Tag Archives: live electronics

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:

 

 

 

Music for Kenneth Anger

Real-time film performances chapter 1

Music for Kenneth Anger is the first chapter in a trilogy of performances dedicated to the American avant-garde cinema.
The performance was held at Milan’s LOFT 21 on February 26th 2011 and hosted by the Inlandempire Project.

During the performance the movie “Inaguration of the Pleasure Dome” was screened.

Kenneth Anger (born Kenneth Wilbur Anglemeyer; February 3, 1927) is an American underground experimental filmmaker, actor and author of two controversial Hollywood Babylon books. Working exclusively in short films, he has produced almost forty works since 1937, nine of which have been grouped together as the “Magick Lantern Cycle”, and form the basis of Anger’s reputation as one of the most influential independent filmmakers in cinema history. His films variously merge surrealism with homoeroticism and the occult, and have been described as containing “elements of erotica, documentary, psychodrama, and spectacle.” Anger himself has been described as “one of America’s first openly gay filmmakers, and certainly the first whose work addressed homosexuality in an undisguised, self-implicating manner”, and his “role in rendering gay culture visible within American cinema, commercial or otherwise, is impossible to overestimate”, with several being released prior to the legalisation of homosexuality in the United States. He has also focused upon occult themes in many of his films, being fascinated by the notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley, and is a follower of Crowley’s religion, Thelema.

Born to a middle-class family in Santa Monica, California, Anger would later claim to have been a child actor who appeared in the film A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935); the accuracy of this claim has come under dispute. He began making short films when he was ten years old, although his first film to gain any recognition, the homoerotic Fireworks (1947), would only be produced a decade later. The controversial nature of the work led to him being put on trial on obscenity charges, but he was acquitted. A friendship and working relationship began subsequently with pioneering sexologist Alfred Kinsey. Moving to Europe, Anger produced a number of other shorts inspired by the artistic avant-garde scene on the continent, such as Rabbit’s Moon (released 1970) and Eaux d’Artifice (1953).

Returning to the United States in 1953, he set about working on several new projects, including the films Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), Scorpio Rising (1964), Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965), and the gossip book Hollywood Babylon (1965). Getting to know several notable countercultural figures of the time, including Tennessee Williams, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Marianne Faithfull and Anton LaVey, Anger involved them in his subsequent Thelemite-themed works, Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and Lucifer Rising (1972). Following his failure to produce a sequel to Lucifer Rising, Anger retired from filmmaking in the early 1980s, instead publishing the book Hollywood Babylon II (1982). At the dawn of the 21st century he once more returned to filmmaking, producing shorts for various film festivals and events.

Anger has described filmmakers such as Auguste and Louis Lumière, Georges Méliès, and Maya Deren as influences,[4] and has been cited as an important influence on later film directors like Martin Scorsese, David Lynch
and John Waters. He has also been described as having “a profound impact on the work of many other filmmakers and artists, as well as on music video as an emergent art form using dream sequence, dance, fantasy, and narrative.

Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome
Anger created two other versions of this film in 1966 and the late 1970s. According to Anger, the film takes the name “pleasure dome” from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s atmospheric poem Kubla Khan. Anger was inspired to make the film after attending a Halloween party called “Come as your Madness.”
Early prints of the film had sequences that were meant to be projected on three different screens. Anger subsequently re-edited the film to layer the images. The film – primarily the 2nd and 3rd revisions – was often shown in American universities and art galleries during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
The film reflects Anger’s deep interest in Thelema, the philosophy of Aleister Crowley and his followers, as indicated by Cameron’s role as “The Scarlet Woman” (an honorific Crowley bestowed on certain of his important magical partners).
The film uses some footage of the Hell sequence from the 1911 Italian silent film L’Inferno. Near the end, scenes from Anger’s earlier film Puce Moment are interpolated into the layered images and faces.

Cast

  • Samson de Brier as Shiva, Osiris, Nero, Cagliostro, and Aleister Crowley (credited as “The Great Beast 666”)
  • Marjorie Cameron as The Scarlet Woman and Kali
  • Joan Whitney as Aphrodite
  • Katy Kadell as Isis
  • Renate Druks as Lilith
  • Anaïs Nin as Astarte
  • Curtis Harrington as Cesare the sleepwalker
  • Kenneth Anger as Hecate
  • Paul Mathison as Pan
  • Peter Loome as Ganymede

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notturno

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.

 NOTTURNO
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
Premiere:
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