This is the stand designed by Traverso-Vighy architects for L&L (Italian brand of lighting systems), in occasion of the Light + Building 2018 trade fair.
For this project I created a low-intrusiveness soundscape, experimenting on convergences with the features of the lights design. Our goal was to create a peaceful space, an oasis of tranquillity in the usually chaotic ambience of trade fairs : the semi-closed design of the space gives a feeling of privacy, while the semi-transparent nature of some of its elements prevents a sense of claustrophobic separation. We wanted to avoid the use of background music, which adds up to the general sonic confusion of a trade fair soundscape and, in the long run, fatigues the attention processes of the people working in the stand. We decided to use only concrete sounds (field recordings + procedural audio made with MaxMSP) and to articulate them following a structure of breathing cycles.
(photos by Giovanni Traverso)
There are two cycles. The fast one repeats at 8,5 seconds intervals, the slow one at 1 minute intervals. The faster cycle functions almost like a LFO modulation of the overall amplitude. The slower cycle controls the long cross-fading between audio materials. The lights works in the same way for each RGB channel : the fast cycle controls the relative fades, whose actual boundaries are set by the slow circle. A MaxMSP patch sends a sync signal to the lights controllers, every 3 minutes. The loudspeakers are hidden in the architecture, and it is almost impossible to locate them acoustically; the sounds are diffused at very low amplitudes, which makes the installation very fragile acoustically (a change in number of visitors can make the sounds almost disappear).
In 2016 I collaborated with IRCAM and Renault on the signature of the Renault Trezor engine sound. You can listen to the engine sound it in this teaser (mixed with music) :
Or, with more details, in the following video, where I used in-car-camera footage to have a visual ground to help me develop the race-car components of the sound :
The sound of the Trezor is based on the Zoé sound signature, which we created in 2010/2011, but features a different personality, somewhat unpredictable and dangerous, with traces of combustion race engines, meant to evoke the voice of the great sport cars of the 60s and 70s.
A new collaboration with ricci/forte, presented in July 2017 at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. The music used in this trailer is inspired by the soundtracks of Dario Argento’s movies, and slowly degraded using Open Music. Listen to the whole track here :
In 2016 and 2017 I collaborated with Antonio Camurri’s team (University of Genova / Dipartimento di Informatica, Bioingegneria, Robotica e Ingegneria dei Sistemi), imagining strategies for the sonification of expressive qualities of dance.
This is an example of the sonification system we designed (EyesWeb and MaxMSP) at work in “Esodi”, a choreography by Virgilio Sieni (Genova, Palazzo Reale, 27.03.2017). “Esodi” is a performance for a large number of non-professional dancers (citizens of Genova). We used the sonifications to create a form of cohesion among performers located in different rooms of the Palazzo.
The sonification system is based on these features : EyesWeb part 1 : analysis of Fluidity, Lightness, Fragility, and other features. MaxMSP : sonification of each quality (2 granular engines, 2 microloops engines, 1 [agents + emerging behavior] engine). EyesWeb part 2 : mixing of the sonification channels, based on Salience.
This is another example of the full sonification process. The dancer is Virgilio Sieni.
Another example : in this case, we were working on the analysis and sonification of fragility.
Back to my roots : contemporary dance and the pleasure of exploring whatever musical form the project may hint at (in this case, improvisations with an old EKO Ekomaster 400 found in a garage sale, coupled with a few drum samples – to be played very loud).
This is the trailer of the new work by ricci/forte, “PPP – ultimo inventario prima di liquidazione (hommage à Pier Paolo Pasolini)” – for them I prepared soundscapes and a few songs, like the one used in this video. These guys are CRAZY and it’s really fun working with them.
In the frame of the Skat-VG project, I was invited with four other fellows sound designers to create sketches for the sonification of an artwork from the collection of the Chateau La Coste (in South France), using Skat-VG technology (synthesis controlled by voice).
This is my choice (“AIX”, sculpture by Richard Serra) and the sketch I concocted. All sounds are SDT (Sound Design Toolkit) and Mubu/CataRT, except for a sample of breeze through leaves that I layered in the mix (along with the synthetic wind from the SDT) to confound the listener about what is real and what not.
I imagined that we are in a not too distant future where the Gate Machines sprayed the world with swarms of metallic audio nano-agents, changing forever the natural soundscape. The passage in the sky of the Gate Machines woke up their ancestors, and they are calling them. http://skatvg.iuav.it/ http://chateau-la-coste.com/ http://soundobject.org/SDT/ http://imtr.ircam.fr/imtr/Corpus_Based_Synthesis
recording session with vintage switches, bell alarms, morse devices, bakelite objects
ANDREA CERA – WORKS 2015 – PINK SQUIRRELS
A personal, small, independent project : Pink Squirrels (in collaboration with curator Steve Paterson of Plakart and artist/videomaker Dimitrjie Roggero).
The Pink Squirrels project is a near-future fiction, about the suicide of our culture, a ritual performed according to the laws of invasive entertainment. It depicts the damaged brain of a person affected by the “Tom Cruise Enacting Script Disorder”, an imaginary personality disorder [ http://www.plakart.org/pink-squirrelsI2.html ], in a post-catastrophe Italy, among the last living persons, mentally and physically destroyed by the evolution of more and more penetrating forms of entertainment. The not-so-distant ills described in the text are : the “Compulsory Fitness Syndrome”, the damages inflicted by new psychotropics twisted drinks, the “Portfolio Tactile Feedback” market crash in Chinese stock markets, the effect on adolescents of the the “Simu-Suicide” kits, the “Tele-Me Syndrome” [ http://www.plakart.org/pink-squirrelsH4.html ].
ANDREA CERA – WORKS 2015 : A CHRISTMAS EVE
I composed the music for “A Christmas Eve“ (ricci/forte + TLS Belli, conductor Marco Angius) : this is a gripping tale of domestic violence, the story of two sisters and their dying, violent father. The text is written by Ricci/Forte, a duo of Italian directors, known for their uncompromising approach, violence, and attitude towards risk.
And risk is what it’s all about in this work, starting from the unusual logistics of the creation (I blindly wrote materials for months, having just some hints about the themes, to have to reconfigure everything in just three frantic weeks), to the experiments with the singers. The singers are young, talented artists, from baroque or classical repertoire : I asked them to forget everything they learned, and to experiment the uncomfortable non-lieu where the whispering crosses the vocal production. This zone produces wonderful artifacts, speaks of the body and of deep seated emotions, but is also profoundly contrasting with the way a classical singer normally projects sound and creates a representation of the self.