To those in town for Mutek Montreal, and festival goers a like, yesterday was a real treat. Mutek has been running solid since Wednesday, and this past Friday night the festivities kicked it into high gear. With the sun shining, and Montreal feeling alive with vibes of summer Mutek offered a truly different and transcending spectacle to the city.
A/Visions 1: Ballet Electronique. Expereimental minimalism. Body mapping and projections. A dancing screen of visuals making you feel transported to another dimension. These were all factors present during Mutek’s 1st edition of A/Visions.
Montréal-based Maotik & Metametric kicked off the event with their Canadian premiere of Omnis. Blending the talents of musician/producer Jean-François Pedno(Metametric) and digital artistMathieu Le Sourd(Maotik), this duo took us on a trip. A trip through a ubiquitous digital world of optical illusion and distortion. Maotik offered up some very enticing visuals. Gave me the feeling of a long journey through a pixelated-computer world that I was in control of. The visual bar had been set, and the evening was on.
Adding a real flare of talent and musical expertise came from Metametic. Very evident of his orchestal percussion background, Pedno added some great visual treats to the piece as well. With highlights for myself featuring Pedno using a drum in combination with showing off some really impressive chops in the world of dub, glitch and experimental techno. These 2 together have something incredibly special figured out.
Japanese choreographer/artist Hiroaki Umeda debuted 2 new pieces. First on the bill was Spit Flow. Utilizing Umeda’s talent as a conceptual dancer and choreogrpahy, the audience was immeresed in a visual display expressing velocity in strokes of light. The fluidity of his dance, and appearance of the light display creating a 3-D essence on the stage. It was visually beautiful, and felt even as though I was sitting back in the theatre I could reach inside this 3-D box and pick him out of it. It was odd, trippy, and intriguing.
Holistic Strata. using his body and movements to share the same digitized or pixel like presence as his projections and sound featured visually. During this piece the control demonstrated by Umeda was nothing less than impressive. At moments it was hard to differentiate his body and movements from the projections on screen, adding a sense of uncertainty and suspense.
With a huge resounding boom all this flipped and his body became somewhat of a remote control. With physical movements controling the projected and mapped visuals in every direction, the timing and symety that Umeda’s choreography displayed told us a story. One of which Umeda reflects as a Quest for Harmony.
This presentation from Mutek Montreal will not be soon forgotten. After a long day of sunshine, festival goers, and a definite buzz throughout Montreal, Ballet Electronique transported me to another reality. Over, and over again.