Performer, composer, creative director
Alexandra Tibbitts is the Bionic Harpist. Californian / transplanted in Montréal, Tibbitts’ style is a couture of classical studies, noise music, sound-art, and technology. She is the Avatar-MUTEK artist in residence and premieres the Bionic Harpist for the 21st edition of MUTEK Montréal.
Tibbitts’ “bionic” interfaces are one-of-a-kind controllers for augmenting the conventional concert harp. With real-time control of audio processing, she brings the harp to not-so typical spaces for live electronic/electro-acoustic performance. The Bionic Harpist is her solo project, bringing forth an approach to digital music-making that is at once innovative and bold, and visually captivating.
At the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT), her past projects nurtured her curiosity and informed her techniques in implementing technology. Specifically, her research explored gestural control and digital interface design.
In 2016, Tibbitts teamed with music technologists and designers from McGill University John Sullivan (Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory) and Ólafur Bogason (Genki Instruments, in the study Harp Gesture Acquisition: Gestural Control of Sound Synthesis. In 2019, Sullivan and Tibbitts joined forces again to co-design Tibbitts’ digital interfaces.
Tibbitts has premiered works and dedications in San Diego (California), Montréal, Porto (Portugal) and Mexico City. Tibbitts is a featured artist with Code d’Accès, where she will premier her solo harp & electronics recital Emergence in 2021. She is a founding member of Ensemble ILÉA and an organizing member of the Montréal Contemporary Music Lab.
Hardware design and fabrication; research lead
John Sullivan is a musician, music technology researcher and Ph.D. candidate at McGill University whose work focuses on the design of new instruments and technologies for music and multimedia performance. His current research includes projects in motion capture and movement analysis of live performance, development and testing of of haptic interfaces, and user-driven methodologies for the design and evaluation of digital musical instruments. As a musician, Sullivan has been a part of several indie rock groups from the northeastern US. He has released several albums under various names, and toured extensively in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Visual design and development
Marine Chavet is a multidisciplinary artist. She studied graphic design and visual art, and is a hypnosis practitioner. Her work is now shifting towards performance where she swings between visual, writing, sound and hypnosis. Through the transformative power specific to each one, she questions our limits, our relation to the world, to society and to politics. Behind an apparent poetry, she imposes pauses, slows down, opening up new perspectives that take the form of acts of resistance.
Visual and interaction design; mapping software
Nathalie LeBlanc is a visual and interdisciplinary artist, creating video montages and collages by modifying images, sounds and objects. She alters photographs, movie sequences, images taken from webcams, reproductions or her own recordings. Her work is motivated by a desire to investigate that of grasping, of reworking and exhausting the content or the form of a moment. By different processes of transformation and using systems based on random chance, she reworks the object of her experimentations with the expectation of diverting it.