The bionic harpist

Alex Tibbits

Last updated: February 13, 2021

California-born, Montréal-Based Alex Tibbitts is The Bionic Harpist , quite literally. Classically
trained, Tibbitts has since been dedicated to new forms of gestural and digital augmentation of
the harp. Through real-time processing during her performances, she joins her instrument in a
symbiotic dance, a metaphorical image made even more relevant by the fact that half of her body contains metal.

Tibbitts holds a Masters in Interpretation as well as a Diploma in Orchestral Repertoire from
l’Université de Montréal, and is a member of McGill University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary
Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) since 2016. She is a founding member of
Ensemble ILÉA, an electroacoustic improvisation ensemble, and has participated in writing
academic articles dedicated to her area of research, such as Gestural Control of Augmented
Instrumental Performance: A Case Study of the Concert Harp (2018).

For MUTEK Montreal 2020 Alex Tibbitts’ revealed The Bionic Harpist to the world. She was
the artist residency at Quebec City’s Avatar Arts Center, in collaboration with MUTEK Festival.
Working with John Sullivan, music technology researcher and Ph.D candidate at McGill
University, Tibbitts’ augmented concert harp lends itself for enriching haptic exploration, bound
to offer a highly physical and visually captivating performance. The Bionic Harpist is a
founding member of the Montréal-based avant-house EDM group — Porto Porto ! — featured
at the MUTEK Mexico & MUTEK Japan virtual 2020 festivals.

NAC media featuring Alex Tibbits