Sébastien Guérive is a composer and sound engineer based in Nantes, France. After studying the cello, he quickly turned to musical creation using computer music, which opened up infinite possibilities for mixing and transforming sound material. Close to the work of a plastic artist, he is as much concerned with the textural aspect of the sound as he is with the melody.

Since 2001 and his first album ‘La Pense Érrante’ composed from collages of samples and field recordings, he continues to develop his personal work (Io’n, Da Sweep …) and to collaborate on projects for the theater, dance, music composition for an image.

For ‘Omega Point’, he decided to compose an instrumental album inspired by the form of a sci-fi movie soundtrack.

This unique new recording is a mix of ambient atmospheres, a strong presence of sound design, and minimalist melodic themes. All of its sound layers play on the contrasts that oscillate between dark and brighter atmospheres.

‘Omega II’ is the first single from the upcoming album. The duration of the track is 5 minutes and 13 seconds and has an accompanying experimental music video. We combined several techniques to bring to life the meaning of the music. The use of continuous rhythmic cycles illustrates birth and the continuous movements of life as well as adding textures to the music.

In order to create the image birth and the perpetual motions of life that follow it, the film begins with a lone professional dancer, stark against a dark background, birth. Then, we used post-production effects to multiply her movements, the motions. These sequences represent the past, the present and the future, the cycle of life, creatures continually being born and dying.

Macro shots on the moving dancer’s skin mimic an insect ready to emerge from its chrysalis.

The camera transforms the visual experience in a sensory experience. In erasing the body contours of the filmed subject, we were able to creates new visible shapes, lines, textures and sensations. This piece of art sets out to capture through film the sensitive and pure nature of movement; exploring both free and mechanical movement. The camera does not follow the dancer, rather remains stationary as the dancer’s movements create life within the frame.

The imagery of birth is continued by inter-cutting shots of the dancer with shots of butterflies hatching from their chrysalis’ – a rare phenomenon to capture on film, especially in nature. To achieve this, we filmed the metamorphosis of the caterpillars in a small light box. The butterflies hatched early in the morning (between 6 and 8am), approximately 2 weeks after the caterpillars had created their chrysalises.

They were filmed against a black background. The chrysalises were hooked by their silk thread to a flowering branch. Lit by LED tubes, using the colors red, yellow and blue, in addition, a little 24 Watts projector was used. The colors carry through the piece, tying it together, whether it is from the light or the clothes’ color.

To visualize the layers of the music, we worked on a series of macro photos which we edited in throughout the track as ‘glitches’. The photos are visually independent of the video but are compatible with the dancer’s movements. To capture these varied images, we had to travel to a number of different locations (cities and forests alike).

The process was complicated as in editing we had to align the central focus of each photograph in order to create fluidity in the transition between each of the 25 images that appeared per second.

Our society is made up of individuals, all distinct from one another, and each with their own subjectivity. The animal kingdom is no different. Perhaps, in accepting our similarities to other creatures we can learn to stop viewing ourselves as superior to other life on earth. In doing so we may learn ways to better ourselves and our society to create a future beneficial to each of us.

Insects may seem so far removed from us but in observing them we would be able to identify something akin to our cultures.

‘Omega Point’ was composed largely with analog synthesizers to obtain a rich sound color in harmonics and textures. The timbres of the sounds were obtained through a combination of analog and digital processing. Long-term modulations and transformations have been generated so that each sound source approaches the richness of expressiveness of an acoustic instrument. 

With the ‘Omega Point’ album, Sébastien Guérive continues to explore new sound spaces to offer his listeners new musical experiences.

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