The simple sine wave proves its complexities and possibilities in the hands of the Ensemble d'oscillateurs. Performing on the same types of rudimentary oscillators pioneered in the early years of electronic music, the ensemble plays with purity of sound and instrument imperfections, reinterpreting compositions into lively forms that reflect on electronic music's structures of time and frequency.
Bernier is known for his minimalist and noise-saturated audiovisual works, sound installations and musique concrète based on digital synthetic sounds, though his composition process often yields organic results with more obviously physical components. In his Frequencies audiovisual series, Bernier renders sound visible, processing sequences of light and synthetic sound waves with precision to set off intermittent light blasts within small acrylic structures. His recent work Transfert/Futur shifted to an expressive and colourful pop-like aesthetic that drew from science fiction and featured electronically triggered tuning forks with mechanical components. A regular collaborator, Bernier has created works for dance, theatre and multidisciplinary arenas, contributing a sensibility that is both artistic and academic—he holds a PhD in sonic arts and current teaches in the Université de Montréal's Digital Music program. He's crafted music and audiovisual works with a number of collaborators, notably Martin Messier, with whom Bernier has created a number of dramaturgical and physical performances.
At MUTEK, Bernier and the Ensemble d’oscillateurs perform pieces by electronic music composers Pauline Oliveros, Xavier Ménard, Candas Sisman and Maxime Corbeil-Perron. Through micro-changes, subtleties and fine details, the ensemble heightens listeners' awareness of the sonic environment, while encapsulating the uneasy relationship of old and new electronic sounds and the creative essence of deep listening.
LINE, 901 Editions, Acte
4 compositions (2018), Nicolas Bernier —Frequencies (A / Archives) (2019)
The Ensemble d’oscillateurs re-sculpts work by electronic music composers—this year's MUTEK performance features pieces by Ida Toninato + Nicolas Bernier, Pauline Oliveros, Candas Sisman and Maxime Corbeil-Perron