Fascinated by the existence of two queens ruling at the same time on a single island, within an extremely male dominated society in the 16th century,
composer and artist Olivia Louvel explores the reign of Mary Queen of Scots Vs Elizabeth I and delivers her own singular 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 seventeen compositions capturing different palettes, tones, playing with identity within the 'duality-duel' relationship of the two women, two queens and cousins, who were never to meet.
Data Regina is a body of work which gathers electronic songs, ‘The Antechamber’, along with a series of instrumentals, ‘The Battles’, a sonic landscape inspired by the 16th century battles on the Anglo-Scottish border.
As well as the publication of a CD, the interactive digital work www.dataregina.com provides a further platform to showcase the 3D animations produced by animator Antoine Kendall as well as curated historical references.
Composed and mixed by Louvel, the album also features Fiona Brice (Bella Union) on violin.
'Data Regina' was mastered by AGF (aka Antye Greie-Ripatti).
“For her latest record, 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 own 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 2014’s Beauty Sleep, she paired each of the 11 tracks with an experimental short film. But 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.” DJ Pangburn, The Quietus
"A multimedia suite by composer Oliva Louvel digs deep into the psychic warfare between the 16th century British Queens. (…) Between the paintings adapted from fashion magazines that inspired 2011's Doll Divider and the reimagining of Louise Brooks's bobbed femme fatale for 2008's Lulu In Suspension, the iconography of femininity has been a rich source of material for the French born, Sussex based producer and visual artist to rip apart and papier mâché back into brooding electronic pop. (…) The refined melodies of Louvel's intimate vocals and Fiona Brice's lyrical violin stand in fragile opposition to a backdrop, based largely around processed tambour samples, of harsh percussive rolls and looming reverberations. It evokes not only the brutality of the battles that peppered the UK in the 16th century but the sense of surveillance and paranoia that both women must have experienced. " Abi Bliss, The Wire
Data Regina Deluxe digipack CD available at catwerkimprint.com
This project has been brought to fruition with the financial support of the Arts Council, England (Grant for the Arts).