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Leblanc and Barry creating sounds for people to inhabit, to perform at St. John the Evangelist Church for Nuit 150+.

Artists Pierre Leblanc (left), and David Barry sit inside the Lynch Gate outside St. John the Evangelist Church on West Street. The duo will be performing inside the church as part of Nuit 150+ on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Artists Pierre Leblanc (left), and David Barry sit inside the Lynch Gate outside St. John the Evangelist Church on West Street. The duo will be performing inside the church as part of Nuit 150+ on Saturday, Sept. 30.

After 30 years of studying and teaching photography, Pierre Leblanc said he’s trying something brand new: sound installation.

And it doesn’t end there — LeBlanc said he’d like to promote a new way for people to experience music, by doing it.

In tandem with local drummer David Barry, LeBlanc will be performing at St. John the Evangelist Church on Saturday evening, Sept. 30, as part of the Nuit 150+ art festival.

Dancer Candice Pike, who normally performs with the group, will be unavailable for the performance at Nuit 150+.

LeBlanc said the project splits the difference between music and sound installation. As a neophyte to music production, LeBlanc said he’s less interested in the theoretical side of what the band is doing musically, and more interested in the relationship between the band’s sound and space — both the physical space the band happens to be performing in, and the sonic space the band is producing, and allowing people to inhabit.

Leblanc said his taste tends to lead him to producing very dark soundscapes and spaces.

“This is take two in a way, revisiting a process, but largely based on what Pierre is doing with sound installation,” explained Barry.

Leblanc was drawn to sound installation because of the difference in the way the body responds to sound compared to the way it does to sight, and specifically, how those sounds inhabit a space.

“This venue is perfect because we are going to play with the placement of our speakers, and our objects for making sounds, so that we capitalize on that space, and when people come in, it’s not so much about listening to the sound, as much as inhabiting the space that’s being constructed by sound.”

He said the band’s process at Nuit 150 — which will see them work over a span of six hours — will be to improvise a set lasting about 30 minutes, and then constantly reinterpret it as the night progresses.

Leblanc’s sound bank can range from samples of field recordings to recordings of William Burroughs speaking and reading, to more obscure recordings of cult-goers talking in trance.

He describes his taste for sound as coming from a drive he’s had as a kid that only listened to the B-sides of the records, and not the A-side — a drive that leads him to be in a constant search for something else.

The duo will then take this eclectic sound bank and perform the same steps involved with the improvisation-heavy style of free jazz: totally making it up on the spot, and developing the ideas that come out of playing in the moment, not playing or referencing something pre-conceived.

The band will play at the on Saturday, Sept. 30 as part of Nuit 150+, at St. John the Evangelist Church.

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