Olivia Louvel is a French-born British composer and artist whose work draws on voice, computer music and digital narrative. Her work is presented in the form of sound recordings, live performance, sound art installations and video art. Her practice is built upon a long-standing exploration of the voice, sung or spoken, and its manipulation through digital technology, as a compositional method.
Louvel often operates at the intersection of creation and documentation with works such as: ‘The Sculptor Speaks’ (2020), a resounding of a Barbara Hepworth archival tape, premiered on Resonance Extra, followed by an audiovisual version; ‘SculptOr’, a suite of nine pieces based on Hepworth’s extensive writings released as a digipak CD; ’The Whole Inside’ (2019), a generative sound mural exploring the violent misogyny of the Incels; ‘Not A Creature Of Paper’ (2019) a Louise Labé inspired composition for avant-garde ensemble Juice Vocal, premiered at Kings Place; ’Data Regina’ (2017), a multimedia suite based on Mary Queen of Scots’ writings through an interactive digital platform - Arts Council funded; and ‘Afraid of Women’ (2016), an audio-visual piece raising awareness for Rojava, the autonomous zone in Northern Syria.
‘The Sculptor Speaks’ was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award in the Sound Art category at the Ivors Composer Awards 2020. ‘The Whole Inside’ was selected for the Longlist at the Aesthetica Art Prize 2021, and is published in the ‘Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology: Future Now.’
Olivia Louvel is a PhD candidate (2021-) at the University of Brighton, investigating the interplay of voice and sculpture. Previously, she completed a MA in Digital Music and Sound Art from DMSA, University of Brighton. Her research on resounding Barbara Hepworth brought her to deliver a talk ‘Hepworth Resounds’ (2021) for the Yorkshire Sound Women Network. Her article ’A Generative Sound Mural, The Whole Inside: Sounding the body’ (2020) is published by Leonardo Music Journal, MIT Press.
Her work has been featured in The Wire, The Quietus, Electronic Beats, Fact Mag, Electronic Sound among others, and she was interviewed by Stuart Maconie for his BBC Radio 6 programme about her “compelling sculpture-inspired work” on Barbara Hepworth. Louvel has received extensive airplay on significant radio programs such as BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, BBC Radio 6’s Freak Zone, Resonance, RTE Lyric FM’s Nova, Radio Eins’s Elektro Beat, NRK’s Harald Are Lund, RTVE Radio 3’s Fluido Rosa, RTVE Radio 3’s Atmosfera, RAI 3’s Battiti, and France Musique’s La Matinale. She produced a mix for Electronic Beats /EB radio (2014).
In 2018, she toured throughout the UK presenting a headline audio-visual set of ‘Data Regina’ for ‘Synth Remix’, an event curated by Benjamin Tassie under Sound and Music's Composer-Curator scheme. She has presented her work at venues and festivals such as Hepworth Wakefield (2021); Chapter Arts (Cardiff, 2020); King’s Place (London, 2019); De La Warr (Bexhill, 2019); Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, 2018); Anthony Burgess Foundation (Manchester, 2018); Spirit of Gravity (Brighton, 2017); Nawr (BBC Hall, Swansea, 2017); Documenta (Kassel, 2017); Brighton Digital Festival (2018); Iklectik (London, 2019); CTM (Berlin, 2016); Earsthetic Festival (Brighton Dome, 2013); Le Cube (Issy-Les-Moulineaux, 2009); Ososphere Festival (Strasburg, 2009).
Louvel has been an active member of female:pressure, the international network of female, transgender and non-binary artists in the fields of electronic music and digital arts. She took part to the compilation in support of Pussy Riot’s freedom (2013) and to the female:pressure campaign - curated by Antye Greie-Ripatti - to raise awareness for Rojava (2016).