03 december 2023

fades/costellazioni by antonio della marina

a sunday at studio tommaseo from 11.30 am to 7.30 pm

Sound installation
Conversation with Antonio Della Marina

Antonio Della Marina, Fades/Costellazioni, 2023, excerpt from the score  (courtesy of the artist)

On Sunday 3 December Trieste Contemporanea presents Fades/Costellazioni, a day of generative music by the Udine artist and musician Antonio Della Marina, which will take place from 11.30 am to 7.30 pm in the premises of Studio Tommaseo (via del Monte 2/1).

Fades/Costellazioni is a generative sound art work and is designed to be an installation exhibited in a space dedicated to it.

Fades/Costellazioni is a work that should be explored and perceived in its plasticity rather than listened to – Antonio Della Marina tells us, explaining that – the material it is made of, sound, by its very nature does not fill the air uniformly, but manifests itself with voids and solids, areas of thickening and rarefaction (which interpenetrate, blurring one into the other). Thus, by moving carefully within it, it is possible to distinguish and recognise its shapes and their locations in various points of space. In fact, sound is not really matter and it would be more correct to speak of energy, but for the characteristics it takes on in this work and in my artistic research in general, it is natural for me to consider it a modelling material, at the limit of the tangible. Sound cannot be ‘seen’ in the literal sense, but if through hearing and different perspectives I can perceive its volumes, its voids and solids (that is: find its presence in space) then I consider it legitimate to speak of form, of plasticity. Each performance of the work – Della Marina continues – even within a homogeneous language, is never repeated in the same way and never has a beginning or an end: its duration coincides with the time of listening. From a narrative point of view, Fades/Costellazioni appears as a continuum of slow cross-fades between electronic sounds. The sounds are generated by the computer in real time by connecting to an internet page. They are all sinusoidal waveforms, an elementary vibratory form, ubiquitous in the electronic musical language but also in the natural world (the cycles of celestial bodies, sea waves, the colours of light, are all phenomena with wave-like characteristics).

At 11.30 am, the artist will present the project and talk with the public, explaining his artistic activity and the aesthetic motivations behind the work and its content, such as the artist’s fascination with the concepts of fading and blurring.

Given its immaterial nature, Della Marina’s project, now presented in Trieste, has its own score, a book – entitled Fades/Costellazioni – that collects all 88 possible chords of the composition in the form of graphic tables. The chords or “costellazioni” (constellations) are written following the pure interval notation invented by Mexican-American music theorist Ervin Wilson (1928–2016). The fundamental reference note is an “A” tuned to 432 Hz. The installation can be listened to until 7.30 pm.

Antonio Della Marina is an electronic music artist and composer who has been working almost exclusively on sine waves for over twenty years. Influenced by the minimalist avant-gardes of the 1960s and 1970s, he focuses his research on exploring the physical properties of sound and tuning systems derived from the laws of natural harmonics. Active in an intermediate territory between music and plastic art, his compositions are veritable sculptures of sound that he creates using mathematical abstractions and generators that he has built himself.
His works have been exhibited in international art galleries and festivals, including Experimental Intermedia in New York, Logos Foundation in Ghent, Fundaciò Phonos in Barcelona and the Prague Quadrennial. In Italy significant appearances at Angelica Festival, Piombino eXperimenta, All Frontiers Musiche d’Arte Contemporanee, Fondazione Giorgio Cini and the realisation in 2010 in collaboration with Marco Maria Tosolini in the gulf of Trieste of the concert-event A Vista! performance for tugboat sirens and hydrants, words in the wind, sea voice and live electronics.
Since 2011, together with Alessandra Zucchi, he has curated and managed Spazioersetti, an art gallery/laboratory that permanently hosts their sound and light installation. The artistic duo is currently also present at the University of Trieste in the exhibition of the artistic residencies programme promoted on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the University of Trieste.