Patrick St-Denis

Photo de Patrick St-Denis

Patrick St-Denis

Patrick St-Denis is a Quebec musician and composer based in Montreal.


Patrick Saint-Denis is a composer working mainly in sound art and interactive scenography. His works range from video installation to large scale robotized machinery. He performs regularly in Montreal and abroad either in concert, exhibition or dance format. He his course lecturer of audiovisual composition and physical computing at University of Montreal since 2010.

I think that nobody has direct access to sound, and that therefore everything is an interface. A score, a musical instrument, a software or a programming language is an interface that imposes a singular vision – often aesthetically or at least conceptually driven – on a creative output. Performative technology, which is central to my practice, enables me to create my own interfaces (software, DMI, mechanical, etc) and develop a personal relationship to machinery. My recent research in this area focuses on developing software and hardware to create electromechanical interfaces for sound composition. Often presented in arrays of simple robotic articulations, the machines I create possess physical specificities that shape interactions on stage and influence the work as a whole. I consider that sound composition is embedded in every step of development, from machine design to coding and performing.

Reduced listening conditions the symbolic resonance of my works. It sheds a light on the visual and physical aspects of my work that is rooted in the very nature of sound. I often use the expression reduced vision (regard réduit) to qualify my approach to image or physical movement. As if there was an apparent similarity between the perception of abstraction in general as a composite of movements, shapes and colors and the perception of “meaning” in music. Engaged in play on meaning itself rather than conceptual art, I use elements that can orient reception, but my work isn’t centered on message; I open the door to certain types of reading, while inviting the viewer to abandon the necessity to render meaning.