nicolas bernier
Selected performances and installations
Collaborative projects
Music for dance, theatre, film and visual arts
 
Machine _ Variation 
Sound performance, 2014 (30')
• Martin Messier, Nicolas Bernier: artistic direction, performance, music • Jonathan Villeneuve: structure • Karine Gauthier: lighting • Jean-François Piché: technical help • Julie Artacho: photo • François Laflamme: camera • Production: 14 lieux • Support: Festival Sonàr, Festival Maintenant, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec et Conseil des arts de Montréal, Conseil des Arts du Canada, Cirque du Soleil

MACHINE _ VARIATION is a project in which Bernier and Messier bring the human body as the crucial element of digital creation. On stage the two performers’ bodies operate and control the creative process by forging direct connections with what we see and hear. The central piece to the performance is a gigantic physical structure built with the artist Jonathan Villeneuve .

Micro _ Mouvement 
For 4 microphones, siren organ and electronics, 2014 (11')
• Sound composition: Nicolas Bernier
• Siren organ: Jean-Francois Laporte

Two main themes (the microphone and the movement) are explored in this essay around the organ siren, an instrument built by Jean-François Laporte. The microphone is used to amplify and to create feedback, but also as a mean to generate physical distortion by the friction between the piezo microphone and the instruments. The microphone is also used as a reference to Laporte own work Mantra (1997). The movement is revealing himself by the microphones manipulations, echoed in the gestures of the performer.

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Realized between March 2013 and June 2014 in the composer's studio and at Totem Contemporain. Thanks to Jean-François Laporte and Conseil des arts du Canada.
Phantom (1651) 
Hardanger fiddle and electronics, 2014 (20')
• Sound composition and video animation: Nicolas Bernier
• Hardanger Fiddle: Britt Pernille Frøholm
• Video based on a still image by Urban9

Yet they are here. Quiet, unobtrusive, they draw lines between the elements of the story. A necessary presence. Phantom (1651) is a piece of electronic music that tells fragments of a story by the strings of the Hardanger fiddle. Similar to the violin, the instrument commonly used in traditional Norwegian music has this ghostly characteristic: sympathetic strings vibrating by themselves, like spectre. These apparitions are worked on several levels in relationship with the fiddle: inaudible, the instrument will however cause electronic tones, he will be followed by persistent ghostly resonances, he will accidentally trigger accidental sound apparitions. An allegory working around the presence / absence that form a link between the past and the present.

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Realized between February 2012 and September 2013 in the composer's studio (QC), University of Huddersfield (UK) and NOTaM (NO). Thanks to Britt Pernille Frøholm; Urban9; Monty Adkins; University of Huddersfield • Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) • Pierre Alexandre Tremblay; Olivier Girouard.
La chambre des machines 
A/V Performance w/live electronics, intonarumoris and video, 2010 (30')
• Concept, composition and performance : Nicolas Bernier + Martin Messier
• Intonarumoris : Alexandre Landry
• Video footage : Foumalade.org
• Production : Perte de signal

La chambre des machines (The mechanical room) stems from a desire to return to the physical world in an environment of digital creation. Machines made of gears and cranks are manipulated to produce a sound construction at the crossroads of acoustics and electronics. Submerged in sound, the audience discovers the interaction between mechanical and synthetic sound. With specifically tailored programming, digital processing are enlarging the sound palette of the machines.

• Mention, Prix Ars Electronica 2011 / AT
 • Jury Selection, Japan Media Awards 2011 / JP

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Realized between December 2009 and January 2010 in residency at Perte de signal's Rustines|Lab. Thanks to Perte de signal, Alexandre Landry, Isabelle Gardner, Ekumen, SONAR, MUTEK, Prix Ars Electronica and Transmediale.
BOLD 
audio art ensemble, 2008-20__ (improv)
• Alexis Bellavance, Nicolas Bernier, Érick d'Orion

BOLD is an audio art improvisation ensemble formed by Alexis Bellavance, Nicolas Bernier and Érick d'Orion and guests. Inspired by playfulness, the artists are exploring the possibilities of interaction between each other. Through bloody duels, solitary marches and cut-throat trios, they impose their actions as would characters in a Spaghetti Western. Indeed, therein lies the catachresis of the project; it is a movie for the ears, a fictitious soundtrack worthy of cowboy kinetics. From silence to explosion, from long shot to close-up, from well-oiled machinery to haphazard mechanics, from abstract landscape to concrete scenery, from impulsive action to languorous reflection... the language is one of extremes.

CD available at Ahornfelder
courant.air 
Music for folk acoustic guitar, surround sounds and live electronics, 2010 (35')
• Sound composition : Nicolas Bernier
• Guitar : Simon Trottier
• Light system : Alexandre Landry
• Visual : urban9
• Commission : Réseaux, Naisa
• Financial support : CALQ, CAC

courant.air is the continuation of a body of work intertwining instrumental and electronic music : a complex and demanding surround sound electronic composition is flowing alongside folk inspired guitar.

Conceptually, the piece is wind powered. Wind is used as a constructive/destructive agent. Wind as a propulsion engine of particles in constant movement in the air. Wind as noise. Wind is sound, invisible.
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Realized between August 22, 2008 and October 2010 in the composer’s personal studio and in residency at the Banff Centre. Thanks to Simon Trottier, Olivier Girouard, Pierre-Alexandre Tremblay and Alexander Schubert at Ahornfelder, Réseaux and NAISA.
sub•a•quat•ic 
Underwater installation w/ video, 2006
• Concept and sound composition : Nicolas Bernier + Delphine Measroch
• 3 channels video : Nicolas Bernier
• Comission : Réseaux
• Financial support : CALQ

sub•a•quat•ic is a sound installation proposing a unusual way of experiencing music: the underwater listening. Submerged in water, it’s the entire body which perceives the music, the sound seeming as if coming directly from inside the skull. The aquatic world also perturbs and blurs the music. What the listener perceives becomes a difformed reality which can seem strangely faint and distant, as would do memories.

The listener-swimmer choses its own journey, hovering at the surface where both spaces merge, or dives in one world to then re-emerge in the other.

• Selection, IMEB Bourges, 2007 / FR
Treelogy 
Music/Video Trilogy, 2004-2005
• Video and sound composition : Nicolas Bernier + Delphine Measroch
• Except Treelogy II This Is A Portrait by Nicolas Bernier

Treelogy is a serie of three eulogy-movies around discreet movements and growing things. The project, in the first place, was meant to be purely aestetic, witnessing our fascination for the open landscapes. It is a tribute to the "micro but not quite invisible" movements which appears when we stop to catch them.

• Nomination, Qwartz 2009, Treelogy III / FR
 • Prize, Visionaria 2005, Treelogy II / FR
 • 1st prize, Visionaria 2004, Treelogy I / IT
 • Best Video Art, Chicago Motion Graphic 2004, Trelogy I / US