Fumo di pietra
03/10/2020 - Venezia (Italy), Biennale, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale - Ensemble Cairn, Guillaume Bourgogne (conductor)
Fumo di pietra, which literally means "stone smoke", is the title of a series of lithographs made by Jannis Kounellis in the 90s and which represent strange totemic figures, half animal half human, or something else on the edge of abstraction.
The music of Fumo di pietra is the distant echo of a certain essential artistic gesture which seeks in raw material - stone, metal, glass, dust, coal - the source of what it is, but above all it wants to be the echo of this so-called "poor" art whose richness consists of trying to take the measure of a gap, however small it may be: the discrepancy which separates matter and its transformation into an "object of art" (Kunstdinge wrote R. M. Rilke), that which separates nature and the artistic gesture, natural phenomena and the human action that seeks to approach them.
Fumo di pietra is also the second piece in a cycle: Memento, a book of materials which will bring together six pieces, for a total of eight instruments, each of which refers to a work by the artists Jannis Kounellis, Claudio Parmiggiani, Richard Long or Guiseppe Penone. The cycle also makes use of percussion and electronic interludes.
Because of its gestural character, somewhat abstract, and using recognisable figures (descending repeated notes, brief and metallic sounds, percussive bounces), because of the reference to implicit materials (the deep sound of a wooden surface, the sound of the wind, the percussion of stone), Fumo di pietra questions the power of natural materials to become music or, alternatively, a signifying sound.