TIM HECKER with films by ROBERT TODD as part of Images Festival opening night gala at St. Anne’s Church (270 Gladstone), tonight (Thursday, April 11), 8 pm. $10-$20; festival passes $25-$75. RT, SS. See listings.
Montreal ambient electronic artist Tim Hecker collaborates with experimental filmmaker Robert Todd for the Images Festival opening gala, introducing a new element into the musician's work: light.
"I usually play in pure darkness so you can come and just listen, so this will be quite different from what I normally do," says Hecker over the phone from home on a brief break from touring after a run of dates opening for Sigur Rós.
"You have this seductive force of the screen in front of you, and that adds a new challenge in how sound interacts, which is very interesting to me on a personal level."
The success of his 2011 album, Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky), has led to a lot of other new experiences for Hecker, from an unexpected (but deserved) Juno win to the aforementioned gigs with Sigur Rós, which brought him to arenas like Madison Square Garden.
Not bad for someone whose work often resembles a droning pipe organ fed through a wall of guitar amps echoing up from the deep recesses of a haunted coal mine.
"The first thing you have to realize is that barely anyone is coming to see you. You're there to be a segue into the big production, but once you're okay with that it can be really fun.
"Honestly, it is quite thrilling to play a chord and have it resonate and then echo back 15 seconds later from the deepest, most monstrous space you've ever played in, and then hear some drunken person in the back corner scream out in counterpoint."
Hecker plans to perform new material at Images this week that may end up on an album he hopes to have ready for a fall release. He's a little vague on details, but it doesn't sound like he's planning to move into a less minimal or more mainstream direction.
"It won't be as bombastic a record as my previous one. I feel like some of the gestures in my last album were a little over the top. This one will be more of a fabric weaver's album, if I could describe it that way."