléments perturbateurs. Assis autour de lui, dans le noir le plus total, le public l'a vu modifier une composition électronique aux accents hypnotiques »
—Daniel Côté, Cyberpresse, Chicoutimi, 2009
Luminescence est une pièce composée À l'aide du dispositif de contrôle DRK créé par Jacques Poulin-Denis. Dans cette pièce, la corrélation image-son est mise en avant-plan. Les multiples faisceaux lumineux manipulés par l’artiste sont analysés et transposés en musique, pour ainsi créer l'environnement sonore.
•Martin Messier Performance, Music, Programming
•Jacques Poulin-Denis Concept, programming
Spectres enlacés is an experience inspired from acousmatic listening since the audience is asked to wear a sleeping mask during the hearing of the piece. Exploring an unknown space while not recognizing where one stands, the auditor vision is reduced while sounds become the center of his attention travelling in a new space where sound spectrum is colliding and fusing.
The environment of Spectre enlacés is a space structured by sounds referring to noises of daily life. In this oneiric universe, these references are decontextualised in order to flirt with a surreal imaginary environment where one can recognize a mix of urban sounds, doors slapping, basketballs dropping, ping pong balls, machinery...
My will to create yet an acousmatic and melodic piece equates in a combination of noisy sounds and a touch of melodic sounds intertwining together.
Spectres enlacés was commissionned by Ekumen and his creation was made possible with the support of the Conseil des art et des lettres du Québec.
« the kind of performance that had the crowd inching forward in their seats » —Jennifer Brandel, Transom.com, 29 mai 2010
The Pencil Project is a performance piece created by sound artists Martin Messier and Jacques Poulin-Denis. Their intention was to craft a live electronic music piece inspired by the physicality of writing and the imagery it articulates. Using computer technology, the performers translate scribbling, scratching, dotting and drawing with pencil music.
Although a lot of programming, signal processing and design provide de backbone of this project, one of its main objectives is to keep the technology invisible. The computers are hidden and untouched throughout the piece, allowing object manipulation and the creation of sound to be the performers’ main focus.
The most important aspect of The Pencil Project is the music itself. Using the proximity of contact microphones, an extensive range of sonorities and “sound gestures” is created. From the grainy voice-like noises of a pencil on a page, to the violent textures of ripping paper, a rich vocabulary is explored, transformed and layered to create an evocative atmosphere.
The Pencil Project is about musicianship. Liberated from the computer screen and equipped with hands-on objects, the performers explore a new form of expressivity. Through an authentic and stimulating performance, the musicians bring computer music intimately close to playing an actual musical instrument.
Martin Messier, Jacques Poulin-Denis :
Artistic direction, Music, Performance, Programming