Concert PreLEM2007 by Tom Zunk and Alessandro Olla

Gràcia Territori Sonor presents a double concert with Tom Zunk (Germany) and Alessandro Olla (Sardinia) and one common nexus: the use of water as material and metaphorical medium for sound creation. The evening: ELEMENT WATER invites us on a trip through musical experimentation that harnesses primordial sounds and ancestral landscapes, seeking out an immediate experience where the artificial nature of the devices is replaced by the poetry of objects. Instruments that incorporate water as an essential part of their functioning and from which they extract unusual memories and textures (the waterphone used by Tom Zunk); or playing with water as a physical and poetic element, interrelated with other elements and objects (the creations of Alessandro Olla): these two will bring together the diverse approaches of tonight's performance, an evening of fluid emanations, liquid gentleness and watery depths.

TOM ZUNK (Berlin)
"ZEUT (Archetypes for Waterphone: Sounds between Whale songs
and Outer Space)"

For Tom Zunk, musical creation is a bold act that crosses boundaries, a journey through utopian landscapes where ancestral sonorities and contemporary experimentation are fused. This interest in distant latitudes was born at the Free University of Berlin, where he studied ethnomusicology and also made contact with examples of Asian music by the hand of the Indonesian composer Gutama Soegijo and the Banjar Gruppe ensemble. In the fifteen-year period (1978-1993), Zunk participated increasingly in international festivals of Gamelan (a musical genre from the island of Java) and percussion. Of particular note is his participation in the Vancouver World Expo in 1986.
This search for earthy sonorities has always been accompanied by his prolific work in the field of improvisation (he formed, together with eco-guitarist Günter Schikert, the Ghetto Raga duo), on-stage creation (Syntron, with performer Elke Postler, as well as the pieces created for the Butoh dance project during the eighties) and multi-instrumental investigation. This investigation adds to his interest in percussion a range of compositions using keyboards, brass, analogue devices and vocal experimentation. His work with the waterphone comes out of this healthy instrumental curiosity; the waterphone is an unusual artefact invented by Richard Waters in 1974, that Zunk has incorporated into his exploratory catalogue going back twenty years, being at that time one of the only performers in the world. The waterphone is an instrument made of brass and stainless steel that incorporates water in its central body. It is a versatile artefact that can be played using different elements and procedures (a swilling action, friction, by using a bow), from which he extracts a wide range of sounds and textures that conjure up whale songs, rumours of glass or the footprints of pioneering electronic devices such as the Theremin or Onde Martenot.


Prolific and multi-faceted artist, Alessandro Olla has invested a major part of his creative effort in transgressing musical formalities and academicism. His skills forged in classical studies that included piano, composition and electronics, he was soon tempted by the possibilities of the freest slopes of sonic creation, entering into the turbulent but exciting fields of improvisation, experimentation and risk-taking electronics. In the course of those trips he has been able to count on the collaboration of major figures of the most uncompromising musical activism: Tim Hodgkinson, David Shea, David Toop, Marc Ribot, Jean Marc Montera, Llorenc Barber… As a result of this fertile curiosity and of his aim of dissolving the prison walls surrounding different disciplines, the work of Alessandro Olla started spreading, as of a decade ago, in multiple directions. Those directions have led to his involvement in projects that incorporate visual and scenic factors such as speakers (creations for films and theatre and dance shows, performances), to express the poetical and sonorous possibilities of objects and matter, or to rediscover certain physical phenomena (gravitation, oscillation, inertia) through the eye of a bold conjurer. The result of this investigation is a work that extracts from risk and experimentation a range of experiences, bright and immediate, that make out of the ‘every-day' something continuously rediscoverable.

Co-produced with:
Gràcia Territori Sonor
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SATURDAY, MAY 12th, at 8 pm.
MACBA Public Programs
Tel. (+34) 93 481 46 81
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