Martin Messier presents 'Field'

Théâtre Maisonneuve, Montreal QC, May 30

Martin Messier presents 'Field'Théâtre Maisonneuve, Montreal QC, May 30
Photo: Caroline Hayeur
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Martin Messier began his unique performance by casually plugging cables into two patch panels to create layer after layer of coarsely digital sounds. He then went behind the panel to continue the same process, only now a gargantuan figure of Messier was projected onto the screen behind, thus beginning the all-important visual aspect of the performance. As Messier then began to join the two panels together via wires, an intense rising beat started to emerge, and he jolted with every connection like a mad scientist on the brink of something powerful. This process eventually created a full-fledged track of crackly, Morse code techno.
 
Messier's projected shadows and that of his equipment were as big a part of the show as the sounds he was creating, as the two combined to create an ominous spectacle. After the shadows had ceased, the once inanimate cables began to illuminate like forks of lightning, flickering wildly across the stage. If Nikola Tesla were to play at MUTEK, this is the type of show he'd perform.
 
Just when it seemed like Messier had revealed all his audio-visual tricks, he emerged from the rear, brandishing a violin bow. He used this to rub and smack his modular concoction, increasing the speed and noise, before one final thump of the bow, and then silence. Messier walked around front to look at his wired beast, with admiration and awe, as the crowd did the same, wondering what it was they'd just seen.
 
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