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IL CIELO DI PIETRA w/ Duo Bottasso | audiovisual | 2020

“That was when the trap was sprung: beyond the mouth of the crater the air vibrated in a continuous manner, or rather in a continuous manner that contained several discontinuous ways of vibrating. It was a sound that filled out, then faded, then increased in volume again, and in these modulations it followed an invisible pattern that stretched out in time like a succession of full and empty intervals. Other vibrations were superimposed on these, which were sharp and well separated from one another, but they blended into a drone that sounded now sweet, now bitter. As they countered or accompanied the course of the deeper sound, they created a kind of sonorous circle or field or domain. My immediate instinct was to escape from that circle, and return to the padded denseness: and I slid inside the crater. But in the same instant Rdix had run up the precipice towards where the sound came from and, before I could hold her back, had gone beyond the mouth of the crater.” Italo Calvino, COSMICOMICS

“Il Cielo di Pietra” is an odyssey between two worlds: the world of silence, of depth, of darkness, the inside world– and the surface, the teeming Earth. The upside-down, fearless and visionary travel of our Euridice, who is taken away from the earth’s depths to go up to the surface and finally see “the light,” our Euridice remains trapped on the earth. Inspired by Orfeo myth, upended by Calvino in his “Stone Sky,” we will look for Euridice, that echo of silence from which everything is born, lost in the dense, full and wonderful surface world. 

“The Stone Sky” is a musical, visual and sonic show created with archival footage from the eld of cinematographic experimentation. The music dialogues with the images, and the images are formed by music and sound. The result is a journey in which the narration is lost and finds itself again in matter, in sounds, in dejà-vù images and melodies perhaps already heard. A multiform and primordial material that brings with it, its own story, but already contains its possible interpretations and readings: the audience is never passive, like in the first cinema projections where the music was played live, where a voiceover might burst in, the film could “skip” or catch fire and the material of the nitrate film itself takes over the foreground while narration and music fade into the background. Thus the film becomes the protagonist, the master of the scene.

“Il Cielo di Pietra” is an audiovisual show created with archival footage from the field of cinematographic experimentation, commissioned by the Swiss festival Alpentoene in 2019. The frames, all coming from the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam, have been selected by Cosenude Media Projects among the works of directors Segundo de Chomon, Georges Méliès, JC Mol, who experimented with colors, special effects and investigation of the details…

As a tribute to the first cinema projections where the music was played live, where a voiceover might burst in, the film could “skip” or catch fire and the material of the nitrate film itself take over the foreground, this performance is not a live sonorization of a movie but the visuals become the fourth element that performs on stage. The three artists composed the music and the show enhancing the visionary approach of the directors of those movies; they process the films with modern digital and play with the degradation that time operated over the film material.

Duo Bottasso & Simone Sims Longo won in 2019 the “Premio Loano per la musica tradizionale italiana”: <<everything has begun from a button accordion and a violin, with the dancing traditional music of the Occitan valleys of Italy. The Duo Bottasso has grown up, studied and performed with musicians from all over the world and extended the sound of their instruments with electronics, until they met the sound designer Simone Sims Longo. If this is the folk music of the future, we’re looking forward to it. >> As a trio, they performed in MACRO – Museo Arte Contemporanea (Roma), Torino Fringe Festival, Festival Ethnos (Naples), Kalternpop (Bolzano), Alpentoene (CH).