Matt Wiviott has been playing music in yoga classes for five years, while also working in architecture. He took up the guzheng in 2006 and founded #LiveYogaMusic during the summer of 2012, the same summer he was lead designer of a large installation at Burning Man in Nevada, representing the Montreal regional delegation. The experience of this enormous undertaking firmly solidified his belief that a creative contribution to the world is the most rewarding pursuit. Additionally, he became entranced by the rhythms of electronic music.
Born in Montreal, Matt began playing cello at the age of four, later picking up guitar and bass, and going on to study jazz upright in university. He’s played in many bands, but the music he wanted to make had always been a solitary pursuit until it found a home in neighborhood yoga studios. He’s held onto the belief that music-making should be spontaneous, as a spiritual practice, and this philosophy is deeply substantiated by his reading of the yogic texts and rich literature. The practice of presence is key to explore ideas as they unfold, and to nurture the process by which natural music happens.
After completing his training at McGill’s professional program in architecture, he returned to McGill to complete a second Master’s degree in Technology and Cultural Mediation, a field of study within architectural theory. His past professional experience, for roughly a combined seven years, has been with two firms: L’OEUF and FGMDA, the former specializing in social housing with energy efficient systems, and the latter in heritage conservation. When he’s not making music for yoga, he currently works at Esar Fry Architects, where he can be found rendering facades and detailing universally accessible washrooms.
I came across the Guzheng some years ago and became entranced by its sound and began to explore its expressive potential using percussive techniques of my own discovery, inspired by the musicality and rhythm of sounds I find in contemporary electronic dance music.
This project is an artistic venture, and not a mystical pursuit of spirituality nor the perpetuation of a cultural heritage. I am consciously trying to be artistically innovative in a way that does not alienate my audience, but rather seeks new means to touch the often-neglected regions of the heart.
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