La scala non procede oltre

(2009) video and live electronics [7’ 02”]

Premiered at Conservatorio di musica “F.A.Bonporti”, Riva del Garda, November 21st 2010

Commissioned by Conservatorio di musica “F.A.Bonporti” di Trento, sede di Riva del Garda

The macrocosm staircase corresponds to the different cognitive faculties: sense, imagination, reason,  discernment, understanding, word. The staircase can’t go any further because…

This work was commissioned by “F.A. Bonporti” Music Conservatory in Trento (Riva del Garda department) in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, in honour of the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s first use of the telescope for astronomical observation.

Considering several aspects of our times I think that we are living in an era similar to the Middle Age, so far from the scientific revolutions of XVII Century. Therefore I have realized in sounds and images the Aristotle and Tolomeo’s point of view, where the Earth is the centre of the Universe.

That is why:

  • flat and stiff images alternate on the screen with curved and flexible surfaces;
  • I am using almost entirely blue color (blue stars are the closest to Earth);
  • I am using as sound materials only small excerpts from instrumental (i.e. acoustic) music of the XX Century. It is very usual to make a connection in our mind between electronic sounds and sounds coming from the outer space. For me the sounds in this work represent what one can hear when orbits the Earth.

The music I am playing with all these music is an homage to John Cage, who wrote the closest music to a starry sky. All the sounds are performed in real time changing its pitch and duration according a random numbers generator. The performer is on charge of the musical structure according her/his own “taste”: from very sparse to very dense. Thus there are ideally infinite versions of La scala non procede oltre, or better still as many stars there are in the sky or even better as many stars the human being can discover in the Universe.

My thanks to Luciano Berio, Anthony Braxton, John Cage, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Dumitru Fărcaş, Morton Feldman, Charlie Haden, German Kuular, Bruno Maderna, Olivier Messiaen, Charles Mingus, Harry Partch, Andrei Popa, Steve Reich, Alexander Salchak, Giacinto Scelsi, Robert Schumann, Salvatore Sciarrino, Fernando Sor, Edgar Varése, Lui Pui-Yuen, Iannis Xenakis, wishing that copying the Masters out within our hermitages will help to prepare a New Renaissance.