Progetti

Songs From The Divine Comedy

“By reading the numerous English translations of Dante’s Poem, I was curiously impressed by the time shifting of the language from Medieval, through Shakespeare and on, till turning to this composition for voices and ensemble. The piece is structured in different sections in which the voice alternate with full-sounding and rhythmic musical fury, and with other more esoteric and hypnotic passages as if to represent the places, the sounds and odours seen and described by Dante’s eyes and words”. (Giovanni Sollima)

Giovanni Sollima Band: solo cello (+ voice), flute, violin (+ voice), viola, cello (+ voice), electric guitar, 2 samplers keyboards.

dur: 90’

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Spasimo

“Spasimo is a church in Palermo. Spasimo is the agony of a church that has been forced to repeatedly change identity, from leper house to theatre, from workhouse to hospital. After the bombs of the Second World War, the church became a rubbish dump, the depository for lost parts of the city’s history … Spasimo was re-opened in 1995, reclaimed by the people of a healed city. I began to compose for the “inauguration”, concentrating on its sounds and voices, on its history, its legends … I imagined a contaminated music in a suspended place, like Palermo itself, suspended between East and West, between Christianity and Islam, invasions, Mafia, tragedy, birth and re-birth.” (Giovanni Sollima)

“This is enrapturing music, lyrics underlined by harmonisations of electronic sounds and crossing recordings that offer occasions even to the most timorous listeners” Il manifesto

Giovanni Sollima Band: solo cello, violin, viola,cello, 1 synth keyboard, percussion (1 player)

CD Agorà (AG 158.1, 1999)

dur: 60’

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Aquilarco

“The word Aquilarco is a conflation of ‘aquilone’ (kite) and ‘arco’ (bow): it is the name of an instrument created by a kite knotted to the bow of the cello which soars, shudders and plunges with the wind. Aquilarco is a journey in the air, a flight in which I play this improbable and frightful instrument-kite in a multicolor composition with a wanted linguistic non-coherence.” (Giovanni Sollima)

Between 1997 and 1998 he spent six months in New York City, this experience resulted in Aquilarco, a project realized between Italy and America with Sicilian and American musicians (members of the group Bang-on-a-Can and The Steve Reich & Musicians), and with Robert Wilson as acting voice. Aquilarco was recorded on Point-Music, Philip Glass’s label and presented at the Knitting Factory, and Merking Hall in New York and also the Festival Taormina Arte, the Festival of ‘900 of Palermo.

“Sollima’s Aquilarco is a frenetic and often electrifying 90-minute concerto of sorts, written for cello, tape and a hybrid ensemble that is part rock band part string quartet. It is a work of smart and sensual music that breathes a typically Sicilian mixture of the ancient and the young, the range of references is vast.” Time Out, New York

text by Christopher Knowles, recorded voice by Robert Wilson

Giovanni Sollima Band: solo cello, flute, violin, viola, cello, electric guitar, electric bass (ad libitum), 1 synth keyboard, percussion (1 player) CD.

CD Point Music/Universal (462 546, 1998)

dur: 90’

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I Canti

I Canti is an instrumental elaboration of ancient sacred songs of Sicily. Songs of Sicilian Salinari, the mourning of a woman at a funeral as well as the the calls of the sellers at the fish market, are combined in a collage.

“The sonority of the words, the sounds produced when we speak, the expressiveness of the language, all this has a strong, almost obsessive, effect on my ears and imagination. I started my research on ancient songs in Sicily where I have come across the vocal impetuosity of certain sacred songs, rituals and voices accompanying the daily works (mourning song of a widow, fish salesmen), pushing myself to the Mediterranean area and further on. I like to define I Canti as a vocal installation on a background of sounds.” (Giovanni Sollima)

Giovanni Sollima Band: solo cello, flute, violin, viola, electric guitar,1 synth keyboard (sampler) percussion (1 player)

dur: 70’

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Cello Solo

This Solo concert is an unique possibility to see not only one of Italy’s most renowned cello soloists, but to experience “a snarling, grieving Jimi Hendrix of the cello” (Time Out, New York)

Lamentatio
Concerto rotondo
I, II, III (Yafù), IV
He wept out of six eyes
S’ota love dance (Kosovo song)
Pasolini Fragments I, II, III
Le zecche hanno invaso il mio violoncello

dur: 60’

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J. Beuys Song

J. Beuys Song, the second program, was initially composed by Giovanni Sollima for the choreography by Carolyn Carlson, commissioned by the Bienal of Venice for the edition of 2001. The composition, which consist of 9 branches and involves also live electronics, is based on a script by Joseph Beuys rediscovering nature and protesting against the indifference of man, a reminder of the miracle of life and reproduction: the air, the trees, the earth.

It can be presented as Recital for Cello Solo or as integral part of a visual installation, which could be developed as a site-specific visualization of Sollima’s music, giving it the flexibility to go into almost any space, taking into consideration the uniqueness of the space.

Fast – Terra Aria
Terra danza
Terra acqua
J. Beuys Song
Distortion destroy
Anima-li
Fast
Cello Tree
Slow
Terra fuoco
Terra aria — Fast

dur: 65’

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Viaggio in Italia

Premiered at the Carnegie Hall in New York (November 2000), the suite, commissioned by Gianmaria Buccellati, is composed of 14 movements-paintings which evoke the Italian history, culture and landscape through their dominant personalities such as Giotto, Dante, Federico II, Italo Calvino and Alberto Burri (who designed the “Cretto” of Gibellina, a town in Sicily destroyed by the earthquake in 1968). Sollima’s music alternates cello solos with movements for string quartet or quintet and his voice. from high quotations (Michelangelo’s Madrigal “Bella e crudele”) to new age and rock-pop sonorities, leading us to the discovery of Italy through its contrasts and enigmatic, ambiguous aspects.

“A sort of exploration of Italy’s history, memories of great artists, developed with a sophisticated alternation of parts for violoncello and others for voice and quartet or quintet. (…) His (Sollima’s) charisma as a cello soloist is indisputable, as well as the sensual and virtuous complicity with the enchanting Lark Quartet” Suonare December 2000

Text by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Giordano Bruno, Francesco Borromini

string quartet/quintet and voice

CD Agorà (AG 259.1, 2000)

Dur: 80’

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Ellis Island

opera in 2 acts (2002)

(2h)

Libretto: Roberto Alajmo
cast: pop/rock woman voice, 2 tenors, bass-bariton, actor
chorus (SATB),
children chorus
orchestra: 2,2,2, T sax, 2 – 4,2,2,1 – percussion (3 players) – piano, 2 synth keyboard samplers, 2 el. guitars (baglama), el. Midi cello, strings.

Or: 5 solo voices,
8 voices chorus,
ensemble (7 players, Giovanni Sollima Band)

commission and premiere: Teatro Massimo, Palermo

Publisher: Casa Musicale Sonzogno (Milano)

dur: 120’