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THE WORK:

“Secessioni” is a musical piece in three acts that, as the title suggests, is in continuous pursuit of detachment. The word that gives name to the piece derives from the Latin verb “secedĕre,” composed of the prefix “se,” indicating separation, and “cedĕre,” translatable as distancing or transformation.

The work aims to allegorically retrace a story where the evolution of sounds of all kinds – human, acoustic, and synthetic – represents that of the cosmic origin and human life on Earth. From an initial big bang, sound propagates, engaging the audience, which perceives it in its absolute materiality. This acousmatic sonic flow gradually takes shape and generates an accessible microcosm for listening; the sound then becomes that of the origin, the “urklang,” which follows its own evolutionary process until it reaches harmony and musicality for human perception.

“Secessioni” narrates the necessary detachment of things from their origin, moving from the past towards the future and from the center towards the peripheries, ensuring their evolution. For the realization of this work, the composer deepens the conception of sound and harmony, acknowledging its historical debt to the latest true avant-gardes of musical composition of the 20th century, bringing them together in what could be defined as a post-avant-garde that eludes its own task. “Neuf Voix” investigates the fundamental elements of musical composition, delving into both the “microscopic” structure of sound and that of harmony and counterpoint. Classical and electronic music are entwined in a “dialectical interweaving” to give life to a personal and peculiar language that escapes precise stylistic categorization. Dodecaphony, microtonality, pantonality, and tonality are inserted into the same context, generating a new sonic truth that encourages the listener to explore multiple harmonic spaces and timbral singularities, and to step out of the comfortable darkness of their inner cave. “Neuf Voix” seeks artistic progress through the recovery of the historical-artistic flow from which its contemporaneity arises, to be a voice that continues the discourse rather than the silence that interrupts it.

“Secessioni” also represents a reversal in the allocation of tasks. Each sonic reality undergoes detachment from its historical nature. In the composition, indeed, the acoustic component, namely the sound of classical instruments, is used in experimentation, while the electronic one – usually known for its technical potential in experimental contexts – is placed as a solid “foundation” upon which the rest of the composition rests.

The work was created in synergy with expert classical musicians and thanks to the use of complex sound generation and manipulation machines. Among these is the modular synthesizer designed and personally constructed by the composer using old electronic components produced in Germany between the 1970s and 1980s.

THE ACTS:

The first act narrates the primordial formation of a new sound world. Starting from a sterile and unexplored context, extremely raw forms of “sonotà” gradually appear. These relate to each other in an inconclusive and atonal manner, still in a “non-musical” phase, forming a growing state of chaos until reaching an explosion that causes the birth of a first clumsy harmony of electronic instruments.

In the second act, we find ourselves on this young planet populated by musical instruments still in search of their full musicality. Some appear more structured and melodic, while others are more awkward or weak, representing life forms in different states of evolution. Each of them, like in any human historical epoch, struggles to prevail over the other with its own singular development.

The act concludes with the achievement of a harmonious coexistence between piano and 4-voice polysynth, serving as a prelude to the main act.

The third act is the longest and most representative of the opera, where we are involved in an anxious and complex play with harmonic perception. Here we find electronic sequences constantly orbited by fantasies of classical instruments, engaged in a sinusoidal distancing and approaching from the harmony of the main sequence. This play intensifies gradually with the progressive increase in both the amplitude of the sine wave and the number of notes in the electronic sequence, repeatedly touching the harmonic limits of the composition itself.

Eclectic soprano voices and bizarre percussion enrich the act, creating an extremely original and immersive sonic experience.

POETICS:

“Secessioni” lives in the spark that triggers detachment and in that chaotic matter seeking its form.

Detachment from the new conception of “musical experimentation.” Today reduced to the meaning of mere aesthetic-musical attempt. Experimentation, whose exercise is too often reduced to casually letting oneself go into the infinite chaos of combinatorial possibilities, hoping that one of these might guarantee innovation. Even worse is the current use of the word “experimental” in certain musical contexts to indicate work totally opposite to its meaning, due to the standardization of a market that has labeled as “experimental” the simple use of electronic sounds without considering the compositional context that should be the true central element. Experimentation must be an exercise of thought, nourished by study and culture, and must return to its traditional belonging to Serious Music. It must be the skillful hand of the blacksmith who knows where to strike the iron, not the smoke that clouds his eyes.

Detachment from the conception of “compositional technique as dogma.” Every possible technical tradition is a tool in the hands of the composer, a piece seeking its place and must be able to help pour one’s sensitivity into art. It must not, as some believe, constitute a prohibition of what is other, different, detached, at least not when this other is capable of enriching and regenerating it. Technique must instead be a color, able to stand beside the right similar one that completes it.

Detachment from the laws of the “music market” and from conceiving artwork as a consumer product, involving it in that “use and throw away” mentality that permeates everything in the contemporary world and plays into the hands of those who are committed to emptying every kind of artistic object from its claim to meaning. Because meanings can fill the mind for too long and are therefore contrary to the need to spend little time “using” and much time “throwing away.”

Finally, detachment from contemporary thinking, accustomed to distancing Truth through the continuous suspension of the seriousness necessary for the interpretation of things. An attitude that condemns us to look at the reality around us with disdain, as if it were something we possess but are not responsible for. “Secessioni,” in this sense, would like to be a reunion with Reality.

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