Martin Bédard


  • Martin Bédard
  • Year of composition: 2016
  • Duration: 11:45
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9190168899

Pareidolia is an optical illusion. It consists of associating a nebulous visual stimulus with an easily identifiable element, often a human or animal shape. Common examples of this perception phenomenon are seeing shapes appear in clouds or identifying a face on a rock cliff. Usually, pareidolia is the result of a natural tendency to assimilate new perceptions with known, already classified ones. Such “projections” vary according to each individual’s expectations, predispositions, and culture.

This optical illusion is likely the result of an evolutionary advantage that led to a hypersensitivity in detecting a presence amid a complex environment, which would somehow be beneficial to our survival at the expense of our precision in identifying or recognizing what is perceived. That would be why identification mistakes almost always go in the same direction: false positives (perceiving a presence when nothing is there) instead of false negatives (not perceiving something that is there).

— [Drawn from Wikipedia]

Electroacoustic music provides several similarities with this perception phenomenon. Because of electroacoustic music’s density, orchestral and organizational riches, and superimposition and editing possibilities, one can “see” in it shapes that are actually there and imagine several others that may not be there at all! For, in this case, listeners may be guessing more than “seeing.”

And the “pareidoliac” analogy can go further and slide towards the intimate world. It can influence the encounter and discovery of the Other. It can push us to see involuntarily in the Other what is not there and, in the most common form of blindness, to not recognize what is there…

[English translation: François Couture, ii-22]

Kissland was realized in 2016 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec) and was premiered on April 7, 2016 during the concert Électrochoc 6: Martin Bédard, Louis Dufort at Studio multimédia of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Kissland was awarded an Honourable Mention at the 9th Destellos Electroacoustic Composition Competition (Mar del Plata, Argentina, 2016) and was finalist for the “Premiere of the Year” award at the 20th Prix Opus 2015-16 of the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM).


  • April 7, 2016, Électrochoc 2015-16: Électrochoc 6: Martin Bédard, Louis Dufort, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)