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, texts, 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.
Her largest project to date Data Regina is a multimedia suite in which she explores the reigns of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, delivering her own singular transposition through an interactive digital platform and a cd publication. 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.
Latest 2019 commissions range from designing the sound vocabulary for pipetting robot Andrew+ by Andrew Alliance to conceiving a Louise Labé inspired composition for avant garde ensemble Juice Vocal, premiered at Kings Place.
Awards include runner up for the Ithaca Prize (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 (Data Regina, 2016 and Beauty Sleep, 2014), shortlisted for the Prix Ars Electronica (ō, music for haiku, 2013) the Qwartz Album at the Qwartz Electronic Music Awards (Doll Divider, 2011).
Louvel has received extensive airplay on significant radio programs such as BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, BBC Radio 6’s Freak Zone, Resonance (UK), RTE Lyric FM’s Nova (Ireland), Radio Eins’s Elektro Beat (Germany), NRK’s Harald Are Lund (Norway), RTVE Radio 3’s Fluido Rosa, RTVE Radio 3’s Atmosfera (Spain), RAI 3’s Battiti (Italy), and France Musique’s La Matinale.
She has presented her work at venues and festivals such as De La Warr (Bexhill, 2019), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, 2018), Anthony Burgess Foundation (Manchester, 2018), Spirit of Gravity (Brighton, 2017), Nawr (BBC Hall, Swansea, 2017), Brighton Digital Festival (2018, 2017), Iklectik (London, 2019, 2016), CTM (Berlin, 2016), Dear Serge (Bexhill, 2015), Culture Night (Dublin, 2015), Earsthetic Festival (Brighton Dome, 2013), Tri XL (Antwerp, 2010), Le Cube (Issy-Les-Moulineaux, 2009), Ososphere Festival (Strasburg, 2009), Electron Festival (Geneva, 2008).
Louvel has been an active member of female:pressure, the international network of female, transgender and non-binary artists in the fields of electronic music and digital arts. In 2013, she took part to the compilation in support of Pussy Riot’s freedom. In 2016, she contributed a compelling audio-visual Afraid Of Women to #Rojava, the female:pressure campaign curated by Antye Greie-Ripatti to show solidarity and raise awareness for the special de facto autonomous zone in northern Syria.
She has been associated with the label Optical Sound Records and Fine arts, run by French artist Pierre Beloüin, notably with the release of Lulu In Suspension (OS, 027, 2008), the sonic cruise Echos Flottants (Ososphere Festival, 2009, with Paul Kendall and Black Sifichi) and Acoustic Cameras (Le Cube, 2017, with Paul Kendall).
The result of her approach is presented in the form of sound recordings, live performances, sound art installations, short films and paintings.
‘Synth Remix at The Ikon Gallery’, Eleanor Forrest, Sister Magazine, [online], 5 December 2018, https://www.sistermagazine.co.uk/blogs/sister/synth-remix
‘Synth Remix - Interview with Olivia Louvel’, Classical Remix, [online video], 6 November 2018, https://vimeo.com/296959992
‘Sampling Stories Vol. 14: Olivia Louvel’, Hannes Liechti, Norient, [online], 10 February 2018, https://norient.com/blog/sampling-stories-vol-14-olivia-louvel/
‘Humanity Colliding with Machine – Lisa Busby in conversation with Olivia Louvel’, Benjamin Tassie, The Sampler, [online], 3 January 2018, https://thesampler.org/guest-editor/humanity-colliding-machine-lisa-busby-conversation-olivia-louvel/
‘Multiple Media: Olivia Louvel On Music, Art & 16th Century History’, DJ Pangburn, The Quietus, [online], 9 May 2017, http://thequietus.com/articles/22355-olivia-louvel-interview
‘Game of Thrones. A multimedia suite by composer Olivia Louvel digs deep into the psychic warfare between two 16th century British Queens’, Abi Bliss,The Wire, [print], issue 396, p.14, February 2017
‘female:pressure release Rojava Revolutioncompilation for International Women’s Day’, April Clare Welsh, Fact Mag, [online], 8 March 2016, https://www.factmag.com/2016/03/08/female-pressure-bandcamp-compilation-iwd2016/
’Is the Islamic State ‘Afraid of Women’?’, Electronic Beats, [online], 20 February 2016, https://www.electronicbeats.net/the-feed/is-the-islamic-state-afraid-of-women/
‘5 minutes with... Award-winning electronic musician Olivia Louvel on headlining an all-female SPECTRUM special’, Brighton Dome Blog, [online], 13 November 2015 ,https://brightondome.org/news_blog/5_minutes_witholivia_louvel/
‘EB Radio Presents Olivia Louvel’, Electronic Beats, [online], December 2014, https://www.electronicbeats.net/podcast/eb-radio-presents-olivia-louvel/