A leading figure of Arte povera, an Italian artistic movement of the 1960’s-70’s characterised by the use of so-called “poor”, unstable, fragile materials (such as frost, vapour, or lichen), Pier Paolo Calzolari is the subject of an exhibition at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. To initiate a dialogue between visual art that registers the passing of time and the music of our time, Printemps des Arts has commissioned three composers to write three scores for three solo instruments – nine pieces that will respond to nine works by the Italian artist in a concert that will stroll along the thread of the ephemeral.
The musical pieces that will be created as part of the “Casa ideale” exhibition at Monaco’s Nouveau Musée National will enable to establish a connection with Pier Paolo Calzolari’s production and his aesthetic universe. The possibility of associating short musical pieces with his creations becomes an opportunity to reflect on the various elements that make his language, and how they tie in with my compositional ideas. The form and instrumental writing will make use of more noise-like materials and unstable colors in a search for a more poetic, abstract and introspective sound world. The opportunity to engage in dialogue with enigmatic and evocative works will enable the exploration of an expressive, suspended and symbolic language.
One of my current obsessions is to reduce materials in order to create an abstract way of listening to time. Choosing a sound, an object, bleaching it, i.e. working it in such a way that it refers to nothing but itself, constraining it rhythmically to enter into a listening experience detached from any referent – this is the starting point for my three short solos. For each of the three instruments – accordion, cello and clarinet – a single idea will be developed, raw and minimal; the same made always different, like three glances at the same material, modified by the resistance of these instruments with such different qualities.
With Tre pezzi senza titolo, which will be performed in front of works by Pier Paolo Calzolari, I’ll be attempting in my own way to translate everything that moves us in the works of this artist and, more generally, in the Arte povera approach. Everything that flows through us when we are confronted with the spectacle of raw matter in its naked simplicity. Everything that reveals itself and touches both the fragility of our lives and the marvelous intensity of our emotions. Contemplating these works can bring out the richness buried in the heart of each of us, formed in some of the strata of our past, the most luminous as well as the most insignificant and sometimes even the most painful, where the will be our present time was conceived, in the relationship with others and in the hope again and again of a future, however uncertain it may be. For me, the challenge of this project will be to find the right balance – or rather, the right imbalance – between sobriety of means and the density of the feelings that come to me – with as much restraint as possible.