Modulate This! Mutek offered up a 2 outstanding pieces from great artists this weekend during A/Visions 2. Like the evening prior, we got treated with 2 seperate acts, each with a piece as original as the anything you’ll get to see all year long here in Montreal’s festival season.

Martin Messier presents to Montreal, and to the world the premiere of his project Field. During the piece Messier turns his body into a conduit, allowing electric waves and projections from his movements to lay invisible and inaudible power flows. The constant tinkering with luminous cables facing towards the audience provided an intriguing visual display. One that I wasn’t entirely certain of what I was seeing. All of which was made evidently clear once each connection made provided a different sound that filled the theatre. Piece by piece this Field of electronic waves and pulse was brought full circle, with Messier right at the head of controls.

Field_credit_photo_martin_messier-1024x576The crowd had been given life by Messier and his relationship between sound and material. An impressive piece by an artist that has such a smart idea about sound, movements, and the relation to one another. Messier continues to push imagination into new existence by bringing physical items to life, reinventing their purpose. No stranger to Mutek, Martin came in this years festival with a strong piece that was a clear enjoyment for the crowd as was shown to him with cheers folliwing his bow. Kudos to you, Martin Messier.

Tyondai Braxton saw the Canadian debut of his piece Hive. Part sound installation, part live performance. Hive expands on a concept developed from a pod-like structure with a disc upon which he would sit to perform. This piece took that visual essence and multiplied it by 5. Taking influence from the social networking and camraderie of bees within their society, Hive demonstrates a unison between the 5 members of the group performing.  Here we see that comunication, in whatever form, is key to success. The intricaty was remarkable, and looked completely seamless to the viewing audience.

Adding a unique touch to the piece came from 3 of the 5 members of Hive. All playing strong compositions on varying percussion instruments like drums, xylophones, symbols and at one point simply by clapping their hands. These musicians featured have an incredible sense of timing and execution. Directly complimenting the electronic beats that stood as the basis of the piece from the 2 digital artists in Hive, one of which was the head of the piece Braxton.


Hive was just as exciting visually as it was musically. With the concept design of the pod-like platform featuring an illuminated texture pattern resembling that of a honeycomb, the constant blending of coloured lighting would shine throw and into the crowd in varying directions. Thus creating a visual light display that would leave you breathless. Especially when combined the precision of the artists movements and sound.

What an evening it was. Sensory over load seemed to be the result for me. But in the best way possible.