A quick bit of background on this event: earlier this year the Institute of Italian Culture and the VCAM school of Music held a series of workshops hosted by Carlo Forlivesi as part of the composition competition “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space”, for which all the participants selected a poem by an Italian poet from a list provided, and composed a work inspired by the text. The intention of the competition was to celebrate the Italian language, as well as mark the centenary of the founding of the Italian Futurist movement. Following the workshops three finalists were selected from the participants, Chiaki Kato, Mike Solomon and myself, and the ensemble Quiver prepared the work s for performance at the final culmination of the process: today’s concert at Iwaki Auditorium.
This afternoon Quiver (Aviva Endean, Jessica Fotinos, Rebecca Lane, Luke Paulding, Matthias Schack-Arnott) delivered a pretty amazing performance premiering Kato’s “Alti Alati”, Solomon’s “granini di luce beccuciati da uccelli di silenzio” and my piece “5 Epigrams”. A special mention should also go to Flavia Coassin and Tindaro Di Luca for their recitations of the poetry, and of course thanks to the main organisers Dr Stefano Fossati and Dr Donna Coleman. The concert was recorded by the ABC and hopefully I’ll soon have some audio to put on here, at least an excerpt. I believe I also saw someone there videoing the event, and hopefully I can get hold of a copy as audio only wouldn’t really do the piece justice, there being a lot of visual performance elements.
As for my piece itself I’m glad I had such dedicated performers working on it, digging into the text of the poem and my research on the Futurist movement took me out on a limb with a few of the ideas I threw in there and being the excellent performers they are Quiver made it work. What follows is the text from the preamble that Dr Coleman read out before the piece.
“This piece picks out what I found to be the most vivid phrases in each
section of Ventroni’s text, and responds to and illustrates them
aurally and peformatively. These at times confronting images and the
abstract mode of their combination formed the foundation of this
piece, upon which I composed my own poem in sound.
At a fundamental level inspiration was also taken from the rhythms of
Ventroni’s language in the original and in translation, and from the
very idea of translation itself, which as an English speaker was
unavoidable in dealing with the text and which became very important
to me in making this work.”