SoundMorphosis

audio video performance for acoustic piano and video console with Danilo Rea, in collaboration with MEET (Milan), the Italian Cultural Institute in Canada and George Brown College in Toronto

A grand piano, digital console and large screen will envelop the MEET Theater stage. Danilo Rea, one of the most famous Italian jazz pianists, sits at the piano and starts improvising. The notes come out of the piano and turn into colored signs on the screen. Paolo Scoppola – interactive media artist who creates video installations, interactive performances for music, dance and theater shows – observes these colored signs, modifies them through the console and sends them back to the musician’s eyes to stimulate his imagination. Thus begins a complex dialogue between the two artists, a journey through a series of musical and visual improvisations, each with its own character, but linked by the constant desire to discover the deep relationships between the language of sounds and that of images.

In this fluidity of content, Danilo Rea improvises spanning different genres, from classical to jazz, film music and pop, without remaining locked into any precise genre. The concert, in fact, puts musical improvisation at center stage. Alongside this cultural heritage of the 20th century is a computer, a symbol of the 21st century, which, however, neither seeks to produce electronic music nor to create any content on its own. It simply offers a tool for creating interactions. It is software developed by Paolo Scoppola that captures sound waves to detect the instants when piano keys are pressed. These pulses are given to generative graphics algorithms whose execution is manipulated by the video performer's own hands, which modify the images as they are created. The entire process occurs by following the rhythm of the notes, allowing the performer to duet with the pianist.

The concert is based only on a mental track that the two artists plan before the performance. It is their empathy on stage that transforms this track into music and images. As Danilo Rea himself pointed out, the duo has a kind of internal "connection," partly made possible by digital system, partly because the boundary between images and sounds becomes so blurred that the two performers can literally duet. One of the main aspects of this performance is the transformation of the image element into a content that takes meaning only in relation to sound events. On the other sides, the musical improvisation is driven by the images on the screen. Danilo Rea is effectively watching the screen during the concert to find his inspiration, while Paolo Scoppola is listening the piano to find his inspiration too. The constant interaction between the performers becomes a kind of primordial creative energy that animates and guides the concert performance by breaking the usual patterns of relationship between music and images.

This ease of dialogue comes from the great eclecticism of Danilo Rea, whose vast repertoire has led him not only to break down the boundaries between musical genres, but to conceive a creative dimension in which everything can be a stimulus for musical invention, not only a certain musical genre but also another art form. On the other side of the stage, Paolo Scoppola, not only a media artist with a long experience in interactive art but also a self-taught musician, shares the pianist's musical interests and naturally finds himself in the harmonies, melodies and rhythms that arise from his imagination. From this symbiosis comes the idea, finally, to create a "pure" work, that is, without reference to any particular theme and making almost exclusive use of abstract images. The aim is to bring the images as close as possible to the intrinsic abstractionism of the musical language. And it is on this point that the two artists want to focus, that is, on images that, in their various alterations, rarely become recognizable, but always remain signs, shapes and


Events

Toronto Digifest 2021, performed at Meet Digital Culture Center, Milan, 19.11.2021
Meet the Media Guru, Milan, 07.02.2022

Credits

Piano: Danilo Rea
Visuals: Paolo Scoppola
Event management: Veronica Manson (Italian Institute Culture), Maria Grazia Mattei (Meet Digital Culture Center), Luigi Ferrara (George Brown College)
Sound Engineer: Luca Giannerini
Communication: Luigi Venturi
Photo: Francesco Prandoni
Production: Barbara Levi, Alessia Bimonte (Meet) Alice Lee (Digifest)

Press

Exibart
Airtribune
Arte.it
Segnonline
Panoramitalia
Italian network
Politicamente Corretto
Milano Zone

Links

MEET Center
Italian Culture Institute Toronto
Toronto Digifest

FULL VIDEO

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