Montreal’s Elektra Festival, which runs from this Wednesday to Sunday, has been exploring some of the coolest things in the world of digital arts for 11 years. I recently interviewed Edwin van der Heide, the artist behind one of the fest’s more interesting presentations……
When pressed, Edwin van der Heide calls himself “a composer of spatial experiences”. A graduate of The Hague’s Royal Conservatory, he is an artist, researcher and academic in the field of sonology (the study of sound). Based in the Netherlands, he works with sound, space and interaction. Since I only half understand what he does, I figured I should get him to explain the immersive performance that he’s bringing to Usine C …
Q: Could you explain what the Laser Sound Performance is?
A: I work not only with sound in space but also with light in space. You could say that I try to work with light as if it were sound. The use of laser in combination with a bit of smoke makes it possible to project with the space itself. I am working with direct relationships between, sound, light and space
Q: Could you explain what people can expect to experience?
A: For Elektra, I’ll do three live performances. They’ll not be entirely equal. LSP is a true live performance and nothing is pre-recorded. Although the focus is not on me as a ‘stage performer’, I’m really able to react on the moment itself.
Q: You originally brought LSP to Elektra in 2006- how has it changed since then?
A: LSP is a project that keeps on changing and developing. I keep on discovering new things. Also I become better and better at mastering relationships between sound and light.
Q: How does Elektra compare with to similar events in Europe, North America?
A: Elektra is a festival that specifically focuses on audio-visual performances. In Europe there are quite a couple of festivals that seem similar, but I would say Elektra has the most precise focus. Elektra has a fantastic audience and I’m happy to be invited once again.
Q: Anything in particular at Elektra that you are excited to see?
A: I really like the combination of installations and performances. I’m very much looking forward to the performance of Grischa Lichtenberger.
Q: What’s been your impression of Montreal from your past visits?
A: Montreal is a fantastic city with great dynamics. It’s really happening and relaxed at the same time.