On Saturday, September 23 the Montreal musical duo DF launched their Audiovisual EP, entitled abcdf, with a performance at Art Lounge MTL. DF is comprised of two parts: Dustin Finer, a classical saxophone performance graduate of the Schulich School of Music, and Dan Freder, who studied as a studio artist in the fine arts program at Concordia.
Together they are a mesmerizing, multi-medium act that thoroughly entrances and entertains. The event venue, Art Lounge MTL, is a hub of food, art, and local culture. Nestled in the back of the cafe space is an intimate performance area, filled with a smattering of couches and chairs. DF’s set was a symphony of light and sound, played against a backdrop of homemade box lights, whose throbbing patterns mirrored the musical notes.
The two surrounding walls served as projector screens for captivating computer animations, an effect that had the audience physically immersed in the show. The often playful, occasionally pensive, harmonies of the looping sax meandered through the room, bouncing off the pulsating box lights, and gliding alongside the hypnotic projections.
The performance was not just a rote dictation of the newly released EP, and was full of humour (in the form of burrito-themed spoken word poetry) and such acts as the description-defying, sensory assault of Hobgoblin (you’ll just have to see it for yourself). The event also featured performances by local artists Justin Lazarus and Joni Void.
The duo’s physical EPs were on display, and are now available for purchase online. The EP is being released in USB flash drive format, allowing it to be enjoyed as an audiovisual experience outside of the performance venue. The juxtaposition of the sleek, silver USB with the engraved wood is striking, and speaks to the aesthetic sensibilities and high production value that characterizes DF. The EP contains videos, audio, and remixes, as well as an interactive video.
The concept of audiovisual performance is not new, and lights, lasers, and projections have all become commonplace at concerts and live shows. However, by explicitly marketing their work as an Audiovisual EP, DF is asking more of their audience than many artists would dare. They ask us to engage in a different kind of performance, one that places equal emphasis upon the audio and the visual, and one that ultimately creates a uniquely immersive experience, because it demands (and deserves) our complete attention.
Photos: Keyan Long
Check out abcdf here:
Buy their EP here: