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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Music EN (new)



Friday 30 September at 6:00 p.m.
Concert hall of the Conservatorio B. Marcello
Andrea Agostini (1975) Gli atomi che s’accendevano e radiavano for baritone saxophone and electronics (2009, 7’) Italian premiere
Eric Maestri (1980) Ritratto vivente for violin and electronics (2010, 7’) Italian premiere
Francesca Verunelli (1979) Interno rosso con figure for accordion and electronics (2009) Italian premiere
Daniele Ghisi (1984) Comment pouvez-vous lire à présent? Il fait nuit for saxophone and electronics (2009, 10’) Italian premiere
saxophone Ilario Morciano, Roberto Favaro (Ensemble L’arsenale)
violin Georgia Privitera (Ensemble L’arsenale)
accordion Anthony Millet
This is the second appointment for the music created under the aegis of IRCAM, which belongs to a universe of sound that has made experimentation with computers its strong point, this time with a quartet of Italian composers.
After O-zone, performed by RepertorioZero, Andrea Agostini is the first of the Italian composers invited to the IRCAM concert, presenting Gli atomi che s’accendevano e radiavano, a piece that he himself defines as ambiguous. For the “instrumental jazz virtuosity that opens up to an eminently rhythmic use of electronics, with luminous and aggressive sounds that look without restraint to the language of popular music. But there is an underlying rigour – specifies Agostini – in the formalization of the structures and the use of frequency analysis techniques to pursue a grey area between pitch and harmony, an old dream of the spectral school”.
Ritratto vivente by Eric Maestri has a particular background: it was generated “by a misunderstanding – reveals the author. Which was created, and often happens, in the transition to the practical act. The basic idea was to work with both instrumental sound and electronic sound, characterizing both of them by the difference between acoustic and electronic. The sounds are almost always synthetic sounds, generated by Max/MSP. The sound of the violin was to be light and transparent, verging on the wind blowing, in certain parts. The result of the work is actually quite different. The electronics provide the ambient timbre, the violin on the contrary is hard and dry. Between the initial idea and the final result came the phase of the relationship with the performer, whom I grew to know little by little, realizing that the sound I had envisioned wasn’t right for him, and that it would have been contradictory to send him onstage with a certain score… What started for me as Natura vivente, the original title, became a Ritratto vivente, a living portrait of the performer. For me this was an exercise in portrayal through music and hence the beginning of a work in progress on the relationship between sound and its psychological substance. The electronics stand alone, an instrument as such, they are what makes the speakers vibrate, or specifically, determines a sound source. The space of music is fully frontal, so that the sound plane merges between the acoustic and the electronic”.
Winner of the Silver Lion at the last Music Biennale with Vittorio Montalti, Francesca Verunelli presents the piece that she wrote during the course she attended at IRCAM: Interno rosso con figure for accordion and electronics.
“An interior is a place, a room, but also an instrumental body – she writes about her piece. And like all bodies it is an unfamiliar place. The accordion exists in a very ample space, between the almost sinusoidal sounds of the high register and the rough and concrete sounds of the low register. I tried to cancel the memory of this familiar instrument and to imagine it in a different memory, in artificial time. And in this sense of the loss of familiar references, in learning a new geography, we discover that time has changed consistency. This music is the story of a loss, and its geometry”.
The music of Daniele Ghisi draws inspiration from his passion for mathematics, a subject in which he graduated with honours in Milan (2006) and which drives his interest in the formal connections between the two disciplines, orienting his research towards the field of “Musical Set Theory”, and in particular the study of the algebraic and combination properties of interval and multi-interval structures. He participated in the Music Biennale in 2008 with Le carte di Pòlya, a reference to the Hungarian mathematician György Pólya, but this time Ghisi’s inspiration is exclusively literary and its very title quotes a verse from the last act of Rostand’s Cyrano: Comment pouvez-vous lire à present? Il fait nuit. “This is one of the most intense moments – says Ghisi – in this famous play, the moment in which Roxanne understands that Cyrano is not actually reading Christian’s last letter, but is reciting it by heart (‘How can you read now? The night is falling’ would be the literal translation of the title, and the crucial moment in the play). In this epiphany, Roxanne reinterprets everything that happened in a new light, from a new point of view. Nothing will ever be the same again, but it is too late. The pieces reflects the contrast between ‘before’ and ‘after’ in the opposition (and interpolation) between two ideas. The first is an essentially rhythmic idea, that focuses attention on micro-gestures and on the tight relationship between the soft tones of the saxophone’s slap and the fine timbric work of the electronics. The second idea is a sort of reflected image of the first, powerfully centred on sound spatialization, where the sound of the saxophone brings to life a universe of “sound spinning tops”. The soft delicate colours in general turn the piece into a nocturne”.
Francesca Verunelli (Pietrasanta – Italy, 1979) studied composition with R.Mirigliano and piano at the Conservatorio L.Cherubini in Florence. She attended summer sessions at the Accademia Chigiana (2004/05) where her music was performed and she won the Emma Conestabile scholarship. In 2005 she enrolled in Azio Corghi’s master course at the Accademia Santa Cecilia, where she earned her diploma (2007). In November the same year the ensemble Freon performed her piece Luminal at the Auditorium in Rome. She participated in the 2007 edition of the Centre Acanthes in Metz; her work En Mouvement (Espace Double) was performed by the Orchestre National de la Lorraine conducted by Jacques Mercier. In 2008 she was selected to participate in the International Forum of the Aleph ensemble, and created RSVP. The same year she attended the Cursus in Composition and Computer Music at IRCAM which ended with the creation of Interno rosso con figure for accordion and electronics and she was commissioned to write a composition for an orchestra of cellos for the Nomos ensemble, who performed it in March 2010. In 2009 she was selected to attend the second year of the Cursus at IRCAM, where she wrote a piece for the Ensemble InterContemporain, performed in October 2010 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She has received commissions from the KDM and Accroche Note ensembles.
Daniele Ghisi (Trescore Balneario – Bergamo – Italy, 1984) graduated with a degree in mathematics from the Università di Milano Bicocca in 2006. Starting in 1997 he studied composition at the Istituto pareggiato G. Donizetti in Bergamo first with A. Colla, then with S. Gervasoni, earning his diploma in 2007 and the J.S.Mayr award. He has participated in many seminars on composition with Billone, Solbiati, Corghi, Lachenmann, in particular at the IEMA with George Benjamin and the Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, 2005) and the Voix Nouvelles with Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Jarrell and François Paris (Royaumont 2006). He has won acknowledgments in various national and international competitions, including second prize at the Bucchi Competition, first prize at the Sindici Competition, and the Rotary award. In 2008 he participated in and was selected for the “Franco Donatoni” International Meeting for Young Composers. He has received commissions from various ensembles, including the Divertimento Ensemble (Le Carte di Pòlya), and the Festival Archipel (Versso Snàm-da-én). In 2008-2009 he was one of the composers selected to participate in the Cursus I Ircam in Paris. At the same time he was composer-in-residence for the Transforme session at Royaumont. In 2009-2010 he was selected for a residency in Berlin at the Akademie der Künste.
Eric Maestri (Nancy, 1980) studied composition in Brescia, with Nunzio Scibilia and later in Turin in Gilberto Bosco’s class, graduating in 2006. He completed advanced studies with Ivan Fedele at the Conservatory in Strasbourg. In parallel, he earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Turin, with Maurizio Ferraris, writing a thesis on Husserl and Derrida and in musicology at Strasbourg. He was selected for Acanthes 2007 and 2008, was a finalist at Gaudeamus Music Week 2008, by the Xenia Ensemble 2007, Darmstadt 2010, IRCAM reading panel 2009 and 2010 (Cursus 1 and 2), he won an honourable mention at the Aberdeen MusicPrize 2005 and in 2008 won the Moving'Up scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Culture and the SACEM 2009 award. He has attended master classes with Yan Maresz, Michael Jarrell, Salvatore Sciarrino and Brian Ferneyhough. His pieces have been performed by Imaginaire-Strasburgo, musikFabrik, Quartetto Prometeo, Insomnio-Utrecht, l'Arsenale-Treviso, Choeur de chambre de Strasbourg, ON Lorraine-Metz, Berlin PianoPercussion-Berlin, Xenia-Torino, Refrain, at the Festival Agora-Ircam 2011, Fondazione Spinola-Banna per l'arte 2011, Konzerthaus Berlin 2010, Cité de la musique de Strasbourg 2010, Darmstadt Ferienkurse 2010, Akyoshiday Summer 2009, Acanthes 2007 and 2008, Metz, EstOvest 2007 Turin, Gaudeamus Music-Week 2008, Amsterdam, Meridien-ISCM 2008 Bucarest. Since 2011 he has been on scholarship with the Fondazione Desono for Music. His music is published by Edizioni Suvini Zerboni.