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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Music EN (new)


Harp of Light

24 and 25 September
Teatro alle Tese at 7:00 p.m.
Interactive sound and light installation, composed of 11 “strings” of laser light 10 meters long
by Pietro Pirelli, Gianpietro Grossi and Francesco Murano
An installation made of sounds and visions, a large harp of light that extends its laser-strings through Sansovino’s sixteenth-century columns, turning the Teatro alle Tese in the Arsenale into a large musical instrument, which at the mere passage of the public simultaneously provokes visual and sound effects, so that seeing and hearing coincide in the same gesture.
Harp music is the preferred music of the gods, because it is the expression of the harmony of celestial spheres. This sound, makes us turn our eyes upward, like Pythagoras, to discover that our musical action also produces a wonderful series of light effects.
Created by musician and performer Pietro Pirelli, Arpa di Luce is a light sculpture and at the same time a polyphonic musical instrument, a harp composed of rays of laser light that generates sounds and extraordinary visual effects when the rays are touched with the hands, the body or any other object. It can be an instrument in the performance of a musician, but can also be played by the public.
An invention, as well as a work of art, an extraordinary instrument for a poetic interpretation of a space, and the creation of interesting methods of interaction with the people that “touch” it. The contact may be direct with the hands but various objects can also be used, including a large pendulum that swings between the laser strings.
The technical development by engineer Gianpietro Grossi was complemented by the work of composer Pietro Pirelli, assisted on Max software by Davide Tiso and Antonello Raggi from Agon. In addition to experimenting with the sounds that could be produced by the laser strings, Pirelli studied ways to add musical variety and interest to the new gestures that are created and the way the public might activate the instrument. The software also helped to develop the musical path based on the oscillating motion of the pendulum, the arm of which touches the strings of the Harp of Light, creating a soft and hypnotic musical composition.
Arpa di lucewas developed for the Lisbon Biennial in 2008 and sited on the large arch that leads to the Praha do Commercio in Lisbon. In April 2010 it was presented at the Luminale Frankfurt for Luces Light Art from Italy. In autumn of the same year it was shown at Artandgallery Milano (Soundlight). In May of this year the sculpture was resonating in the Rocca Paolina in Perugia (Perugia greendays 2011).
Pietro Pirelli (Rome – Italy, 1954). A composer and performer of music with various combinations of instruments and electronics, for concerts and for the theatre, ballet, installations, film and video. For several years his performances, though centred on sound, include light and visual arts and relate strongly to the architecture they are contained in. He has collaborated with: Living Theatre of New York, Fondazione Morra Naples, Mittelfest, Strade del Cinema, Festival Musica Strasbourg, LuzBoa, Egri Bianco Danza, Philippe Daverio, Pinuccio Sciola, Paolo Fresu, Elena Bucci and Massimo Cacciari, Telecom Progetto Italia, Arte Fiera Bologna, MiArt, Baff Busto Arsizio, Milano Musica, Innovation Cultura Udine, AterForum Ferrara, Ravenna Festival, Outis, Festival. He has worked in: the Mam in San Paolo, the National Theatre in Lisbon, MoMa in New York, Villa Panza di Biumo, Permanente-Palazzo Reale- Triennale-Stadio San Siro, Castello Sforzesco, Spazio Krizia and Parco Nord in Milan; the Sassi in Matera, the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi, the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti in Palermo, the Accademia Filarmonica of Verona, Rocca Brancaleone in Ravenna, Campus Tiscali in Cagliari, Festival Rilke Sierre. His works include: Vertical Circular, a musical composition concept written directly on the map of great architectural or natural spaces (; Pietre Sonore, Il Suono Liberato, generated by the exploration of the extraordinary expressive universe of the Pietre Sonore by Pinuccio Sciola; Trittico dell'Acqua Solida, three interactive installations for the historic ice houses in Cazzago Brabbia, for which he won the award Scritture d’Acqua 2011 together with visual artist Claudio Parmiggiani; Sinfonia Tessile, an exploration into the rhythms of the weaving machines ("el arte del tejido en movimento" with Luca Missoni, Madrid); Idrofoni e idrofanie, lamps sensitive to sound and a series of visual works deriving from them in collaboration with designer Carlo Forcolini. The Idrofoni were presented in installation form at Bologna ArteFiera 2010, at the Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto 2010, at the Ex Borsa Merci in Perugia (progettare il futuro 2010), etc.