From June 11th to 13th, at the Stelio Molo Auditorium of the RSI Swiss Radio, a series of 49 compositions were performed, which I designed and directed, involving about twenty musicians.
I thought of describing a series of images by the artist Barbara Tosti on a screen, with a technique between avant-garde and random subjectivity of musicians. As a sound mediator (with a role similar to the orchestra conductor) I also used the suggestion of some key words taken from the stories of the characters present in the images, arriving at an association between images, text and sound.
Another fundamental element was the theory of “Specular Intersections”, inspired from "Manifesto dell'intersezionismo speculare" written by Fiorenzo Bernasconi. The Technique composition is based on poems formed exclusively of words (Italian, French, English, German, but also Indian and Farsi), from Tosti's interviews to selected people, and built only with the letters that identify the musical notes and which with different devices can lead to quite unusual harmonies, melodies and rhythms.
From this came a deep emotional involvement with the musicians; I edited and written with a standard musica notation, and launched the orchestration of the song instantly, as if a "connection" between these entities had been established at a "higher" level. The sound result was surprisingly new, devoid of stylistic and cultural boundaries, with the musicians who played with the inspiration and mood of the moment.
Max Pizio Musician & Researcher
The images used during the sound improvisations are part of the photographic project #cicatriciebaci, a narrative vehicle that represents healing processes in
Stories of scars are donated by participants to a Narrator.
The involvement of the body, the staging and the use of symbols are elements that bring the participant into a ritual dimension in which he rediscovers a preverbal, less logical and more intuitive expressive state.
Between the phases of the dialogue, first verbal then symbolic and therefore representative moments of suspension and curiosity are created where the expectation of an interpretative response from the Narrator accentuates the focus of the Donor of Stories on his own communication choice.
As a final elaboration of the process we have a photographic portrait of the narrated scar, a "certificate of success".
Taken then from a personal plan to a more universal Visual History, it is ready to be given to oneself and to others.
We propose this project as a cognitive experience, a suggestive occasion, both in its purpose of artistic project of public visual narration and in open dialogue with the other arts (music, theater, dance);
either as a private experience or as an accompaniment in a professional therapeutic course.
“Thanks to the imaginative development acquired over the years thanks to the practice of drawing, the study of abstraction and the symbolic in the visual language and the investigation of the body-mind relationship in the artistic and performative field, I am now very honored to be able to offer this personal reading to those who tell me a story. "
Barbara Tosti, Artist & Healing Facilitator
Notes on collaboration:
In this conversation the visual and musical languages meet and dialogue in a very free imaginative plane, the intensity increased by the time of improvisation that requires an integral and active presence to the musicians.
Images at the same time are loaded with new meanings, open to new aspects of reading. The public receives wide-ranging suggestions and unexpected stimuli that open up horizons, increase curiosity and invite them to play.
Notes on #cicatriciebaci:
The theme is universally acceptable because the scar is the result of a healing process and healing is a biological process that is constantly active in our body, so much so that we forget about it.
The healing process can be as natural and calm as it is very intense, profound and difficult to overcome. In any case, it is an intimate and strictly personal experience, impossible to measure, not to be judged.
The scar attests that we have done it, yet it is easily lived as a sad memory, often an emotional sharing of this success is lacking, there is no ritual that attests to have passed the threshold, achieved the goal.
#cicatriciebaci stands as an artistic tool at the service of this last communicative step, with the motto "Every scar deserves a crown!"
Participating in this project means choosing to honor oneself, to make oneself a gift, but also to open oneself to dialogue with one another, to give one's own story to an extraneous reading, to trust me as an artist, as a person.
The choice of a final product without any verbal narrative reference brings communication on a more emotional, evocative and free level.
The story told becomes abstract, symbolic, open to new interpretations both for the narrator / narrator and for the public.
“Specular Intersections” and “The Sound of Listening” Documentary
by Claudio Tettamanti and Michael David Mitchell
In the latter half of May 2019, Max Pizio contacted me, mentioning he had the opportunity to record at the Stelio Molo studio of RSI on June 11, 12, and 13. He didn't delve deep into his intentions, only hinting that he wanted to seize this opportunity for a project he had long envisioned: a work on improvised music. He intended to involve three groups of musicians for these recording sessions, whom he believed could offer valuable contributions in such a setting.
With this scant information, he asked if I would be interested in collaborating with him to document this journey/work.
I was available.
I had no other pressing commitments, and I was fortunate to involve a friend with whom I could share the pleasure of this yet defined collaboration: Michael David Mitchell. He too was available on the dates specified by Max, and we promptly joined the project with intentions and modalities similar to his.
Without overly structuring our shots, we worked on the auditorium stage, moving among the musicians, catching eye movements and chasing sounds.
After this initial collection of materials, we organized two interview sessions: one at Monte Verità and another, later, again at the Stelio Molo studio with about a dozen musicians and other project participants (including the RSI producer Paolo Keller, Christian Gilardi, and Michael Rast, the managing recording technician).
Subsequently, we organized two more interview sessions with Max Pizio and with Barbara Tosti (#cicatriciebaci).
With the material gathered, we proceeded to an initial montage aiming to provide Max with a "provisional" product that could support the search for funding for the musical production, financial backing, and a venue to host an event presenting the finished musical project, consisting of about fifty original compositions.
Then COVID struck, and everything came to a halt.
For us, the idea of trying to complete the documentary (missing shots and post-production) was on hold. For simplicity’s sake, we separated the production of the documentary from the musical project, allowing us greater autonomy in terms of production timelines, target audience, and decisions regarding content and stylistic choices.
With Michael, during and after the initial uncertain phases of the pandemic, we decided to review the footage and slightly adjust our initial rough cut (without delving into the details of post-production).
The plan was to find someone to co-produce a piece that would depict the origin and evolution of Max's musical project. This would start with the recording of the tracks, supplemented by interviews, and conclude with filmed moments, perhaps during the musical project's presentation concert or concerts by Max. We are still awaiting a meeting to confirm any potential interest from RSI.
Max, for his part, resumed work with his partners on the production of his musical project. He recently contacted me to share that, deviating from the initial idea of producing 3 CDs, the now edited and finalized sound materials will be distributed on the iMusician platform.
The Documentary (Il suono dell’ascolto)
Regarding the realization of the documentary (with the provisional title « Il suono dell’ascolto » or "The Sound of Listening"), we are seeking funding both for the filming of remaining scenes and for the subsequent post-production work.
Assuming our contribution to production costs (co-production) consists of all the work already carried out up to this point (filming, dedicating time, providing necessary technical equipment, organizing materials, and creating a "draft" version), the task now is to find someone to support us in producing the final version.
The early rough cut (visible here: https://vimeo.com/388379363), shows our unique point of view and more concrete understanding of the context in which Max's audio recordings were made. It also clarifies our intentions and our visual approach to the project, showcasing to interested parties and potential funders some of the visual material at our disposal.The idea, which should become clearer upon viewing the provisional footage at the indicated link, is to capture the ambiance that.
Characterized the three days of recording and the spirit that animated everyone involved in the musical project.
The camaraderie, stemming from the trust everyone placed in Max, both in his musical skills and unbridled humanity, was evident in subtle gestures, glances, and the act of listening to one another. It succeeded in producing a true musical work of art, even if improvised. It was astonishing to witness!
What we can rightfully call a collective creation was made possible by the intense and occasionally magical atmosphere that marked all three recording days. This allowed the three "ensembles", all unique and comprising musicians of different backgrounds, origins, and ages (some of whom had never met before), to play together.
Such alchemy was infectious, affecting everyone, including us. With our cameras, we moved amidst the musicians and the music, sharing not just a space but inevitably sharing glances, gestures, silences, sounds, and intentions. Everyone was engaged, collectively, in something no one could precisely define. Everyone was ready to be taken by surprise.
But that's not all. Through the interviews, we also captured an astonishing cross-section of individual paths and experiences, reflections on the act of making music that transcends the project itself. These reflections opened up broader contemplations on contemporary music and, more generally, on the essence and significance of "creating together" in a historical moment when coming together, being together, finding shared solutions confronts the temptation to build walls, to seek isolated solutions, to avoid any form of dialogue. This sentiment was further exacerbated by the health context related to the pandemic, which, for a couple of years, made closeness even more challenging.
We have the materials and can, if necessary, integrate other collaborators to craft a documentary that remains, in large part, to be written. It can be adapted to various situations and programming needs (format/duration/target audience).