September 28th, 2024
Arts Court,
67 Nicholas St.





Forum for idea and knowledge exchange at Pique

Topique returns this spring with three days of artist talks, workshops, and more. Taking place March 8-10, 2024 at the Arts Court around Pique festival programming, Topique invites attendees to dig deeper into the ideas and processes behind its artist's groundbreaking work, exploring a range of topics including digital and analog production techniques, mindful listening, womanhood and representation, and accessible improvisation. 

Topique sessions are free with a ticket to Pique. Registration is required, and available now on the Pique Eventbrite page when you purchase a ticket to the festival. As always, tickets to Pique are financially accessible at a sliding scale of $25-50 suggested, or pay-what-you-can by registration.



Kicking things off on International Women’s Day on Friday March 8, two discussions will explore various perspectives and experiences related to womanhood and representation. Local sisters and community leaders Rosie Dixon x Natalie "uNATy" Spence will present a discussion that explores sisterhood, community engagement, and rest, curated by music community innovator Kingsley Swim. Then, Zineb Allaoui and LuCille, whose artworks will be exhibited at Pique, will present an artist panel that explores legacies of colonialism, misogynoir, and gender representation in relation to African womanhood through looking at the Black nude in Canadian art contexts. 

Topique will also feature two hands-on music/sound production workshops that will engage participants in digital and analogue production techniques. Sound artists Maria Chávez and Val Jeanty present a joint hands-on workshop that explores improvisatory turntable-based practices, and the ways that both Jeanty and Chávez have employed them to break new ground. Multimedia artist Maylee Todd, known for her work that converges art, technology, music production, and AR/VR performance, presents an Ableton software workshop that covers the basics through to building a multimedia show.  

Topique will also feature 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 called Deep Listening, Oliveros was also dedicated to opening the field of improvised music to all ages, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds, which guided her lesser-known work on the Adapted Use Musical Instrument (AUMI) software, led by Oliveros and developed by a group of engineers, Deep Listening practitioners, and improvising musicians including Ottawa composer and educator Jesse Stewart. 

At Topique, the Ottawa premiere of the documentary Deep Listening: The Story Of Pauline Oliveros (2022) will be screened followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Daniel Weintraub and Oliveros’ life partner and Deep Listening co-conspirator IONE. Preceding the screening will be a workshop by composer and cellist Anne Bourne that explores Deep Listening and interpretation of text scores of Pauline Oliveros. Plus, Oliveros’ collaborator Jesse Stewart will present an interactive sound installation and performance using AUMI software to mark the launch of the new book Improvising Across Abilities: Pauline Oliveros and the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (2024). Relatedly, Stewart and local artist Dimitri Georgaras will both perform interpretations of two Pauline Oliveros text scores as part of the Pique festival program.


*Registration to Topique is free when you purchase a ticket to Pique

“Plant Mom” by LuCille

Courtesy of Maria Chávez
Deep Listening documentary poster courtesy of Daniel Weintraub


Friday March 8

5:00-6:00 pm
At Tha Root Of

Format: Panel discussion
Featuring Rosie Dixon and Natalie "uNATy" Spence

Sisters in-conversation: Rosie Dixon x Natalie "uNATy" Spence interview one another on navigating womanhood, community engagement, and rest.


6:00-7:00 pm
Elusive Illusion: A review of the Nude African Form  FULL
Format: Panel discussion
Featuring Zineb Allaoui and LuCille

Through a perspective that considers the legacies of colonialism, misogynoir, and gender dynamics, this talk between local artists will aim to tackle the largeness of these topics through an open forum dialogue.

Saturday March 9

12:00-2:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Ableton and How to Build a Multimedia Show with Ableton Live FULL

Format: Workshop
Featuring Maylee Todd

Learn the fundamentals of Ableton Live production with Maylee Todd; from building a beat to adding visuals for live performance.


2:00-4:30 pm
Abstract Turntablism and Afrofuturism FULL

Format: Panel discussion and workshop
Featuring Val Jeanty and Maria Chávez

Through skill sharing, sound artists Maria Chávez and Val Jeanty invite participants to learn abstract turntablism techniques while discussing Afrofuturism, improvisation, and experimentation using analogue technology.


4:30-5:30 pm
Going, Going, Gong FULL

Format: Book launch and demonstration
Featuring Jesse Stewart

An interactive installation and performance promoting musical accessibility through the AUMI application and the book launch of Improvising Across Abilities: Pauline Oliveros and the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (2024).

Sunday March 10

2:00-4:00 pm
Listening and Sounding in the Dark: The Text Scores of Pauline Oliveros 

Format: Workshop
Featuring Anne Bourne

Led by Oliveros’ collaborator Anne Bourne, this Deep Listening and sounding workshop provides space for all voices to illuminate the stillness, sonify the dark, and experience community through choral sound fields.


5:00-7:00 pm
Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros

Format: Film screening

Documenting her life on the vanguard of contemporary American music for six decades, the story of Pauline Oliveros illuminates the pathway to the present and future of music, the philosophy of sound, and the art of listening.


7:00-8:00 pm
Deep Listening documentary Q&A

Format: Panel discussion
Featuring IONE and Daniel Weintraub

Deep Listening documentary director Daniel Weintraub, and executive producer and Oliveros’ life and creative partner, IONE, sit down to discuss the life and legacy of Pauline Oliveros and take questions from the audience about the making of the film.