Pique's Inaugural Multi-Day Edition Kicks Off Fourth Season of Acclaimed Underground Festival, Celebrating 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.
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 Chavez 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 (programming to be announced), Pique spring edition offers space for experimentation, celebration, and future-oriented cultural dialogue.
The all-ages festival will present more than 15 artists across 7 stages and exhibition spaces, including groundbreaking audio/visual performances, DJ sets, performance art, exhibitions, and more. Plus the relaunch of Topique offers three days of workshops, artist talks, panels and a film screening featuring artists participating in the Pique program. As always, tickets to Pique are financially accessible at a sliding scale of $25-50 suggested, or pay-what-you-can by registration. Tickets are available on our Eventbrite page.
Topique sessions are free with a ticket to Pique; registration is required, and will open next week with the programming announcement.
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. While this edition invites audience members to challenge themselves and listen deeply, there are still plenty of opportunities for silliness and celebration. Charting a course that explores both mind and body, thinking and acting, Pique spring edition offers a full range of creative possibilities.
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, relaxation, or experiencing stress - but also facilitates direct biofeedback.
Abstract turntablist, sound artist and DJ Maris Chavez is known for taking the detritus of vinyl and repurposing them into sonic sculptures that can sometimes be compared to improvised musique concrete pieces. 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 to-be-announced 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, Marte Fjellheim Sarre, and local drummers and throat singers to be announced.
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, March 8th, featuring discussions as part of the Topique forum programming.
A program of works related to the late composer, electronic music innovator, and Deep Listening thought-leader Pauline Oliveros will be presented across Pique festival and Topique forum programming. At Pique, percussionist, composer, educator and Oliveros collaborator Jesse Stewart will present an interactive installation and demonstration using the Adapted Use Musical Instrument (AUMI) app, a software that enables users to play sounds and musical phrases through movement and gestures, co-developed by Pauline Oliveros and intended for users with physical disabilities to make musical improvisation and collaboration accessible to the widest possible range of individuals. Stewart and local electronics artist Dimitri Georgaras will also each present an interpretation of Pauline Oliveros’ text-based improvised music scores.
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 dimension with cosmic genre-spanning beats. Innovation, improvisation and intention abound, there is something for every mind and body at Pique spring edition.
Tune into Pique from anywhere at youtube.com/debasertv or thisispique.com. Broadcasting live from Pique, catch live performances and DJ sets by Maylee Todd, Echönymphia, Maria Chavez (DJ set) and G L O W Z I.
As always, Pique is all-ages and pay-what-you-can. Radically inclusive, safer, and more accessible, Pique’s programming is designed to cultivate shared understanding, joy, and social impact. The event site is accessible, with automated doors, accessible gender-neutral washrooms, and elevator access to all levels. Our EQUIPE harm reduction team will be on-site to support audience members, and our staff and volunteers are trained with harm reduction strategies to support audience members throughout the event.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite on a sliding-scale of $25-50, and audience members are also invited to register for our pay-what-you-can program for subsidized tickets. Tickets are general admission and offer access to all of the event spaces and stages, subject to capacity.
Building-wide and site-specific, Pique takes place at the newly redeveloped Arts Court, the former Ottawa Courthouse that is now home to several contemporary art and performance organizations, including Debaser HQ. Produced in partnership with the Arts Court and City of Ottawa in collaboration with Arts Court resident organizations SAW, Ottawa Fringe, Digital Arts Resource Centre, Ottawa Art Gallery, Produced by Youth, Possible Worlds, Asinabka Festival, the Canadian Film Institute, Artengine, and the Ottawa Dance Directive, Pique brings together music and arts communities for a community-engaged event like no other.
PARTNERS AND FUNDERS
Pique is presented in partnership with the Arts Court, SAW, Artengine, Ottawa Fringe, Digital Arts Resource Centre, Ottawa Art Gallery, Produced by Youth, Embassy of Norway, Music Gallery, Venus Fest, and Women from Space Festival, with support from Kilam Media, Wall Sound, Collective Arts Brewing Company, Planet Coffee, Postering Ottawa, n.10.as, Apt613, and CKCU FM, and is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Canada through the Community Services Recovery Fund, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canadian Heritage, the City of Ottawa, and the SOCAN Foundation.