h.18.30 Steve Reich’s Electronic Debut (free admission lesson with Massimiliano Viel)
h.21 Concert, Auditorium San Fedele


Acousmatic Space IV

Christian Fennesz
for electric guitar and electronic disposals

Toru Takemitsu

Water Music (1960, 10’)

Denis Dufour 
La terre est ronde (2002, 11’)

Steve Reich
It’s Gonna Rain (1965, 18′)

Acousmatic interpretation: Giovanni Cospito

Sound engineer: Filippo Berbenni


Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz, one of the major personalities of international electronic music, came back in San Fedele to present an elaboration per acousmonium of his latest album “Agora”, released by Touch in 2019: an intimate work, entirely made in his own Viennese apartment, recording some tracks in the complete isolation of his headphones. The result is one of the most immersive journeys produced so far by the Austrian artist, as elementary as it is evocative in his shining sound expressionism. Like delicate chromatic stratifications of a frescoed surface, Fennesz almost always juxtaposes harmonic lines with other more harsh and colorless ones: they are the two souls of his electric guitar, whose shadow drags behind the pizzicato of the strings like an evanescent foam.

The evening was introduced by a triptych of historical works of electronic music from the 1960s to the beginning of the new millennium. Three works for magnetic tape with three distinct visions of electronic music. Water Music (1960) by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), known for the soundtracks of some films by A. Kurosawa, a unique work of musical theater in which electroacoustics and the choreography of traditional Japanese nō di theater are combined. Hisao Kanze. Takemitsu does not use recorded sounds of a performance nō but almost exclusively sound samples of drops of water, sometimes without modification, other times reworking them in the likeness of the Tsuzumi, a traditional Japanese percussion instrument. The structure takes up a non-metric, almost pointillistic vision. The recurrences of silence with irregular durations together with the oscillation of the melody of timbres between concrete and abstract sounds generate a unique musical tension.
This is followed by an opera from 2002 by the Lyons composer Denis Dufour: La terre est ronde, music that is not only lyrical, but playful, built with energy and clarity. The style of Dufour, initiator of the Motus acousmatic project, to which the Acousmonium SATOR  of the San Fedele Auditorium is linked, is characterized by the expressive approach of sound, heir to a baroque phrasing, where the plasticity of the figures, the fluidity, the impulses, suspensions, balances, oscillations, slips, plays of contrasts and lightness, the preciousness of speeches and ornaments contribute to the creation of singular and rare works. The composition of the sounds, colors, concatenations and articulations distinguish his works, their expressiveness, their voluntary and elegant lyricism, which does not exclude the use of free montages, characterized by an organized freedom, but in a certain sense “natural”.
Finally, It’s Gonna Rain (1965), the first song in the musical career of Steve Reich, one of the masters of American minimalism. The composer explains:

“At the end of 1964, I recorded on magnetic tape a black preacher, Brother Walter, who spoke about the biblical theme of the Flood in the park of Union Square in San Francisco: I was very impressed by the melodic quality of his speech, at the limits of singing. At the beginning of 1965 I began to compose loop tapes with his voice, which brought out the melodic qualities even more “.