Performing: Lyskamm Quartet

Commission: Est-Ovest Festiva, Premiere Turin, Genoa October 2014

String quartet, video, tapes & live-electronics

 

 

Sample score - Download

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SILENT QUARTET is the story of a journey. The journey of people - men and women of different ages and nationalities - whose silent faces, large and in the foreground, are shown looking towards the viewer: all share a journey of emigration, are the faces of people who have a story to tell and that become the symbol of this path.

ON STAGE, the music of the string quartet observes the characters on the screen who recall their own experiences and personal stories to create a journey not only geographical but also psychological. The story does not take place, however, in words: it's the glances, gestures, nuances of expression that tell and pass on what the memory retraces while the music, like an outside spectator, tries to comment, reflect and decipher their inner worlds.

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THE PUBLIC is personally involved in this performance by having to decode the messages conveyed by music and images. Just by looking, a relationship of deep intimacy is established with the large faces projected on the screen. Who are they? Where do they come from? What have they gone through? The viewer is confronted in this way with the impossibility of narrative itself: the images, descriptive in nature, do not reveal anything reminiscent of the protagonists.

THE VIEWER is confronted in this way with the impossibility of narrative itself: the images, descriptive in nature, do not reveal anything reminiscent of the protagonists.

 

 

THE MUSIC, simultaneously accompanying the story, is evocative but not explicit, generating an underlying tension between the said and the unsaid. The string quartet - the traditional instruments of Western music - tries throughout the work to decrypt through different sonorities the identity of faces projected onto the screen, which, in their silence, become unsolvable puzzles. Almost to the end, the string quartet avoids a musical and cultural commentary in full.

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Lyskamm Quartet: Cecilia Ziano - violin, Clara Franziska Schötensack - violin, Francesca Piccioni - viola, Giorgio Casati, cello

SILENT QUARTET, becomes a kind of "anti-soundtrack" : on the one hand it may be interpreted as a musical interpretation of the images that scroll across the screen, on the other hand it is like a projection of the viewer itself. By creating an ambiguous and irresolvable relationship, a heartbreaking tension between familiarity and strangeness , between narration and ineffability.

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The search for parallels and points of contact between different cultural and musical traditions is one of the leitmotifs of the experiments by Yuval Avital who, by interpreting ancient languages in a contemporary way, tries to create a new vocabulary of sound. The dialogue between traditional instruments and multimedia creates a composition rich in ideas and reflections, thereby creating a complex reality that remains elusive to the end.

Thus enters a process of abstraction: the initial intimacy becomes estrangement from personal experience and the narrative becomes the archetypal story of a journey that takes on universal characteristics. His protagonists are ordinary people and, at the same time, modern heroes engaged in a Jungian way on the path of life and self-realization.

 

 

 

Lyskamm Quartet:

Cecilia Ziano - violin, Clara Franziska Schötensack - violin, Francesca Piccioni - viola, Giorgio Casati, cello