Mikael Tobias is a British-Canadian musician, composer, producer and sound artist based in Copenhagen, DK. His work explores the liminal space between physical and emotional resonance, using live instrumentation along with meticulously treated electronics to create visceral and evocative soundscapes.
The first release under his own name, ABSENTIA, is an immersive album that weaves billowing layers of lap steel guitar, tectonic rhythms, and cascades of noise into a sonic tapestry of undulating textures. The LP was released by Copenhagen’s Unit Shifter Records in 2017, shortly after Tobias relocated from Montréal to Denmark.
His sophomore album, APERTURE, is an ambitious collection of cinematic music blending elements of organic ambient, post-rock, neo-classical and leftfield techno. Tobias employs a deconstructed maximalist approach that is at once visceral, arresting, delicate and brutal. The album, released in May 2021 by newly minted Copenhagen label Barkhausen Recordings, expands into the visual domain in the form of vividly abstract audio-reactive videos, also created by the artist.
Tobias has has toured throughout Canada, Europe and the UK and performed at MUTEK (Montréal, CA), SPOT Festival (Aarhus, DK), Le Mini Who? (Utrecht, NL), M for Montréal, Pop Montréal, and many of Canada’s most prominent jazz festivals. An adept and versatile collaborator, he has recently contributed lap steel guitar to Aidan Baker and thisquietarmy’s experimental krautrock project, Hypnodrone Ensemble on “Gets Polyamorous” (Wolves and Vibrancy Records), bass on the debut “Monolith” by Fluqx (Hafen Records), as well as remixes for London’s alt-soul outfit Hejira, and Danish legends Nelson Can.
As a film composer, Tobias’s scoring to picture has been featured alongside works by Tim Hecker, Colin Stetson and Brad Barr among others, and his original music and sound design has been featured internationally in a wide range of television series, art installations, ad campaigns, and consumer audio products. In collaboration with Copenhagen studio Six Bit Deep, Tobias co-created Polar Flare, a “Glacial Organic Electronica” sample and software expansion pack for Native Instruments, and the bespoke music heard on-board Norwegian Airlines’ fleet of planes.
Tobias is the co-founder of Montréal’s celebrated “noise meditation” series practice (www.noisemeditation.com), as well as curator of Copenhagen’s deep-listening audio-visual concert series, RESONATE.