In a middle Summer night imagine to tune your radio and getting something
inusual. Many voices coming live all together from different places of the world.
They give information about places in the city: streets, corners, croassroads, light,
people, the colour of the houses. Voices are connected - concatenated - i.e. a voice
in Hebrew starts telling a story which is token by a voice in Italian which goes on
with the narration.
Those voices come from everywhere: houses, streets, public places, buses. All this through wireless telephones.
Through these voice are fragments of a lyrical text also translated into several languages. This text is like a red line throughout the entire piece. It uses part of the descriptive sentences (with very daily language) and combines these in a lyrical way.
The voices and the instruments pass each others fragments of melodies on top of a slow tempo, a beat present mostly of the time in the composition. Some voices with 'geographical information' are also sampled and tuned with the live instruments. They're used in the piece building up rhythmical patterns according with the main beat of the piece. Other sampled materials are specific radio sounds (signature tunes, speakers...) and sounds coming from transmission technologies i.e. fax or modem connection signals and also voices scanned from the sky.
What kind of music organizes all this? Well... just music! How to label music which is born without - and against - categories? Imagine a combination of new music techniques, slow tempos like the dub or the Doina ones, electric instruments typical of rock culture, string quartet, wind and brass instruments, and voices. Lots of voices talking, singing, reading, screaming working in a melismatic way on top of this forrest of electric and acoustical sounds moving around.
An innovative exchange between contemporary music, traditional music from Eastern, Middle Eastern, Balcanian areas, avantgarde, popular music with inserts of ambient and industrial materials.
The first level of the piece is somehow 'easy' to access. The regular beat, the presence of tonality. But together with this are other different - more experimental - levels. The overimposition of those floors builds up the entire piece. Transforming this stream of information in a rather complex live höerspiel.
Imagine to be surrounded by all those sounds in a roman theatre: modernity and archaicity, digital and analog where the stone reflects all the voices, and words, and melodies. Imagine that the sound goes around the public. Always moving, phasing, deplacing. And imagine that all this is broadcasted across Europe, available world-wide to everybody also through computer networks such as the Internet. Some of the same voices, the same sounds can be heard any time also before and after the performance. They can be edited, collected, used for other purposes, broadcasted freely.
And imagine that - during the performance - you at home, or in any place where a computer and a radio are, you can interact and play with the piece. Play together with all those voices which are travelling from one corner to another of the world. And you can choose your sounds and play: SHPIL!.
Shpil with that mixing what is on air with your acoustical wishes. You can also tape it and listen afterwards. That's your own piece maybe performed in front of other people, with a public. That's your own tape with the music you produced.
The text is a connection between different places but not only. It is also a connection between different times evocated in the description of the places. The narration, the tale, is a raid through the events sometimes fully described, sometimes just alluded, sometimes only supposed. It happens that the border between the so called 'true' and so called 'fake' is more and more inconsistent. And also the position of 'real' things in the stream of time gets more and more ambiguous.
It is created a carpet where even the 'Facts of History' can be seen from a fictional point of view. This, to show the partiality of history where the record of events is not only partial but also designed in order to be interpreted according to a already planned sketch.
Imagine being in Arles on July 27 1996 at 23.00 where is created a
theatrical set completely digital. Made out of images coming live from
Cologne. Close-ups of human bodies, details of hands, skin. Greatly
enlarged images to show the pixel structure of it. Slow motion. Mostly
black and white. And together with Cologne contribution we have realtime
shooting from the performance in Arles and also images from webcameras
around the world.
It's a living electronic set continuosly changing during the piece.
Well... evocating all this, you're getting closer and closer to SHPIL, a very special event.