Photo © Murray Lightburn
Katana of Choice
extented solo drum-kit, electronics and video (2014/16) 19′
»Katana of Choice« is a simulated duel-based ›visual novel‹ type video game where the graphics, soundtrack and narrative are provided exclusively by the live ensemble. Inspired by wuxia martial arts and film noir (Five Fingers of Death, Enter the Dragon, Kill Bill, The Warriors) the pace is relentless, moving quickly from scene to scene with unexpected twists, where members trade off – pushing one another technically and sonically. The ensemble writing depicts semiotics of the genres acoustically while analogue synths, cap guns, acoustic guitars in specific tunings, foot stomps, hand claps and call-and-response vocalizations all become percussion instruments and visual enhancements. Panning, stereophony, and spatial treatments are carefully considered to evoke an immersive, sonic 3D, otherworldly experience.
Nicole Lizée is a composer and video artist. She creates new music from an eclectic mix of influences including early MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Alexander McQueen, thrash metal, early video game culture, and 1960s psychedelia and modernism. She is fascinated by the glitches made by outmoded technology and captures, notates, and integrates them into live performance. Nicole Lizée received a Master of Music degree from McGill University in 2001 and has since received over 50 commissions for new works, including from the Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, and the New York Philharmonic. Among numerous awards, her most recent include the prestigious 2019 Prix Opus as Composer of the Year and the SOCAN Jan. V. Matejcek Award. She lives in Montreal.