October, 5- 7, 2018
ARI BENJAMIN MEYERS - FIVE WORKS
Sonic Somatic presents, for the first time in Italy, the work by the American artist and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers
The festival follows its enquiry on the relation between music, body and space, fully dedicating this year’s program to one of the main figures of the international contemporary artistic panorama. With his research in fact, Ari Benjamin Meyers has been able to dissolve the boundaries between music, performance and visual arts. Ideated in the last ten years, five among the most representative performance of the artist’s repertoire are hosted within the spaces of the Serre Torrigiani.
Duet (composition for two strangers)
Duet is a music composition conceived for two strangers and divided in two parts: the first one is thought to be executed by a singer, the second one by a spectator. The performance celebrates the energy that is released during the time and witihin the space of the encounter between who is normally called to play the music and who listens to it.
Solo (performative installation for a singer and one audience)
Solo is a performance executed by a soprano and conceived for only one audience member at a time. The composition explores that intimate and particular atmosphere provoked by a confined listening space and one-to-one relationship. The strength of the voice is able to transform a limited environment in a concert hall. At the end of the performance, the audience member is invited to stay alone in the space as long as he/she wants.
Anthem is a collective performance realized in different moments by all the involved performers of the festival. The text they sing is taken from the manifesto Music is not…, written by Meyers in 2017.
Lighting and its Flash (solo for conductor)
The typical gestures of the conductor represents the main subject of Lighting and Its Flash. Meyers wrote a choreographic composition with no armonies or melodies in which the body becomes music: a conductor performs a score before an audience seated in front of him like an orchestra. The listeners are invited to abandon their passive role and to decipher the director’s “silent gestures”, imagining a personal melody.
Perfomer: Nima Keshavarzi
Vexations II (solo for pianist)
Vexations II is an homage to Erik Satie (1866-1925), considered by Meyers as one of his main references. Written in 1983, Vexations is a piano score elaborated with few notes which plays on repetition. It is known to be the longest musical score in history as it has to be played 840 times. To celebrate Satie, Meyers thought to re-write by hand and by heart his composition for 840 times. Such an action gave birth to the same amount of new scores, all slightly different from one another and far from the original one. Together, they represent the personal artist’s “minimalist tristesse”.
Perfomer: Alessandria di Nardo
ARI BENJAMIN MEYERS
Ari Benjamin Meyers (1972, New York) lives and works in Berlin. Composer, musician and conductor, Meyers is interested in the modalities and representation of music within the context of contemporary art. His practice explores the structures and the processes that define the performative, aesthetic, social and ephemeral character of music composition.
In the last years, he presented his productions in collaboration with important museums and contemporary art institutions in Europe (Manchester International Festival, Liverpool Biennial, Witte de With museum in Rotterdam).
He collaborated with several contemporary artists such as Anri Sala, Tino Sehgal and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Meyers was Music Director of the staged group show Il Tempo del Postino curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno (Manchester International Festival, 2007 and Art Basel, 2009).
Ari Benjamin Meyers is represented by the Berlin-based gallery Esther Schipper.
SONIC SOMATIC 2018, 4th edition
Realized thanks to the contribution of Comune di Firenze nell’ambito dell’Estate Fiorentina 2018 | Città Metropolitana di Firenze
With the support of Serre Torrigiani
In collaboration with Ari Benjamin Meyers Studio
Technical Partner Ciani Roberto & c snc – Pianoforti
Graphic Project Dania Menafra