Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier and Marie-Josée Proulx

Echo – The First Tie
Double Projection Video

Artist Statement

Tie (musical): Indicates that the two (or more) notes joined together are to be played as one note with the time values added together. To be a tie, the notes must be identical; that is, they must be on the same line or the same space.

Echo ~ The First Tie is a video and sound installation that virtually stages two musicians separated by distance for the time of one original music piece. More than a technological challenge, it is about inducing a musical dialogue, a relation, which allows a reflection on diasporic nostalgia.

Welcome to the Echo lab. Eduardo is a Cuban trumpet player living in Montréal since he was 12. Yeniset is a Cuban tresera, a player of a traditional Cuban guitar, living in Santiago de Cuba. They meet for the first time in the Echo project’s lab. Cubans’ access to Internet remains highly restricted, limited and unreliable. Our bodies and our technologies become the vehicle of their encounters. We re-created the same lighting, disposition and mise-en-scène in glacial Montréal and sweltering Cuba with the intention of producing a unique space of dialogue and creation. Echo ~ The First Tie is the artifact of this encounter.

Studio in unison. The two musicians performed alone. Yet while physically alone, they share the concrete intention of connecting, tying up, with the other, who shares the same motherland, the same language, the same clave. In Echo ~ The First Tie, their music is one.

Inventing the field. The Echo project pushes the limits of the ethnographic fieldwork enterprise in considering the anthropologist as more than a participant observer: we created and provoked an encounter. Echo ~ The First Tie allows us to think about what it means to engage with an ethnography of sound and image production and what are the implications of adopting a relational aesthetics in anthropology. The installation allows visitors to penetrate the performance by standing in the middle of the piece (musical). The tri-dimensional perception of this universe links the musicians and the visitors in one and unique space of creation.

Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier completed her PhD in Anthropology with Visual Media at the University of Manchester and at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology. She conducts fieldwork in Cuba since the year 2000. As part of her second postdoctoral fellowship at York University, Université Laval and the CÉLAT, she explores the idea of developing an ethnography of image and sound production. The Echo project is part of this exploration.


Marie-Josée Proulx holds a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree including a background in communication, scripting, and anthropology. She completed her Master degree in anthropology at the Université de Montréal and is a specialist on independent film productions in China. She is also interested in contemplation and life narratives, and is additionally directing several independent productions and taking part in post-production for the television channel Évasion et Zeste.

Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier and Marie-JoséeProulx worked in collaboration before, especially for the production of the film Golden Scars ( and as part of various audio-visual projects by Cimarron Productions.