h.21 Auditorium San Fedele


Francesco Zago
When I’m Laid in Earth, Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Electric Guitar Phase, Steve Reich (1936)

Audio visual performance curated by Sam Williams, Paul Purgas and James Ginzburg

Acousmatic interpretation: Giovanni Cospito


In collaboration with S/V/N


Second appointment of the INNER_SPACES review conceived by San Fedele Musica and S/V/N/ in four appointments of electronic music and audiovisual art with live performances by Italian and international artists. Once again, historical works from the great repertoire stand side by side with current productions in a dialogue between past and present. In particular, the program develops two chiaroscuro aspects of electronic minimalism: on the one hand, the calibrated and dazzling phasing of Steve Reich, on the other, the dark noise minimalism of the Emptyset that interacts with live visuals structured on archetypal geometric figures.

In the FIRST PART, live performance by Francesco Zago, Italian composer and guitarist, with two songs: When I’m Laid in Earth by Henry Purcell and Electric Guitar Phase by Steve Reich. Music that belongs to very distant worlds – in time, in style, in musical “technology” – yet united by structure and language by repetition. The stubborn bass When I’m Laid in Earth is, in the enigmatic words of H. Purcell himself, “the bottom, the first layer, the canvas: it is education […] Education rhymes with destruction. And the destruction is enclosed in the pain that makes life as unacceptable as it is and only shows it as it should be ”. On the circularity of the ground Purcell erects his music, “a pure feeling of pain that, from the firm bass line, moves to the acute intensity of the melody”. In repetition and circularity, time stops being a line and becomes concentrated in one point: «One of the things music can do» says Brian Eno «is to distort your perception of time so that you don’t really care if things they slip away or are altered in some way ». Engaging, visceral, intense, Electric Guitar Phase is part of a cycle of compositions by Steve Reich on the perceptual phenomenon of phasing, which consists of overlapping and crossing a musical motif played by several sound sources, sometimes delaying one voice and thus generating melodic motifs. resulting. The perception of these resulting melodic motifs changes from one listener to another due to the diversity of the attention of each, as happens for example in the visual perception of optical illusion games. The piece is written for electric guitar and three guitars recorded on tape. In tonight’s version, the tape will be replaced by an algorithm devised by Giovanni Cospito to digitally reproduce the various mismatches of the motif played by the soloist.

The SECOND PART is an audiovisual performance in Milanese preview of Emptyset, a project set up by James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas that crosses the darkest boundaries of electronic minimalism. Working on performance, installation and moving image, the Bristol duo analyzes the physical properties of sound through electromagnetism, architecture and image processing processes. Their work starts from the legacy of analogue media to reflect on a structural artistic production and on the perceptual boundaries between noise and music. Emptyset will perform songs from their latest album Recur (raster-noton, 2013) and other studio material, through an audio-visual show in which analog audio processes will be reflected on visual processing in real time by visual artist Sam Williams, using UHF transmission signals and electromagnetically manipulating a cathode ray tube.