Festival du Nouveau Cinema

Art at FNC Plays With Sound, Music and You

Hybridation II plays on the spontaneity of improvisation.

With computational matter as his paintbrush, local multimedia artist Navid Navab experiments with sound and how we perceive it.

Navab studied electro-acoustics at Concordia last year. “No matter what, I always try to make sure there is enough for the audience to delve into,” he said.

Navab is performing on Oct. 19 at Hybridation II, part of the annual Festival du Nouveau Cinéma festival. His contribution to the event, Spaces in Between, is a performative ensemble that will consist of Navab, visual manipulator Jerome Delepierre and a piano, sax and drum combo together creating something “absolutely improvised,” according to Navab.

The organic and spontaneous nature of improvisation is central to the group’s performance.

“Even the style of music is not decided upon. The band doesn’t want to know anything, they don’t want to meet before because they don’t want it to ruin the sense of pure improvisation,” said Navab.

Navab is going into the performance with open ears and a heightened musical sense. “We’re going to create a sense of live cinema. You will see and hear the musicians but you will also perceive their distorted or magnified audiovisual canvas all over the venue,” he said. According to Navab, it adds to the multi-sensory aspect of the night.

Delepierre and Navab have been collaborating on audiovisual manipulators together for two years.

“[In the summer of 2008] we made a piece called Interstitial. Right away we noticed there was a really strong chemistry between us, in being able to emotionally jam with media,” said Navab.

In addition to Hybridation II, Navab and Delepierre have set up an installation outside the Agora du Coeur des Sciences building (175 Président-Kennedy Ave.) where the event will take place. The piece is called Constellation 2.2. It consists of a large stretch of fabric that is responsive to sound and video.

“We put Constellation 2.2 in a cinematic context [for the festival],” said Navab. “What is added is the notion of time—temporality. Most interactive arts don’t have a lot of temporality embedded in them.”

The piece is not just responsive to people, but to all vibrations, including those caused by the wind.

“Over the course of a week there is a certain narrative that’s shaped by man-made and natural interactions in the built environment,” Navab continued. “We always adapt [Constellation] to the context of the environment.

“You pass by Constellation and shake the structure. You come back an hour later and the organism has evolved into a different form.”

Hybridation II is Oct. 19 at Agora du Coeur des Sciences de l’UQÀM (175 Président-Kennedy Ave.). Doors open at 10 p.m. Free.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 10, published October 19, 2010.