Pique spring edition 2024

Inaugural multi-day edition celebrates experimentation and future-oriented ideas

Pique is back with the spring edition opener of its 2024 season bringing groundbreaking international and Canadian artists to the Arts Court in downtown Ottawa. For the first time, Pique will present a multi-day edition of its acclaimed music and art festival series happening on March 8–10, 2024. Transforming the Arts Court into a dynamic venue-wide celebration, Pique is a seasonal showcase of underground and avant-garde performance, visual art, and more.

Val Jeanty

Featuring performances by avant-garde turntablist Maria Chávez, tender selector and creative pluralist G L O W Z I, Vodou-Electro innovator Val Jeanty, grit-laden disco duo TUSH, brainwave sound conductor Maylee Todd, percussionist and inclusive music educator Jesse Stewart, boundary-pushing performance artist Marita Isobel Solberg, sonic space-traveler digital polyglot, and many more. Plus, with exhibitions and installations of works by Zineb Allaoui, LuCille, Maria Chávez and more, a documentary screening on the life and legacy of Pauline Oliveros, and the return of Topique, a forum for new ideas and practical exchange, Pique spring edition offers space for experimentation, celebration, and future-oriented cultural dialogue.


Programming

The 2024 Pique spring edition is all about experimentation, exploration, and expecting the unexpected. Many of the artists featured at the spring edition are innovators in their own right, bending genres, trailblazing new technologies, or delving deeper into unexplored capabilities.

Versatile multimedia artist Maylee Todd presents “Cerebral Waves” a live musical performance that employs EEG headband technology to translate Todd’s brainwaves into sonic data, creating a captivating live musical performance using a diverse array of electronic devices and analog synthesizers. This groundbreaking performance at the intersection of improvised music, technology, and live performance grants a captivating glimpse into Maylee’s emotional states—be it concentrated, relaxed, or stressed—but also facilitates direct biofeedback.

Maylee Todd

Abstract turntablist, sound artist, and DJ Maria Chávez is known for taking the detritus of vinyl and repurposing them into sonic sculptures. Not only will Maria be performing an experimental set using turntables and a rare double-headed needle, presented in partnership with Toronto’s Music Gallery, she will also be exhibiting media art and sculpture, DJing a late-night set, and presenting a workshop as part of Topique.

Val Jeanty, also known as Val-Inc, is a Haitian Afrofuturist, drummer, turntablist, and pioneer of the electronic music subgenre called Afro-Electronica or “Vodou- Electro.” Her performance, co-presented with Toronto’s Women From Space Festival, will incorporate Haitian folkloric rhythms with digital instrumentations by synergistically combining acoustics with electronics and the archaic with the postmodern.

Presented by SAW’s Nordic Lab and the Embassy of Norway, NORDTING is an enthusiastic and challenging mix of political rally and performance art. With the form of a people’s assembly, NORDTING investigates questions concerning power, identity, art, and economy for global northern and local contexts, addressing geopolitics, climate change, and capitalism. The performance will feature Indigenous artists from Sapmi and Inuit Nunangat, including Marita Isobel Solberg and Marte Fjellheim Sarre.

Running throughout the weekend, a group art exhibition showcasing previously unseen works by LuCille and Zineb Allaoui will focus on African womanhood and femininity through multiple mediums including paintings, installation, and textile materials. A vernissage will take place on International Women’s Day featuring discussions as part of Topique.

Echönymphia. Photo credit Alex Apostolidis

Plus, interdisciplinary artist G L O W Z I takes us on an audio-visual journey driven by Afro electro sonics and embodied creative expression. Move and be moved by disco dance duo TUSH and soulful R&B songwriter N’nerjie. Take it slow with the minimalist textures of Echönymphia’s structured improvisation using harp and synthesizer. Live percussion + DJ duo Chady Tam-Tam and Queenyy bring together drums and electronics, and digital polyglot takes it to the outer dimensions with cosmic genre-spanning beats.

Innovation, improvisation, and intention abound, there is something for every mind and body at Pique spring edition.


Topique Forum

Topique, a forum for idea and knowledge exchange at Pique festival, returns this spring with three days of artist talks, workshops, and more.

Kicking things off on International Women’s Day, two discussions will explore various perspectives and experiences related to womanhood and representation. Day two will feature hands-on audio production workshops that will engage participants in digital and analogue techniques. The final day of Topique features multiple sessions dedicated to the legacy of experimental composer and electronic music trailblazer Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016), known around the world for conceiving a meditative approach to music composition, and opening the field of improvised music to all ages, abilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Pauline Oliveros. Photo credit Becky Cohen, 1979


Digital Programming

Tune into Pique from anywhere at youtube.com/@debasertv or thisispique.com. Broadcasting live from Pique, catch live streamed performances and DJ sets by Maylee Todd, Echönymphia, Maria Chávez (DJ set), and G L O W Z I.

For the first time, join the party online at Cybernetique, Pique’s URL party platform. More than just a live stream; dance, chat, and listen to exclusive artist interviews via Zoom. Don’t forget to dress to impress, as Cybernetique will be projected on the IRL walls of the Arts Court for all attendees to see. Visit thisispique.com/cybernetique on March 9 to join via Zoom.


Admission and Accessibility

Pique is all-ages and financially accessible, with tickets available at a sliding scale of $25-50 suggested, or pay-what-you-can registration. Topique sessions are free with a ticket to Pique. Pique tickets and Topique registration are available on our Eventbrite page.

The Arts Court is an accessible venue, with gender neutral bathrooms throughout. For detailed accessibility information visit thisispique.com/accessibility.

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