Joni Void & Sonya StefanCA
Joni Void & Sonya Stefan
Crafted out of sampled obsolete technologies, newly recorded harmonized vocals and ever-intensifying distortion, Joni Void's music is both an uncanny leap through space and time and a precise window into the peculiar beauty of an artist's personal world.
A film lover growing up in Lille, France, Jean Cousin taught himself how to make cinematic electronic music based on sampled piano and field recordings. A move to Montréal to study film opened up a new world of underground electronic music, also home-crafted and lo-fi but with a supportive community to bolster its artists. Inspired by early electronic artist Delia Derbyshire and his community of experimenters in musique concrète and avant-pop, Cousin dropped his earlier online-only moniker Johnny Ripper in favour of one that reflected his true ethos of experimentation and collaboration. He began organizing loft shows and self-releasing tracks and remixes that zeroed in on micro-sampling, cinematic sound editing and beat making. As Joni Void, he primarily uses found sounds to build his tracks, including technological memorabilia like dial-up modem tones and analog phone busy signals and newer, yet still imperfect, tech like text-to-speech apps. Montréal interdisciplinary media artist Sonya Stefan has integrated her particular aesthetic of distressed visual media, electronic glitchery and deteriorating technology into Void’s already open cinematic world. She is a co-founder of La Lumière Collective|Luna AV Performance, a micro-cinema, and Ibrida*Pluri, an Eastern Bloc co-production that pairs dance, visual and sound artists.
For their MUTEK debut, Joni Void and Sonya Stefan turn Mise en Abyme into a visual performance of the album, in which both artists are equipped with digital and 16mm film projectors, crystals, water and other objects to refract and effect the filmic material into abstract visuals and organic textures, broadcasting the personal transmissions at its centre.
Mise en Abyme (2019), Selfless (2018)
Cousin runs digital creative platform Everyday Ago. Sonya Stefan also curates at Lux Magna, a festival created by women and non-binary folks