Photo of Nicolas Bernier


Alexis Bellavance


Music Conservatory of Montreal

Written by

Nicolas Bernier

as part of:

Totem Electric #6


Two main themes (the microphone and the movement) are explored in this essay around the Siren Organ, 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 through the contact between the piezo microphones and the sirens’s vibrations. The microphone is also used as a reference to Laporte’s own work Mantra (1997), a piece relying on sound capture that moves around a machine. I used the same kind of process, so that what is being captured and amplified here is the inventor’s own machine.

The movement is revealing himself through the manipulations of the microphones, echoed in the gestures of the performer who has to play the piece standing up. This posture is unnatural, as the instrument is designed to be played sitting down. Since I wanted to work on composing actions, I insisted on this restriction that allowed me to change the performance paradigm of the instrument. - N. Bernier

The work was realized between March 2013 and June 2014 in the composer’s studio and at Totem Contemporain. Thanks to Jean-François Laporte and the Canada Council for the Arts. - N. Bernier

This version of Micro_Mouvement was performed and filmed at Espace Bleu of Wilder Building (Montreal) on Mai 4th-5th 2021.

This version of Micro_Mouvement was performed and filmed at Totem Électrique VI in Montreal on 7 June 2014.