“I roamed for miles in imposed silence until I reclaimed my voice. No one knew my secret battles behind my smile until I came foward with the music project, Hippocampus. ”
The Hippocampus Project
The Hippocampus Project
The Hippocampus Project is a musical creation aimed at raising awareness of the paths taken by survivors after rape by combining technological arts and popular song.
More than two decades ago Marie Martine Bédard survived a violent, armed, sexual assault which put her life in danger. Her journey of reconstruction as a woman and a musician has taken two decades.
With the assistance of the co-founder of the NXI Gestatio, Nicolas Reeves, Marie Martine Bédard starts her songwriting process wearing a biofeedback headset of 64 channels to capture her brain waves while she recalls the paths of her journey, from the initial rape to present day. The captured signals are then converted into sound waves by Nicolas Reeve’s team and subsequently transformed into melodic and rhythmic embryos by Jean-François Lemieux, musician and coproducer of the Hippocampus album. The results are then used by the artist as the basic framework for the composition of the various pieces of the album or musical instruments.
The title "The Hippocampus Project" refers to the hippocampus of the brain in which traumatic phenomena are recorded. This seahorse-like structure in the brain influences the way one responds to these dislocations of soul and body that are trauma. From this is born the powerful and intimate symbolic association between memory and the sea, the imaginary place of all the subconscious and all the unconscious. During the healing process, the hippocampus nestled in the hollow of a remote cerebral cavity travels a motionless journey that can lead a person from the darkness of pain and the fear of dying to the light of rebirth and life.
The Artist's Journey
Initially a classical guitarist, Marie Martine Bédard began her career as a rock musician on bass guitar with Patrick Bourgeois, who would later become famous with his group les B B. Then, taking on the role of solo guitarist, she joined her childhood friends to form the first all-female punk rock band in Quebec, Blue Oil.
After performing nearly 1,000 shows, Marie Martine Bédard’s career and motherhood were abruptly interrupted by a vicious attack, a brutal rape and its consequences. This violent event paralyzed her professional ambitions and changed drastically how she could parent. It took her years to exit the deep fog of trauma and begin her reconstruction.
In the recent chapter of her journey, she has completed a Bachelor Degree of Professional Studies (BA) in Songwriting (Magna Cum Laude) and a Professional Certificate in Guitar with the Berklee College of Music in Boston (Berklee Online), graduating in 2018. Her time at Berklee enabled her to tap into the creative process closely linked to her story. She has reached a point in her work where not only she is able to share her journey while perfecting my art, but she is also able to bring something restorative to other victims.
Make of Trauma a Shared Work
All forms of art, from the most sophisticated to the most accessible, carry within them a potential for awareness and healing.
Every song has the potential to be a conversation starter for victims.
Breaking the silence is the first step in healing.
Marie Martine Bédard has joined forces with RQCalacs (a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual violence) in order to promote the cause that is so dear to her heart. Fundraising campaigns will be organized periodically.
This project was made possible by the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.