fbpx Biennale Musica 2023 | Joanna Bailie - 1979 / Fausto Romitelli - Professor Bad Trip
La Biennale di Venezia

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Joanna Bailie - 1979 / Fausto Romitelli - Professor Bad Trip

1979:for eight musicians, video projection and electronics *
Year/Length:2023, 45’, world premiere
Commission:La Biennale di Venezia, Donaueschinger Musiktage, festival rainy days (Luxembourg), Wien Modern, Ictus, De Bijloke
PROFESSOR BAD TRIP:Lesson I, 1998 - for eight instruments and electronics; Lesson II, 1999 - for ten instruments; Lesson III, 2000 - for ten instruments *
Ensemble *:Ictus


1979 is inspired by the short story Goethe speaks into the phonograph by the German writer Salomo Friedlaender, published in 1916. It concerns the story of a professor who endeavours to capture Goethe's voice and reproduce it, in order to impress his loved one. His experiment is based on the theory that no sound in a space is ever really truly lost. What would we hear in a space then, if we could pump up the volume of everything that ever sounded in it? Joanna Bailie’s 1979 stages this very theoretical idea. The history of a space is truncated through a kind of sonic equivalent of time-lapse photography into a 45 minute-performance.

In 1997, Fausto Romitelli began composing the first Lesson of the cycle Professor Bad Trip. From the beginning, the work, which would require many years to complete, was conceived as the initial panel in an ambitious “psychedelic” triptych resembling an aesthetic manifesto. The project was both audacious and perfectly clear: take the power of rock music with its saturated sonorities – an entire spectrum of violence that had previously seemed impossible to integrate with the written codes of classical music – and make it appear as if by magic, like a genie from a lamp, in the high-precision universe of modern music. In this, Romitelli was determined to make no concessions. The wild ride of Professor Bad Trip can be understood as a celebration of transgressive energy; despite its darkness, the work is bursting at the seams with ideas and breathes an adolescent joy, the joy of inventing, of going to the limits, of daring to become oneself.

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Biennale Musica
Biennale Musica