Chain Reaction (1973-74) is both a composition and a performance-installation, designed and realized in Berlin by Mario Bertoncini (1932-2019), in collaboration with the op-kinetic English artist Peter Sedgley, as regards the devices of encoding sound-light and of chromatic diffusion. It is the first work by Bertoncini, to employ sound objects-sculptures expressly made with the purpose of vibrating through an aeolian stimulation: in this case, a couple of ‘harps’ and a couple of ‘gongs’, stimulated by adjustable compressed air or human breath. An electronic system attends both to the amplification and projection of sound, and to its conversion in coloured light: the chromatic signal is projected into a performance space, set up with grids made of reflecting/absorbing tubes, which functions also as score-screens for the two performers. After a discussion of the choice of a textural sound material (the aeolian sounds) and the intermedia layout of the work, in the perspective of the informel musical thought, the present contribution focuses on the performance strategies that Bertoncini eventually adopted. A detailed score, found in the composer’s personal archive, was initially written down, but later put aside, as it would implied a closed, deterministic model of feed-back between sound gesture and chromatic signal. The model Bertoncini then preferred is instead open, process-like, and connected to the theories of chaos that have been applied to meteorology: the two performers set their respective sound gestures live, according them to the tonality as well as to the intensity of the perceived colour, being the intensity a parameter that cannot be exactly quantized, therefore [not] exactly replayed. Hence, even if the starting sound gesture and the light-sound conversion code were the same, two identical performance of Chain Reaction system would be impossible: according to the so-called Edward Lorenz’s butterfly effect, an unperceivable difference of values engenders in the long term, within a multidimensional and instable system like this, even greater deviations from the foreseen trajectory.

Chain Reaction (1973-74): "effetto farfalla" e strumenti eolici in un'installazione performativa di Mario Bertoncini

Mastropietro A.
2020

Abstract

Chain Reaction (1973-74) is both a composition and a performance-installation, designed and realized in Berlin by Mario Bertoncini (1932-2019), in collaboration with the op-kinetic English artist Peter Sedgley, as regards the devices of encoding sound-light and of chromatic diffusion. It is the first work by Bertoncini, to employ sound objects-sculptures expressly made with the purpose of vibrating through an aeolian stimulation: in this case, a couple of ‘harps’ and a couple of ‘gongs’, stimulated by adjustable compressed air or human breath. An electronic system attends both to the amplification and projection of sound, and to its conversion in coloured light: the chromatic signal is projected into a performance space, set up with grids made of reflecting/absorbing tubes, which functions also as score-screens for the two performers. After a discussion of the choice of a textural sound material (the aeolian sounds) and the intermedia layout of the work, in the perspective of the informel musical thought, the present contribution focuses on the performance strategies that Bertoncini eventually adopted. A detailed score, found in the composer’s personal archive, was initially written down, but later put aside, as it would implied a closed, deterministic model of feed-back between sound gesture and chromatic signal. The model Bertoncini then preferred is instead open, process-like, and connected to the theories of chaos that have been applied to meteorology: the two performers set their respective sound gestures live, according them to the tonality as well as to the intensity of the perceived colour, being the intensity a parameter that cannot be exactly quantized, therefore [not] exactly replayed. Hence, even if the starting sound gesture and the light-sound conversion code were the same, two identical performance of Chain Reaction system would be impossible: according to the so-called Edward Lorenz’s butterfly effect, an unperceivable difference of values engenders in the long term, within a multidimensional and instable system like this, even greater deviations from the foreseen trajectory.
Aeolian instruments, XX Century Music, Electronic Music, Sound and Colour, Composition
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/512567
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