In calm reflections on life and nature, the Quiet Ensemble lets flora and fauna compose their own ambient etudes, following their movements and tuning in on electrical frequencies. Mice running in wheels play music boxes; light and sound trace the slimy path of snails. Fruit charge up thick, glitchy bass, as goldfish perform an audiovisual quartet in rectangular aquaria.
Based on Rome, this collective has produced a series of reflective audiovisual performances. Each project takes on a unique personality, musically and philosophically, so let’s look at them in turn.
Orienta; è qui ora, che decido di fermarmi
Technology and nature. Randomness and control.
The revelation of what is insignificant as a poetic and marvelous moment.
A reflection upon the life track, invisible paths that tell the story of a living being’s passage on earth.
The passage of 25 snails makes in real time an endless light painting, made exclusively by the walking of the small animals. At the end of each day we’ll have a totally different light-painting.
“Natura Morta” is a musical concert where the only instruments used are real fruits and the sound we’ll hear is exclusively the electric energy contained within them.
The electric power of the humans getting mixed with the energy of the fruits makes the sound audible, is the physical contact between human and nature that generate the music.
Each fruit has acid in it that produces electrical tension, using a special technique we can boost these frequencies making the inaudible audible, the sound of the vital energy of nature.
The individual fruits are raised on wooden platforms, standing on a transparent plexiglass plate lit from under. Each time a fruit plays its base will lit up, staining the surrounding space, making it changeable and dynamic. Each platform is a home made midi controller which allow us to modulate the sound wave’s, creating more complex rhythms and sounds.
The sound frequencies are emphasized by a large video projection representing a macro vision of the fruits.
Slowly the concrete images becomes abstract, the Natura morta (Still life) picture changes reacting precisely to the sound waves,
crashing and dissolving into pure shapes of colors and lights.
See also Wired Italy with an interview and more video (Italian only)
Quintetto is an installation based on the study of casual movement of objects or living creatures used as input for the production of sounds. The basic concept is to reveal what we call “invisible concerts” of everyday life. The vertical movements of the 5 fishes in the aquarius is captured by a videocamera, that translates (through a computer software) their movements in digital sound signals.
We’ll have 5 different musical instruments creating a totally unexpected live concert.
Orchestra Da Camera is a musical installation in wich the 40 elements of the chamber are mais running on their wheels.
Each wheel its connected to a carillon and when it turns the carillon starts playing its musical note.
The great number of carillons and the random actions of the living creatures makes unrecognizable the melodies (lullabies by Brahms, Schubert and Mozart ) creating an unexpected musical carpet determined by the mice.
The inanimate objects
You can catch Quiet Ensemble making the rounds in Europe – and more of their portfolio below.
And in their latest work, the group reimagines the theater as performer itself, in a dynamic and partially terrifying staging of Faust in which the space and objects in the theater become themselves the actors. Watch:
un progetto/project by Quiet ensemble
con la collaborazione di/with the collaboration of Matteo Marangoni
audio post-production Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri
ripresa video/video shooting Manuela Meloni
consulenza tecnica/technical consultancy noideaLab
project management Claudio Ponzana
distribuzione/distribution Claudio Ponzana
co-produzione/co-production Centrale Fies
Der Teufel leise (The devil whispering).
In this version of Faust, theatre becomes the instrument that determines the performance.
The action is orchestrated by the equipment of the space and the sounds are determined by their technical functions, simultaneously to the work’s creation.
The theatre as a space of representation is shown to the audience free of the vital and fundamental representative systems, the lights illuminate the void, the stage accommodates the absence of the actors, the sound speakers makes audible their own silence and the absence of soul is represented by the carcass of the space, now emptied from its own humanity.