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DMU brings interactive music festival to Leicester


Hands-on opportunities to make artwork by combining sound with visuals are being offered in the city’s Cultural Quarter thanks to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Rebecca during one of her workshops

The Interfaces Festival features installation art and workshops with leading artists, including the chance to learn from multimedia expert Rebecca Smith.

Rebecca will teach participants how to use special software to make animations with music on an iPad, a selection of which will be projected around the city at night.

Joining her is Montréal-based video and sound artist Myriam Boucher. As well as premiering her new audiovisual composition Empty Spaces and companion installation, she will run a workshop on VJing, the are of creating or manipulating imagery in real time for an audience, synchronised to music.

Having VJ’d for numerous international artists such as Medasin, Deadboy and Mind Against, award-winning Myriam will provide valuable insights into her approach to live performance.

Myriam VJing at Mutek 2018 © Bruno Destombes

“VJing is all about improvisation. You never know exactly what the music will be, so you need to feel the moment and listen to the music and to the groove of the audience,” said Myriam.

“For me, it’s essential to develop your own visuals and your own style as a VJ. You can do it with any kind of visuals and any kind of editing - as long as it fits with the music and the event. My workshop will feature a large aesthetic of visuals to give participants ideas of how to manipulate them in a musical way.

“To be involved in a festival like this is a great opportunity to meet people and share my knowledge about this awesome practice. I hope this opportunity to learn more about VJing will inspire people to do it in a creative way.”

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Taking place from Wednesday 29 May to Tuesday 4 June across venues such as the Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre, Curve theatre, LCB Depot and The Exchange bar, the festival will also give participants the chance to attend a range of insightful screenings and talks.

Original installations by established artists, as well as DMU students and experts, include Sam Underwood’s Heed, an extension of his work installing small devices in unexpected places to encourage close listening and quiet reflection.

Cascade - by Peter and Ian

Peter Batchelor and Ian Bilson’s Contraption plays mechanical sounds over three 3D sound columns, each containing 64 speakers, and Francesc Marti’s Speech 2 uses a computer to cut video of talk show participants into a counterpoint of rhythms and textures.

Bret Battey, Professor of Audiovisual Composition at DMU, said: "The festival celebrates sound in relation to space, place, image and sculpture, provoking both eye and ear.

“We’re grateful to all the talented artists taking part, who are introducing new music to new audiences, inspiring more people of all ages and demographics to experience contemporary music and sound art.”

The festival is organised by DMU’s Music, Technology and Innovation Institute of Sonic Creativity (MTI2) as part of the EU Interfaces Project and supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme.

All events are free to attend and open to all - more details and information about booking tickets are available online.

Posted on Friday 24th May 2019

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