Unexpected Word Space: the theater of sound
My latest work was a collaboration with the Italian composer Francesco Paradiso. Together with Massimo Marchi at AGON and the actress Adele Pellegatta, we have created a very singular performance of words and sounds based on a Finnegans Wake extract.
Of course there is a link between this work and that of Berio/Eco in the famous Thema, Omaggio a Joyce. We’ve honored it creating an 1950s electronica soundscape that well represented the paradigm of the RAI Studio era, but we headed on a different use of language. We didn’t chopped words, we used them taking care of their semantic value.
Adele Pellegatta read a chapter of Finnegans, while a 9 channels PA system is filled with delays and live electronics constantly moving in space and interacting with the voice. As a matter of fact each electronic event is controlled by the voice. The text itself is music, it has a vast number of onomatopeic sounds trough all the lyrics. Located across a river with an incredible number of words (or segments of words) that refer to rivers’ names, it is very clear that Finnegans Wake has an aquatic soundscape. For this reason the synthesis section and the delays were all imagined as “pictures” of water, or allegories to better say.
Unexpected Word Space by Francesco Paradiso
Excerpt from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
Concept and direction by Francesco Paradiso
Voice: Adele Pellegatta
Programming, sound design, live electronics: Giorgio Sancristoforo
Sound direction: Massimo Marchi
An AGON production