Milliseconde topographie / Nicolas Bernier, Delphine Measroch

Definitely cutting edge and original! Chain DLK, USA

… I must say it is quite something. Earlabs, Netherlands

The Tricyle DVD-Video is a collection of musicvideos and audio pieces in which the cutting edge duo Milliseconde topographie combines electronic material with field recording, acoustic instruments and archive samples, while always readily allowing the impurities to infiltrate.

DVD-Video (EK 008)

  • Label: Ekumen
  • EK 008
  • 2007
  • 187 mm × 138 mm × 8 mm
  • 90 g

On the web

Some recommended items
In the press


Marc Urselli-Schaerer, Chain DLK, February 27, 2008

Milliseconde topographie is a Canadian duo formed by Nicolas Bernier and Delphine Measroch, two artists who have made it a point to go beyond merely sonic creations and have wholeheartedly embraced an audio-video artform of their own, in which multiple layers of footage of outdoors scenes, dripping water, orchid petals, sea and beaches, bits and pieces of phrases in different lettering and other more artsy and surreal clips are synched (or not) with minimalistic and glitchy electronica under or over imposed on field recordings and the occasional acoustic instrument (it wouldn’t be a record from a french-speaking country if there was no accordion, would it?;-)). The DVD contains four videomusic pieces totaling over 30 minutes as well as almost 20 minutes of “musiques fossiles” (fossil music) made with ancient instruments (organ, dulcimer and harpsichord), which are offered in mp3 format as well.

The duo is on to something very unique and special. I personally like some parts of this DVD very much (the photography and the vivid colors of Treelogy 2: This is a Portrait and the audio/video sync of Treelogy 3: Orchid are beautiful and of the highest caliber) and some film festivals have taken due noticed and issued a awards. The duo is currently working on underwater musical installations, musical urban posters and soundwalks.

Definitely cutting edge and original!

Definitely cutting edge and original!


Jos Smolders, Earlabs, January 13, 2008

MT present themselves (in their bio on the ekumen.com site) as experimentators. Having undergone a major education in electroacoustic composition wasn’t enough, they expanded their terrain into the visual.

Milliseconde topographie is a duo, Nicolas Bernier and Delphine Measroch. They both graduated with Robert Normandeau and have a craving for experimentation. They explore not only the musical domain but also the visual. Bernier has been reviewed before at this site. This DVD-Video is their first and I must say it is quite something.

There are three main sections on the disc, Treelogy, Le microsillon des vagues, Fossile 1, 2 et 3. Each of the pieces in itself consists of 3 parts.

It’s a bit difficult to describe each piece because there are so many aspects to the works. The audio for most part is glitchy, dreamy, electronic. Now and again there is a real instrument applied (like the bandoneon, an organ or dulcimer) but not much more than their acoustic aspects are shown. There is hardly a melody played. Sometimes the music developes a slow rhythm but only to underpin the other sounds.

The visuals are quite diverse but have a lot in common. Often we see photopgraphed objects or landscapes and if what we see is a filmed image the movement is minimal. For instance, She Under a Sherrington Tree which is part of Treelogy, presents a barn with high grass in front of it. The image is in black and white. Only after some time you notice that the grass is moving by the wind. Shortly after that we see a plowed field (also in black and white) with in the distance a row of trees. The trees move by the wind but you only see that in second instance. Often images are layered over one another and then shifted from top to bottom of the screen in different tempos. Treelogy also includes letters, words and sentences placed on the screen fading in and out or digitally scratched in and out of screen.

Absolute highlight, for me, is Le microsillon des vagues which starts with an “amateur” video (black and white, out of focus, no steady image) of a sea shore over which at first letters (flashing very shortly) and then slowly words (somewhat longer) are projected. The footage is then layered and after a while we see silhouet of a man walking along the beach pass by. The screen fades to black and a new scenery is presented. We see a dark and rainly landscape (low point of view) through a sheet of green glass. In the distance vaguely a row of trees is visible and a house and a watchtower. Raindrops move down the glass but also up. Sometimes shortly a part of the screen is lighten (as if some illuminating piece of tape is applied). The music is minimal, with doors opening and closing slowly and the sound of a storm outside. Then starts part 2 (at 2/3 of the work). A piano, organ and a bandoneon and crackling and a softly speaking woman’s voice. A whispering man. To the right of the screen a photograph of a woman (breast and head). In the background the image of a calm sea with birds and two men bathing. The left eye of the woman is a large black hole. MT play with images and abstraction. Words are written over the screen. Patches are covered and uncovered. Etcetera. To me, Le microsillon des vagues is absolutely the best part of the DVD-Video.

Tricycle refers to both triptych and cycle. The three works shown can indeed be very well be watched in a continuous cycle. Images return over more than one work (e.g. the drops of water on glass certain use of lettering) and the visual language is consistent over the three works. It’s midnight music that you watch while reading a boring book or maybe even while dreamsleeping. It has a dreamy atmosphere and you discover more small things while watching it more.

MT present themselves (in their bio on the ekumen.com site) as experimentators. Having undergone a major education in electroacoustic composition wasn’t enough, they expanded their terrain into the visual. They have gone quite a stretch already, but I still think that forte lies in the music. The visual is still their terrain where they are “exploring”. The balance between auditive and visual is sometimes off, and at other times the direct relation between audio and video (e.g. words come up and disappear, accompanied by a specific sound) is unnecessary or even annoying. The use of typography is sometimes pleasant and adds a quality, but at other times it is a nuisance, disturbing the concentration on other aspects of the screen.

The effort that MT makes is quite worthwhile and deserves our continuous attention.

… I must say it is quite something.


Coltraz, Sonhors, January 12, 2008

Duo montrélais composé de Nicolas Bernier et Delphine Measroch, Milliseconde topographie nous offre un DVD, de vidéomusique «en hommage aux choses qui poussent», un «microsillon des vagues» et 3 pièces audio pour instruments anciens et electro. Nul doute que, comme votre humble serviteur, à la lecture d’un tel tracklisting, une irréfutable envie de «passer à l’acte» de visioécoute va vous envahir! Eh bien le résultat va bien au-delà des espérances, le DVD Tricycle conjugue des moments d’intenses émotions à la fois visuelle et sonore avec une trame narrative terriblement suggestive. Résidus de traitements électroniques, Field recording, instruments acoustiques, images et textes en mouvement ouvrent des espaces lumineux où s’infiltrent bon gré mal gré de la mélancolie, du rêve, et quelques irritations bruitistes, juste ce qu’il faut pour nous raccrocher à la réalité!

Explorant tour à tour l’installation sonore sous-marine, l’affichage musical urbain et le «soundwalk», Nicolas Bernier et Delphine Measroch collaborent depuis 2004. Leurs vidéomusiques sont présentées entre autre au DotMov Festival (Japon), au Transmediale (Allemagne), au Chicago Motion Graphic Festival ainsi qu’à Visionaria (Italie).

Ekumen est un regroupement d’artistes, une micro-communauté créée début 2006, sur l’initiative de Nicolas Bernier, dans le but de promouvoir ses activités et celles de créateurs de son entourage: Delphine Measroch, Jean-François Dessureault, Urban9, Jacques Poulin-Denis. Certains d’entre eux ont d’ailleurs participé à divers titres à l’élaboration de ce DVD.

Prêt pour un roadtrip montréalais?

Eh bien le résultat va bien au-delà des espérances, le DVD Tricycle conjugue des moments d’intenses émotions à la fois visuelle et sonore avec une trame narrative terriblement suggestive.


Benoit Richard, Benzine, January 11, 2008

Duo montréalais formé de Nicolas Bernier et Delphine Measroch, Milliseconde topographie sort un DVD sur le label Ekumen, l’occasion de découvrir un univers non seulement musical mais aussi graphique assez saisissant.

Les travaux sonores et graphiques de Milliseconde topographie se conjuguent dans un ensemble formellement très beau, dans lequel il faut se laisser le temps se s’immerger pour en saisir toute l’intensité et l’aspect poétique qui s’en dégage. Œuvre exigeante, qui ne joue en aucun cas sur l’immédiateté, comme la plupart des créations télévisuelles habituellement présentées en DVD, Tricycle se découvre petit à petit, en trois mouvements, découpés eux-mêmes en plusieurs chapitres.

Dans les deux premiers: Treelogy («qui rend hommage aux mouvements quasi invisibles qui se révèlent à nous quand on s’y attarde un peu») et Le microsillon des vagues («performance audio inspirée par l’océan, les vagues») on découvre de longues constructions musicales faites de fields recordings, d’instruments traditionnels (accordéon, guitares…) de sonorités microscopiques et sinueuses arrangées au laptop que l’on découvre en visionnant un montage d’images provenant de différentes sources (photos, créations graphiques, bribes de textes…), le tout dans un ensemble à la fois abstrait et très palpable.

Enfin, sur la dernière partie du DVD, 3 pièces sonores (Fossile 1, 2 et 3), créées à partir d’un logiciel «fait à la main», on peut apprécier trois créations qui prennent pour source trois instruments anciens: orgue, clavecin, dulcimer.

Tricycle est un projet artistique rare, qui sort vraiment des sentiers battus, une aventure sonore et visuelle absolue, à voir et à entendre, pour se faire une autre idée de l’art et des différentes formes artistiques aujourd’hui.

Tricycle est un projet artistique rare, qui sort vraiment des sentiers battus, une aventure sonore et visuelle absolue, à voir et à entendre…


Frans de Waard, Vital, no. 598, October 22, 2007

Following the three very limited releases on CDR by Milliseconde topographie which I reviewed in Vital Weekly 559, there is now a full length DVD-Video release, pressed and all. Milliseconde topographie, a duo from Montréal, work here together on both the music and the visual aspects of the project. The DVD-Video is divided in three parts, of which the final one is just audio. Like I am stating elsewhere, I am of course highly flattered to review stuff like this, but also video art is not my speciality. I have not enough (or none at all, whichever you prefer) knowledge of the what it is, the possibilities, the techniques and the history. This all makes it hard to say something about the visual part of it. The images are processed by computer means, over layered with other images and text. Seasides, trees, and abstract images. I can only say something in relation to the music, and that is a fine combination. Milliseconde topographie work with processed musical instruments, electronics, and above all computers. Things hiss, crack, glitch like there is no tomorrow. Warm, glitchy music that fits the images well. No, let me rephrase that: the images fit the music well. Best watched in a darkened room, with the music connected to your amplifier, unless of course you have a nice DVD-Video set up at home. Late night visual and musical poetry, and better than the crap on TV anyway.

Things hiss, crack, glitch like there is no tomorrow.