Portrait Collection

PSM

In my recent compositions, I have invited the personal idiom of specific performers to direct my work.

Participants

Programme

Description

It’s not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present casts its light on what is past; rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation.

Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project

In my recent compositions, I have invited the personal idiom of specific performers to direct my work. Portrait Collection pushes that further, exploring how the notion of portraiture can inform the composer-performer relationship. Each one of my subjects is a musician with a singular sound and improvisation practice. During a number of sittings/sessions, I collect their ideas and sounds, which I later sort and distill to draw out their essence. I then imagine frameworks in which these essential elements inhabit different spaces, sometimes alongside performances by the original subjects. Onstage, the musician subjects will interact with each other and with portraits of themselves.

Portrait Collection investigates how we perceive time and space in performance, both as musicians and listeners. How can past performances be remixed with live musicians? Can the chronological time of performance be somehow warped? How do we deal with mediated spaces inside performance spaces?

This project is made possible through the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, matralab and the Fonds de recherche du Québec — Société et culture (FRQSC).