Interview by Abi Bliss "A multimedia suite by composer Olivia Louvel digs deep into the psychic warfare between two 16th century British Queens" THE WIRE issue #396 www.thewire.co.uk/issues/45096/issue-396-buy
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, Olivia Louvel assembles a digital narrative through 17 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
will provide a further platform to showcase the 3D animations produced by young animator Antoine Kendall as well as curated historical references.
"Data Regina comes with a website featuring text excerpts and a map plotting the locations where Mary was held captive. Several tracks are set to CGI animations by Antoine Kendall, in which Louvel's face is composited onto a stiff-limbed avatar, endlessly circling empty castle corridors or commanding an army of similar chess piece-like figures in a barren landscape of grey polygon mountains."
THE WIRE #396 by Abi Bliss
"Wer auf Holly Herndon steht, wird hier seine Freude haben."
FAZE by Kressmann
"Data Regina (Cat Werk): sieht man AGF (die hier gemastert hat) als Laurie Andersons Tocher, so ist Olivia AGFs kleine geschichtsversessene Schwester. **** "
"Data Regina an album of dark, haunting electronica, which stands in a league of its own: it has no obvious reference points in music, history or elsewhere. It’s a bold project, for sure, and Louvel admirably achieved her ambitions with a work which conveys its intent without becoming overly mired in explication and cumbersome narrative segments which disrupt the flow."
AURAL AGGRAVATION by Christopher Nosnibor
This is a noble and fascinating concept album about the period of 16th century British history when both England and Scotland were ruled by women. Accompanied by an arts council-funded interactive website and with track titles referencing specific battles, it’s the most unusual history lesson you’ve ever sat through- and possibly the first one where it’s recommended to gaze out of the window. But crucially it is not, as you might first think, an excuse to dig out the lute and the hurdy-gurdy and explore 16th century instrumentation- very much the opposite in fact. This is hyper-digital, cold soundscapes of slow voices, clicks and effects. Analogue oscillations and tight glitches roll over windy ambiences. (...) The expressiveness of “Elizabeth Song” is close to what Björk would sound like with a screech-free British accent.
CHAIN DLK by Stuart Bruce
Louvel's vocals wind through the tracks off-centre, as do her electronic counterpoints and live instruments, leaving a kind of negative space or absence running through Data Regina. The resulting fragmented tone poems often recall Natalie Beridze's experiments in laptop song form.
THE WIRE #397 by Sam Davies
„Data Regina” to prawie godzina niełatwej, ale intrygującej muzyki zrobionej bez medialnego ciśnienia i wymachiwania facebookowym proporcem.
POLYPHONIA by Łukasz Komła
Auch Louvel kultiviert sich als hochartifizielle Kunstfigur, und doch ist sie eine nahbare Underground-Diva geblieben. Diesen Status pflegt sie auf Data Regina. Das Album hechelt keinem der jüngeren Minimal Wave oder Dark Techno Trends hinterher, biedert sich nicht dem neoklassischen Mainstream an sondern fügt Ambient und Avantgarde so nahtlos in Pop wie es sonst kaum jemand kann oder will.
GROOVE by Frank P. Eckert
released February 8, 2017
Composed, produced and mixed by Olivia Louvel
at Tin Foil studio and Audiobeach Studio.
Lyrics written by Olivia Louvel except the sonnet 'Feb. 8 1587' written by Mary Queen Of Scots
Fiona Brice, violin on
'My Crown', 'Elizabeth Song', 'The Veil', 'Love Or Rule'
Paul Kendall, mix consulting and additional voice polishing
Mastered by AGF
Artwork and design, Jesse Holborn
Original images, Antoine Kendall
Arts Council of England, Grant for the Arts, 2016.
Press relation, Ed Benndorf firstname.lastname@example.org