Unfolding Waves… con Luigi Nono


Go to the extensive, peer-reviewed article on this project here.

Con Luigi Nono: Unfolding Waves (2013-14) explores diverse materials related to a complex set of things originated in, or inspired by Luigi Nono’s piece for piano and tape “…..sofferte onde serene…” (1975-1977). This piece was composed during a time of personal, ideological and artistic crisis. It signalises the beginning of Nono’s late creative period, and its concert rendering involves various degrees of uncertainty and unpredictability in the sonic combinations. Nono achieves this, in first instance, through the use of ‘shadow’ sounds, ambiguous sonorities that come sometimes from the piano, sometimes from the tape and that generate a perceptual (con)fusion for the listener. This (con)fusion is enhanced by relatively free time relations between piano-live and tape, allowing the performer on the piano and the performer acting as the sound-projectionist to establish ‘sonic rapports’. ‘Con Luigi Nono—toward unlimited possibilities’ takes this piece as starting point and proposes a radicalization of such characteristics by re-writing it for two orchestras (with two conductors) and by eliminating the piano. Three groups surrounding the audience perform what was on the tape, while the orchestra plays the original piano score on stage. All the non-precisely notated suspensions of time are here proposed as places for individual creativity by the orchestral musicians (within certain constraints), moments where the conductor stops conducting and gives space to the individuals. Furthermore, the transfiguration of timbre (from piano to a contemporary orchestra with ensemble) establishes a dialogue with the long tradition of ‘transcriptions’, ‘orchestrations’ and ‘paraphrases’.