A multimedia suite by composer Olivia Louvel digs deep into the psychic warfare between two 16th century British Queens. Fascinated by the existence of two Queens ruling in the 16th century at the same time on a single island, within an extremely male-dominated society, composer and artist Olivia Louvel explores the reign of Mary Queen of Scots vs Elizabeth I and delivers her singular digital transposition: Data Regina. Drawn to the life and writings of Mary Queen of Scots, a poet and essayist herself and one of the most read woman of her time, Louvel assembles a digital narrative through 17 compositions, capturing different palettes, tones, playing with identity within the ”duality-duel” the relationship of the two women, two queens and cousins, who were never to meet. As well as the publication of a CD, the interactive digital website provides a further platform to showcase the 3D animations produced by animator Antoine Kendall as well as curated historical references.
“For her Data Regina, Olivia Louvel packages experimental electronic music, new media art, and 16th-century conflict into multimedia art. After several years of releasing electronic music, Olivia Louvel had grown restless—not just with the computer music process, but her vocals. Always one to operate at the creative frontiers where music and art intersect, Louvel, starting in 2010, began piecing together a project that would feature experimental shifts in instrumentation and vocal stylings. Orchestral sounds would collide with industrial noise; pop would give way to ambient textures, and Louvel’s voice would get layered and pitched to the point that it almost became a multi-timbral synthesizer. In the past, Louvel had previously drawn inspiration from silent film, her own paintings, and haiku, amongst other types of artistic media. For the long-gestating project that would become the new album, Data Regina, Louvel gradually decided to explore new media art forms like web art and 3D animation in telling the story of her infiltration of the lives of and conflict between Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I.” ¹
- Pangburn, DJ. “Multiple Media: Olivia Louvel On Music, Art & 17th Century History.” The Quietus, May 9, 2017. https://thequietus.com/articles/22355-olivia-louvel-interview.
Olivia Louvel is a French-born British composer and artist whose work draws on voice, computer music and digital narrative. She operates at the intersection of creation and documentation, often taking for a point of departure poetry and existing autobiographical documents. Her practice is built upon a long-standing exploration of the voice, sung or spoken, and its manipulation through digital technology as a compositional method. In November 2018, she toured throughout the UK presenting a headline audio-visual set of Data Regina for ‘Synth Remix’, an event curated by Benjamin Tassie under Sound and Music’s Composer-Curator scheme. Louvel’s awards include runner up for the Ithaca Prize for ‘The Whole Inside’ (2019); the Norman Cook Digital Music and Sound Arts Breakthrough Award, University of Brighton (2018); Grant for the Arts from the Arts Council of England for Data Regina (2016), and Beauty Sleep (2014). She was shortlisted for the Prix Ars Electronica Award for ‘ō, music for haiku’ (2013) and the Qwartz Album at the Qwartz Electronic Music Awards for Doll Divider (2011). She has presented her work at venues and festivals such as De La Warr (Bexhill), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), Anthony Burgess Foundation (Manchester), Brighton Digital Festival, Iklectik (London), CTM (Berlin), Earsthetic Festival (Brighton Dome), Le Cube (Issy-Les-Moulineaux), Ososphere Festival (Strasburg), and at the Electron Festival (Geneva).