For about one year now, the Swiss Institute in Rome has been organizing artistic programming with the goal of testing the potential and the role of art today. This means focusing on practices that can influence reality, taking a problematic view of identities and relationships in order to construct new models and new institutions.
To change habits, to draw on different cultural ambits, to make a break with pre-set social constructs; these are the orientations of the Syncope music series. In music, syncopation means a particular rhythm produced by shifting the accent of a beat; in literature the syncope is a figure of speech that gives rise to poetic forms; in medicine, it means a sudden loss of consciousness, a fainting spell.
This suspension has been interpreted as a model with which to challenge our way of understanding space and time through perception and listening. An attempt to put aside the traditional models of musical production and consumption and to rethink reality, in this transitional void, along with the cognitive and institutive processes with which we decipher and represent it. Through an osmotic process in which cultured languages mix with so-called popular ones, formal with informal, a common ground can be found and a new social dimension capable of bringing together different cultural needs and different audiences.
The goal is not to make diversities converge on a generic, general plane, but to conserve the differences, accentuating and, if anything, challenging them through exaggerations that take art’s impulse for excess into account.
This is why we have shaken up genres and linguistic codes, forcing the dynamics of performance and listening, reconfiguring the traditional places and times of musical production and enjoyment. And this is why we have proposed, starting over again, from history, certain contemporary artistic experiences that have broken the circle of harmony and tradition to reach more concrete sounds of reality.
From the press release:
“The program begins with TAM TUUMB! One Hundred Years of the Art of Noises, coordinated by Francesco de Figueiredo and Valerio Mattioli, with international performers like Cut Hands, Aaron Dilloway, Skullflower, Andy Guhl, Teho Teardo, Dave Phillips, Antoine Chessex, Die Schachtel. Starting with the points of the manifesto of Russolo from 1913, TAM TUUMB! identifies the contemporary heirs that have interpreted them best, reaching surprising solutions and result s that go beyond mere sound effects, reconnecting to the authentic spirit of the Italian Futurist: that of “enrich[ing] men with a new voluptuousness they did not suspect existed”. In particular, from the start of the 2000s on, the most heretical circuits of underground music have gone through a true noise Renaissance, whose impact has been unprecedented in the balances of the new “extra – academic musics”, whether derived from electronics, rock or generic experimental research. TAM TUUMB! is a chance to take stock of an exciting phenomenon, with unpredictable impact on the musical evolution of the new millennium, while paying tribute to one of the most revolutionary, visionary and far – sighted forefathers of the Italian avant – garde , widely acclaimed abroad though curiously overlooked in his native land.
Noir, coordinated by Denis Schuler, is a concert in total darkness where the musicians of the Ensemble Vide are not visible to the audience. During the performance, without neglecting any nook or cranny, a “sonic world” delicately fills the void, making the perception of the music global, as in listening to sighs and silences. The musical experience thus conceived eliminates sight to concentrate on experience of space through sound, also thanks to the installation of the hall, created by the architects Susann Vécsey and Christoph Schmidt, members of the ISR 2012/2013. The research of Denis Schuler, one of the founders of Ensemble Vide, on the creative potential of absence – of sound, light and the senses – is developed in three other, subsequent events, which from Villa Maraini will spread to other places in the city: Extension, which through Quartet No.2 (1983) by the American minimalist composer Morton Feldman investigates the dilated experience of musicians and audience, in a concert that lasts five hours, with the Black Mountain String Quartet; La Piazza, with a true installation of musicians positioned inside the microcosm of a square in the San Lorenzo district: different groups play a repertoire mixing the usual classifications, offering a presence that is simultaneously sculptural and sonic, with the aim of “revealing situations”; finally, Missing Objects, imagined with Ensemble Vide and devoted to the pursuit of the void as a possibility of making something else appear. An unprecedented opportunity to discover the Chiostro del Bramante hypogeum, as an invisible place that encourages “negative” reflection to imagine a public space of sharing, without walls.”