Tag Archives: AGON

Performance: Music for Maya Deren

Music for Maya Deren

Mercoledì 30 Settembre 2015 @ Tempo Reale

Limonaia di Villa Strozzi, via Pisana 77, Firenze

Performance video-musicale

AGON, 2011
progetto, musica, computer live electronics Giorgio Sancristoforo
regia del suono Massimo Marchi

Influenzati dal surrealismo e dalla danza, i film di Maya Deren invitano a cogliere “l’altra realtà”, lo spazio psichico, gli ambienti nascosti della mente. Un cinema onirico, visionario e antinarrativo, in cui il tempo è quello del ritmo della visione e del sogno.

Music for Maya Deren è il secondo capitolo dei Realtime Film Scores, una serie di performance musicali dedicate al cinema sperimentale americano, in cui la colonna sonora viene composta ed eseguita dal vivo, attraverso strumenti musicali elettronici.


Maya Deren (Kiev 1917-New York 1961) è stata una regista, documentarista, coreografa e poetessa, attiva negli anni quaranta e cinquanta del ventesimo secolo.

Madre del ciné-dance film, le sue opere sono tra le più influenti della storia del cinema americano.

  • Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946) con Maya Deren, Rita Christiani, Frank Westbrook e Anaïs Nin
  • At Land (1944) con Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid, John Cage e Parker Tyler


Limonaia di Villa Strozzi – via Pisana 77, Firenze

Tempo Reale

tel. 055 717270



Tempo Reale Festival 2015 – REWIND. Musiche non lineari (26 settembre-10 ottobre 2015)

biglietto unico €5,00 per la serata Klang / Musica Sperimentale #2


cronologia delle esecuzioni

29 ottobre 2011 – Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia, Milano

Per il festival Audiovisiva 2011.

4 luglio 2015 – Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Roma

Nel programma 2015 del Festival ArteScienza del CRM.

L’età d’oro di Milano XV sec. – The Golden Age of Milan XV cent.

May 21st – June 28th
Palazzo Reale – Milano

Opera urbana per musica e immagini

Comune di MilanoPalazzo Reale con il contributo di SNAM
nell’ambito ExpoinCittà media partner Interni – produzione AGON, 2015

da un’idea di CASTAGNARAVELLIMassimo Marchi

regia video Paolo Castagna

ideazione musicale e sound design
Roberto Andreoni
Pietro Pirelli
Antonello Raggi
Giorgio Sancristoforo


voce Maria Elena Romanazzi

strumenti a fiato Mario Arcari

ghironda Nicola Cicerale

regia del suono Massimo Marchi

realizzazione video The Fake Factory


responsabile di produzione Manuela Bottega

ufficio stampa e comunicazione Andrea AmatoCasi Umani

traduzioni Elyse Resnick

si ringrazia Alessandra Chiarello per i dati forniti sulla Ca’ Granda





I’m glad to announce the debut of the REIHE LAPTOP ENSEMBLE. After four months of preparation we are ready to book concerts! Our first piece is called Stunde Null and it was premiered on May 31st @ AGON Contemporary Music Centre. We also performed Radio Music by John Cage.

SAE Institute e AGON present:
Reihe Laptop Ensemble: Stunde Null
Students of Sound Design For Performing Arts of SAE Institute Italiy.
Giovanni Calvani
Alessandro Gatto
Leonardo Giuffrida
Lorenzo Mocellin
Marco Neridetti
Davide Paccanelli
Luca Pagan
Pietro Scialanga
Hector Fabio Sergio
Music and direction: Giorgio Sancristoforo
In collaboration with Divertimento Ensemble
M° Luca Avanzi : Oboe e flauto tenore diritto
M° Lorenzo D’Erasmo: Percussioni
M° Lorenzo Gorli: Violino e viola

M° Maurizio Longoni: Clarinetto e clarinetto basso

M° Pietro Pirelli: Pianoforte Preparato


Special Thanks
M° Massimo Marchi, M° Sandro Gorli, Giorgio Pona, Emiliano Alborghetti, Livio Festa, Dalila Sena, Daniele Raina e tutto lo staff SAE.

Vis-à-Vis performance @ Maker Faire Rome





What happens in our mind when it comes to human relations?
What happens inside us, what do we feel?


Read a great review on WIRED Uk here:

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 6.24.40 PM













“The music does in fact sound like someone experiencing severe mood swings. It’s a kind of experimental jazz, with trumpets bursting in short, sharp bursts followed swiftly by a dull boom of a trombone then the tinkering of a snaredrum. All this Sancristoforo is getting off of one reading while he sits opposite the Faire’s presenter; he is eyeballing him till the discomfort in his subject becomes clear for all in the auditorium to see. “I’m looking at you and we will hear what emotions come to me from you,” says Sancristoforo, just in case his subject was unaware of just how awkward the situation was about to get.”

Liat Clark / WIRED – Uk
Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 6.24.46 PM






Production: AGON 2013
Music and programming: Giorgio Sancristoforo
Sound direction: Massimo Marchi


A video installation

Selene (Greek Σελήνη [selɛ̌ːnɛː] ‘moon’;)
Fonia (Greek: φωνή, phōnḗ, “voice, sound”)

I always had a passion for astronomy.
Some months ago I’ve got a 200mm telescope and a  webcam to capture videos of the Moon surface.
My exploration turned into a video installation premiered at the National Museum of Science and Technology of Milan on October 29th 2011 for the annual audiovisiva festival.


Concept, images & software: Giorgio Sancristoforo
Production:  AGON 2011/2012

Live in Bologna

Notturno part II: the music of gesture

I was Invited by the italian national newspaper La Repubblica to perform at the prestigious “La Repubblica delle Idee 2012”, a 3 days festival in Bologna that hosted an incredible selection of talks and lectures with intellectuals, scientists, nobel prize winners and artists, as well the Italian Prime Minister.

I was deeply honored to perform my music in such an amazing venue.
For the event I’ve chosen to perform an extract of Notturno, with a new twist: gesture and spectral music techniques, so this is Notturno Part II: the music of gesture.

The software used: Max/MSP, Spear, OpenMusic, Logic
Hardware: Kinect

My deepest thanks to La Repubblica newspaper, Riccardo Luna, Alessandro Scotti, all the staff at the Arena del Sole Theater and Massimo Marchi @ AGON.

Variations software had a slight delay, I’m upgrading a couple of features… release July. sorry!!!

More spectral music from the sounds of the blast fournaces:




Project Audioscan: transforming city noise into music

“Audioscan embodies the confluence of three stages of modern music technology: tape recording, electronic synthesis and processing, and personal-computer-based digital audio. It starts with recordings of street sounds, turns those into electronic instruments processed by electronic effects, and then creates the final composition in a digital audio workstation. Although all the steps (except final mixdown, which uses analog tape) were realized using modern digital technology, the result is very much in the spirit of the evolution of electronic music over the last half century.
The mid-20th-century advent of recording on magnetic tape enabled composers to record fragments of natural and industrial sounds and then manipulate those recordings in a process that became known as Music Concrête. Common tape manipulations included creating tape loops to continuously repeat a sound fragment, splicing disparate sounds together, reversing the tape to play sounds backward, juxtaposing two different-length loops of the same sound, varying playback speed, and so on.

The Audioscan project begins with recordings made at 1,580 streets and squares in Milano.

Electronic-music techniques (on which more in a moment) were used to fashion playable musical instruments from the street recordings. In another step reminiscent of early tape composition, those instruments were then used to create melody, percussion, and background-ambience loops in the digital audio workstation Ableton Live. Tape technology makes its final appearance at the end of the process, when the finished composition is mastered on a TEAC A-3340 tape machine.
Although electro-mechanical processes occasionally appear in music as early as the late 19th century, the modern technology of electronic music derives from advances in electronics made during World War II and from the beginnings of digital computing. In the 1950s and 60s most electronic music was realized, at great time and expense, in commercial and academic laboratories. The processes developed during that period informed the design of the commercial electronic instruments that appeared over the next 30 years and of the personal-computer music software that evolved thereafter.

Building the 50 or so musical instruments used in Audioscan bears a direct lineage to early electronic composition. For one thing the process was labor intensive—each of the notes for each of the instruments was hand crafted from one of the street recordings. For another, the primary tools, Cycling 74 Max/MSP and Propellerhead Reason/Record, are reminiscent of early computer and modular-synthesis tools. Max, the precursor to Max/MSP, is named in honor of Bell Labs computer-music pioneer Max Mathews. It is a graphic programming language designed originally for controlling electronic instruments and then expanded (the MSP in Max/MSP) to also generate and manipulate audio. Propellerhead Reason/Record, although not modeled after a specific device, is a software implementation of a modular synthesizer augmented with the latest digital audio sampling and processing technology.

Audioscan Art Director Giorgio Sancristoforo built a custom processor in Max/MSP called Translator that he and collaborator Guiseppe Cordaro used to translate the street recordings into musical instruments. Translator is a resonant filter bank whose 46 filter bands are tuned at harmonic intervals, the same frequency relationship that characterizes the overtones of the strings on a stringed instrument such as a violin or piano. For each note on each instrument, one of the street recordings is processed through Translator, tuned to the pitch of the desired note.
Processing the street recordings in this way is one of the more ingenious facets of Audioscan. Because the street recordings capture not just random noise but include sonic events such as car horns, shouts, construction noises, and so on, Translator affects each of the recordings differently. That’s what allows many distinctive instruments to be fashioned from the original recordings.

Playable electronic instruments were constructed from the Translator-processed sounds using the sampler modules in Reason. Each of the pitched instruments has a four-octave range. In addition, a variety of percussion sounds were created for use in Reason’s Redrum drum sampler. The sampled instruments were then augmented by the many effects processors available in Reason.
Finally, the processed percussion and pitched instruments were used to generate music loops. Additional ambient sounds were fashioned from the street recordings using another Sancristoforo Max/MSP creation, Gleetchlab 3. The individual loops were then arranged to create the final composition in Ableton Live, bringing the process full-circle to the tape-loop paradigm.

Of course, the music is not in the technical details—the composition needs to stand on its own. Audioscan presents a broad sonic palette; you’ll hear many different instruments ranging from tuned percussion to wind instruments to complex tonal washes. Some sections of Audioscan are floating and ethereal, whereas others are driving, rhythmic, and almost danceable. It is a testament to Audioscan’s creators that, starting with field recordings of street noises, they’ve fashioned a highly varied hour of music that holds together as a cohesive unit. ”

Len Sasso
April 2010












Audioscan is a multimedia interactive installation and a live performance combining music and video including 1.580 recordings and phonometric surveys gathered within the perimeter contained in the main ring road of Milano. Both are based on the sound mapping of Milano. Audioscan puts itself up as a chance to reflect on the features of the sound surrounding us and the spaces we act in. A process of meeting and exchange between contemporary art, music and environmental themes, a meditation on soundscape and the auditive dimension of human experience, both on an aesthetic and a social perspective. An ambitious cataloguing work and an awakening project through the transformation of a waste product of technological society – noise – into an artwork.

Lets consider a city Milano and try to listen to it, in its wholeness. Millions of vehicles and machines stirring chaotically, punctuating the rhythm of our affairs on Earth. We deem this ocean of unwelcome sounds mostly as noise. This soundscape eludes our control: we barely rectify it, yet we cant give it up, since its embodied in the truck carrying our food, in the tram taking us to work, in the construction site building our houses. Its the sound of contemporaneity.
Sounds can be sculpted. We can use noise as raw material to start with. Noise is at the same time no sound and all the possible sounds. Just as white light contains all the colours, noise contains countless sounds.
Therefore, instead of using musical instruments we have ground and crumbled noise in very fine components, building from these elements orchestras made up of roads and airplanes, people and
cars. We have created music from a scrap of our society.
Everything is transformed. Nothing resembles anymore its former essence. Airplanes become microscopic percussions, cars are turned into metallic pianos, hollow murmurs and waterish illusions. Braking and tailpipes screeches become tides of the thinnest strings.
Concept and art direction
Giorgio Sancristoforo
Giorgio Sancristoforo e Giuseppe Cordaro
Danilo Cardillo
Tech consultant
Massimo Marchi
Field recording
Diego Del Sarto
Alessandro Roggero
Luca DAloia
Eliana Varlaro
Dario Persi
Daniele Filaretti
Software & sound design
Giorgio Sancristoforo
Assistant sound designers
Diego Del Sarto
Alessandro Roggero
Touchscreen software
Daniele Pagliero
Production assistants
Cecilia Vanoletti
Walter DAversa
Thanks to
Dalila Sena
Pietro Pirelli
Vittoria Broggini
Silvia Sartorio
Len Sasso
Simone Tosoni
Marco Fringuellino
Massimo Gardella
Olindo Genovese


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John Cage 100s

Milan celebrates the american composer

Setp. 5th 2012, happy birthday Mr Cage!

Yesterday the prestigious Triennale Design Museum of Milan hosted us for a whole John Cage day and evening of lectures and performances (see previous post). A massive crowd attended
My contribute was an interpretation of Variations VI (1966)

Many thanks to

Sandro Mussida
Elio Marchesini
Alessandra Novaga
HurlaJanus Ensemble
Inkyung Hwang
Christian Schmitz
Luca Rullo
Lorenzo Villa
Triennale staff and everybody who attended (especially my students)


















Happy Birthday John Cage

Lectures and performances in Milan














5 Settembre 2012
Triennale di Milano
Viale Alemagna, 6, 20121. Milano.

17.00 – 18.00 Guida all’Ascolto “Empty Words”- Elio Marchesini
18.00 – 18.45 Dialogo tra Inkyung Hwang, autrice del “Lungo treno di John Cage” e Michele Porzio, autore della “Metafisica del Silenzio, John Cage”
18.45 – 19.30 Concerto per pianoforte preparato, Christian Schmitz
20.00 – 22.00 Concerto e Performances a cura di HurlaJanus Ensemble, elettronica a cura di Giorgio Sancristoforo (AGON).

·  Imaginary Landscape IV (1951)
·  Sonata for Clarinet (1933)
·  Telephones and Birds (Buskers) (1977)
·  Suite For Toy Piano (1948)
·  Variations VI (1966)
·  The Wonderful Widow Of Eighteen Springs (1942)
·  Dream (1948)
·  Composed Improvisation For Snare Drum Alone (1987)
·  Living Room Music (1940)
·  4’33” (1952)



A journey in the Hephaestus lab

In 2010 I’ve got a commission for a music performance and an installation by the Reggio Emilia Theatres foundation for the annual Aperto Festival in October; the theme of 2010 was the labor of man.
The commission required a site specific work. So after a few debates, me and my collaborators decided to look at the heavy industry of the area. My idea was to have both sound and video recorded. The sound would serve us as a source for the music and the images would help us to complete the show with visuals. We found a perfect site for recording and filming at the Rubiera Steel Foundry. The gigantic factory lies in one of the several industrial areas of the region, 20Km SW from Reggio and due to the economical crisis it works in nighttime only.

I thought that a modern video camera would not fit. After all, melting metals is one of the oldest jobs of mankind, so I come to the idea of using an old super8 camera with black and white film to give to the audience the impression of a timeless space.

We planned a four days long production; for the task of recording every possible sound and every possible usable image we had to split in two working groups. One for audio and one for film recording. I gave my field recorder to my friend and colleague Giuseppe Cordaro, while I kept for myself the video job. Walking in the place is no child’s play. The factory is dangerous and if one does not pay  attention in where and when one puts his feet the situation can easily become lethal. A steel foundry is made of different work areas,  each of them is a part of the process and works coordinated by a chief of staff. Melted steel tends to solidify pretty quickly and the job schedule can be  long and complex so timing is an crucial factor. For this reason the working areas are continuously changing, the factory is a kind of living organism. It takes some time to understand what comes next and where.

Filming and recording there is a real challenge. Every time the steel is cast a huge cloud of carbon dust invades the air and then falls down on everything. We had carbon dust on equipment, clothes, skin and lungs. I’ve found it even in my underwear. 

The sound can be far and soft or suddenly bursting in front of you up to 120 dBA. Filming with real film and a small super8 camera there is a kind of hell. The ambiance light was so low that the camera’s light meter was telling me I was going to have a totally black film, for that reason I’ve filmed all the time hoping that a push process to 400 iso during develop, would give me something to watch. I was lucky, pushing the film worked and worked great.

The performance was held in the gorgeous lobby of the Valli Theater on November 5th 2010. We used our factory samples, the Buchla synthesizer, a prepared guitar processed with Gleetchlab3 and an electric bass played with a cello bow.

After the concert we decided to cut down the film to 15 minutes and have it uploaded on the internet.
If you want to watch it here it is.

A film and a music performance with the lights and sounds of the steel foundry.
Filmed in super8 (kodak Tri-x)and recorded at the Acciaierie di Rubiera (RE) in 2010
Friday November 5th, 2010 – Teatro Valli – Reggio nell’Emilia
Commissioner: I Teatri (Reggio nell’Emilia)
Production: AGON (2010)
Direction and Photography: Giorgio Sancristoforo
Sound: Giuseppe Cordaro and Giorgio Sancristoforo
Head of production: Massimo Marchi
Organization: Dalila Sena
Text: Silvia Sartorio