The installation ‘LET’S ALL SLOW DOWN TIME TOGETHER’ started with Florinda Ciucio’s visual exploration of open landscapes and urban panoramas and the question of why we seek these places out to find solace, comfort and reflection.
The installation is based on the proven fact that the emotional state of ‚being in awe’, prolongs your perception of time. Therefore the viewer is confronted and reintroduced with the element of time, regaining a sense of control, by elongating the perception of these minutes.
At the same time it is a symbolic live intervention by all coming together to try to prolong our individual perceptions of this time, creating a slower pace at that moment in this room together.
Sharing a state of contemplation is a disappearing public act. There are only few places left in public space that elicits a communal experience of reflection. Watching the sunset together is one that people still cherish, an act that still mobilises a diverse crowd, that can bring people together to create the energy of a communal moment.
The sound based on this concept started with the addition of a church bell, which was cropped, slowed down and played in reverse, so that its known attributes were blurred. The bells are slowly replaced by the sound of hissing birds. The church bell itself has a very rich texture and therfore is a great fixed sound to manipulate its time structure. Also the church bell itself draws attention to the social role of churches within time structuring in europe, before the inauguration of a global time at the end of 19th century. Before this, villages had been regulated acoustically mainly through the chronology of churches.
Sound + Installation + Performance 01 June 2022 at Cité internationale des arts, 75004 Paris
In a letter of 6 October 1858 to his lover Mathilde Wesendonck, Richard Wagner expresses his enthusiasm for the Érard pianos: “But this wonderfully soft, melan- cholically sweet instrument completely cajoled me back to music. I called it the swan that had now come to lead poor Lohengrin home again!”
The central starting point of my artistic research is a Erard’s grand piano, which I was working with during my research at Cité internationale des arts Paris. I composed a sound piece with recordings of each note as fixed media in Max MSP and generated randomized rhyhtm patterns. I thus added sine waves of different length and frequencies to create site specific rhythm patterns through overlapping sine wave curves in the stereo field.
Camille Érard, Pierre Érard’s widow, gave Wagner a grand piano after his stay in Paris. He composed the first act and the libretto in Zurich. He decided to compose the second act in the “solitude of Venice and had his Érard grand piano transported over the Alps”. He wrote the third act in Switzerland, in the noble Lucerne hotel “Schweizerhof”. Wagner travelled with the grand piano not only to Venice but also to Biebrich, Vienna, Munich, Tribschen and Bayreuth.
Erard grand pianos were very popular and were thus moved around a lot in the style of European expansion. The European idea of colonising the world and making it serviceable left its mark in salty, rusty Érard pianos that were left behind. As early as the 18th century, the French manufacturer’s most popular pianos were export- ed not only to Europe and America, but also to French colonies in Asia or South America.
The pianos transported not only their flattering sound to all parts of the world, but also the standard concert pitch negotiated in many European tuning conferences, which was finally fixed at A1 = 440 Hz at 20° Celsius. In 1920, the Treaty of Ver- sailles states: Article 282, paragraph 22. Convention of 16 and 19 November 1885, concerning the manufacture of a standard tuning fork; this was followed by the ISO standard and in 1957 by DIN 1317-1 (German Institute for Standardisation).
The artistic debate is accompanied by the presentation of two albino alligators, which are currently at home in the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris in the Aquari- um Tropical, in the basement of the building. The Art Deco building was opened in 1931 for the “Exposition coloniale internationale”. The sculptor Elizabeth Prophet called it “the most spectacular colonial display the West has ever seen”. Equally impressive is the presentation of these white beings, who come from the US state of Louisiana at the foot of the Mississippi, a former very early colony of France (17th century). They were taken out of their habitat to be observed separately as superla- tives of the Fremdenschau in an artificial environment.
In her work, Maria Wildeis deals with electronic music compositions and live performances. With the help of the medium of the soundscape, the linearity of the perception of time in humans and non-humans, as well as the spatial aspects of sound. Inspired by historical connotations of various objects and events, as well as the different sound events in nature and sensory abilities of some animals, the com- poser experiments with temporal and spatial factors through two- or multi-channel performances and installations.
Sources Research (selection): – http://www.versailler-vertrag.de/vv10.htm – https://richard-wagner-museum.ch/geschichte/fluegel-von-erard/ – https://opera-inside.com/tristan-und-isolde-von-richard-wagner-opernfuehrer-und-handlung/?lang=de – http://archivobello.uchile.cl/thumb?img=content/registros/coleccion-eugenio-perei-ra-salas/037R/ugd_3389. jpg&size=900 – https://www.geo.fr/histoire/ancien-musee-des-colonies-retour-sur-la-naissance-et-le-destin-singulier-du-palais-de-la-porte-doree-a-paris-207187 – Wikipedia