Oracle Bones offers an evening of four carefully selected musical acts accompanied by visual projections, stage elements, and performance art. We invite you to travel through this chimerical landscape of images and light. At the rudder of this experimental night are Mirror Play (YenChao Lin with Oliver Emrys Lewis), Rippleganger (Maya Kuroki with Rainer Wiens), Ruby Kato Attwood, and thisquietarmy + Philippe Leonard. The event is put together by Yen-Chao Lin, an independent curator specialized in avant-garde experimental music and film.
Perceived as a powerful spiritual act, divination arts serve as a guiding force to the collective psyche of the people. Divination, through examining animal bones, is a well-known cross-cultural practice throughout history. One of the earliest evidences dates back to the Shang dynasty (c.1200-1045 BC), where the diviner, at the Emperor’s service, observed the color and the shape of the heated bone and interpreted the prophecies of the oracle bone.
Respectfully borrowing the concept from this ancient practice, Oracle Bones is an exploration of the subconscious mind through still and moving images, light, sound, and movement. The artists interpret metaphorical themes conjured by past diviners as we gather to share this rich and immersive audiovisual experience with the audience.
Yen-Chao Lin is a Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist who graduated from Concordia University with a BFA in film production. A self-described postmodern archivist and natural history enthusiast, she is an avid collector of all things from found family records to Victorian ephemera and biological specimens. Commenting on the impermanence of existence through intuitive play, collaboration, and scavenging, her work explores oral history, folk religion practice, ecology, and hauntology. She has participated in festivals and exhibitions in Canada, France, UK, Taiwan, and the US amongst others. She is currently a core member and key programmer for Atelier Céladon. (www.yenchaolin.com)
Based in Montreal, Oliver Emrys Lewis has been creating and publicly performing since the early 2000’s. With a penchant for gentle soundscapes, scattered illusions, and seismic ruptures, Oliver’s recent electroacoustic compositions explore the peripheries of consensus reality and what lies beyond, while touching on aspects of hypnotism, mysticism, supernatural phenomenon, dreams, and the subconscious. His sound work is crafted to instill a variety of experiential interpretations in the mind of each individual listener, as familiar sounds from everyday life gradually become magnified and manipulated past common recognition to expose the unearthly textures, timbres, and rhythms within. In 2012, Oliver co-founded Mirror Play with Yen-Chao Lin as a creative outlet for their shared interest in creating abstract stylizations in art, film, and music.
Born in Japan, Maya Kuroki is a musician, vocalist, actress, scene director, and visual artist. After exploring the world as an actress for two years, she settled in Montreal, devoting herself to music composition, performance, painting, writing, and looking for artistic treasures. Kuroki established the band Dynamo Coleoptera, which offered not only experimental rock in Japanese but also theatrical performances. Strongly influenced by underground culture and ’70s Japanese pop, her music and performances are marked by surrealism and Dadaism. Currently active in musical composition for films and making collaborative improvisations with other musicians, Maya continues to compose and perform throughout Quebec, looking for a world without frontiers. (www.mayakuroki.com)
Born in Germany and settled in Montreal, Rainer Wiens is a musician whose originality is unparalleled in the world of contemporary jazz and new music, focusing on prepared guitar and lamellophone. Over the last fifteen years, Wiens has developed a unique guitar style and has composed music for dance, theater, television, and film, working with Lucie Gregoire, Sinha Dance and Mariko Tanabe. He was a founding member of the band Noma, directed by Tom Walsh, he also co-founded, with Jan Komarek, the multidisciplinary company Sound Image Theatre in Toronto. (www.rainerwiens.com)
Ruby Kato Attwood is a singer and artist working in Montreal. Attwood is the co-founder and former vocalist of the band and arts collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, for which she was nominated a Juno for best experimental album in 2014, and twice nominated for the Polaris Prize. She received the award for best experimental album for the GAMIQ (Quebec Indy music awards) in 2012 and is the recipient of support from FACTOR and SODEC. Attwood is now studying voice with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters. Her performances and recordings have been exhibited internationally.
THISQUIETARMY is the solo project of Montreal-based experimental musician Eric Quach (Destroyalldreamers, Hypnodrone Ensemble). Revolving around improvised guitar drone and by combining textural & structural elements of ambient/noise, electronic/shoegaze, post-punk/krautrock, and black/doom metal, thisquietarmy creates a wide range of dynamic soundscapes which oscillate between repetitive dreamy minimalism, multilayered noise textures, and electronic industrial beats. Since 2005, thisquietarmy has performed more than 500 times in 35 countries at festivals like Red Bull Music Academy, Nemo Digital Arts Biennale, and Le Guess Who? Also, thisquietarmy has released over 40 records on 25 different labels such as Consouling Sounds, Denovali Records, Aurora Borealis, Alien8 Recordings, Shelter Press, and three:four Records, and collaborationed with the likes of Aidan Baker (Nadja), Scott Cortez (loveliescrushing), and Noveller & Syndrome (Amenra).
Phillippe Leonard is a lone wolf roaming the world to catch glimpses of light with his camera. Working with film, photography, and expanded forms of moving images, he is interested in the perception of time, physics of light, and phenomenology. Since 2015, he has been working with Godspeed You! Black Emperor and, since 2010, has been a member of the Double Negative film collective. His work has been exhibited in notable international contexts
such as the 16th WRO Media Biennale (Poland), Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands), Anthology Film Archive (New York City), EXiS Experimental Film and Video Festival (Seoul), Annecy International Animated Film Festival (France), and Galerie Les Territoires (Montréal). (www.philippeleonard.com)
Yen-Chao Lin – Multidisciplinary Artist
Oliver Emrys Lewis – Musician
Maya Kuroki – Actress and Musician
Rainer Wiens – Musician
Eric Quach – Musician
Philippe Leonard – Visual Artist