::INFINITO NERO, Sat 8th May 2021, 1700
Organized by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble
Co-hosted by: Osage Art Foundation & Sigma Art Projects
Music & Moving Image 3.0
@ Osage Hong Kong
Ken Ueno, curator
Arnont Nongyao, film
Amy Chan, light
Dominique Chan, mezzo soprano
Vicky Shin, conductor
Hong Kong New Music Ensemble:
Angus Lee, flute
Bobby Cheng, oboe
Stephenie Ng, clarinet
Matthew Lau, percussion
Linda Yim, piano
Euna Kim, violin
William Lane, viola
Chor Kai-hei, cello
Perception – and the limits of perception – has always been at the heart of Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino’s musical output. Sciarrino’s groundbreaking monodrama Infinito Nero (1998) recreates the ecstasy of Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi, the early-seventeenth-century mystic whose terrifying lapses into madness yielded texts awash in vivid and sometimes gruesome religious imagery.
Although Maria Maddalena was canonized by the Church, Sciarrino was intrigued by her not-necessarily-saintly demeanor. In an interview, the composer observed: “She was an unpleasant, a ‘devilish’ figure: with her you cannot really differentiate between God and the devil, her visions are all similarly frightening. Here you really experience the pathology of visions . . . Her story is unbelievable. She never wrote a single word. Maria Maddalena was attended by eight novices: four repeated what she said because she spoke much too fast to write it all down at once and the other four wrote everything down. She did not ‘speak’—words actually shot out of her like a machine gun and then she fell silent for a long period.” Through re-contextualising the work that originates from ‘’infinite darkness’’ in an interplay of light and shadow, as well as projected images and sound spatialisation, this event augments the potentialities of Sciarrino’s monumental masterpiece, elevating the experience of this monodrama to the plane of complete immersion and sensual transcendence.
Preluding this chef-d’œuvre in Sciarrino’s repertory is an earlier work by the composer for solo viola, aptly titled Ai limiti della notte (1979) (‘’at the limits of the night’’), a solitary exploration of the dialectic opposition between fragmented sounds on the verge of inaudibility, and the absolute void of total silence.
FOR FURTHER DETAILS
Presented by Hong Kong New Music Ensemble
Partners : Osage art foundation & Sigma Art Projects
Project Grant : Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme HKSAR Government
Beer sponsored by: San Miguel
Under the law of Hong Kong, persons under the age of 18 are prohibited to drink intoxicating liquor.
The content of this programme does not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the Caravanserais – Music & Moving Image only, but does not otherwise take part in it. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the materials/activities (or by members of the GRANTEE’s team) are those of the organisers of Caravanserais – Music and Moving Image only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.