MUSICIAN, DANCER AND PERFORMER, BIAGIO CARAVANO IS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE MK GROUP THAT HAS BEEN ACTIVE FOR YEARS ON THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SCENE OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE, CHOREOGRAPHY AND PERFORMANCE
WITH THE MUSICIAN DANIELA CATTIVELLI, HE CREATED THE DUO SIGOURNEY WEAVER, BY WHICH HE CARRIES OUT A SOUND RESEARCH LINKED TO THE BODY POSTURE ON STAGE. FOR MK HE CREATED THE BANGALORE FORMAT, IN WHICH HE IS THE PROTAGONIST TOGETHER WITH OTHER ARTISTS, AND PISCINA MIRABILIS SOUND, AN OFFSHOOT OF THE PISCINA MIRABILIS PROJECT AT THE TRIENNALE MILANO.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU GET INTO MUSIC?
My approach to music happened at the age of 14, in 1982. My mother bought me a hi-fi system and a record of Imagination (Illusion). I asked her to buy me a keyboard and she got me a Casio, which I still have today! I started to buy instruments like bass, guitar, electronic drums... I was amazed!
In those years I met a group of punk and new wave people; there was something in that imagery that attracted me a lot, even if I didn't understand exactly what it was. Later, I realised that I wanted to live a different life; that the aesthetic imagery that attracted me was hiding a deeper issue, and that was the possibility of connecting with a reality that was objectively extraordinary to me, an unbiased exploration of creation.
With some of them, I formed a band and we immediately had the opportunity to play music in Russia and England. A world opened up for me! There was something so powerful about that imagery, being on stage, making noise, that affected you emotionally but also physically, as if your body was being subjected to something supernatural.
This was the beginning of something that has evolved over time from performance to visual art, to electronic music.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SOUND TEXT? IS IT A LAYERING, LIKE THOUGHTS GATHERING AROUND A THEME?
It depends on various factors, but it's a bit more complex because I think, first of all, that things circulate in the air and are almost always the misinterpretation of something else, or even the projection of something already passed through, something already familiar.
It is as if the desire or the idea of a sound texture has been taking shape for a long time, almost unconsciously, and suddenly you realise that something is coming together.
I use a modular system, basically a collection of analogue synthesisers; there are infinite ways to assemble the synthesiser, as there are infinite ways to manipulate the sound.
My interest is in building and layering sound through random grids, almost always within a metric/rhythmic/random system.
The idea of randomisation allows me to sculpt the sound by continuously subtracting it from a linear action, which favours its decomposition; the joint of two or more elements from different sources determines the rhythmic action. The convergence at a certain point towards something or a point in space is the point at which you realise that what is happening is solely and uniquely a function of that moment, that is, in the expectation of the encounter.
The friction between seemingly distant and sometimes almost contradictory things determines the course of my system, the energetic/rhythmic/spatial/postural orientation.
Waiting is the extended time in which the physical handling of machines finds its true nature.
HOW DID YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS BEGIN?
Theatre today is in collusion with performance. The boundary between the two is completely blurred.
I think I have always belonged to this kind of vision, although more consciously in recent years.
So, I would say that there has always been a desire in me to be inside a totally open process, keeping on the margins of my system the label of theatre as a place where performances take place, and giving preference to the places with different power.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE PHYSICAL DIMENSION OF SOUND IN YOUR PERFORMANCES? THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN SOUND AND BODY ON STAGE?
An instinct for action, for dynamic gesture is expressed in sound.
The action continues, the body evaluates the sound-spatial information. The act of playing itself becomes an intentional gesture.
The responsibility of the performer's act constructs a sound space through a dialogue that is capable of adaptation and at the same time creates a condition of change.
A tangible force of communication is created through the sound dialogue in which order is defined by the tactic.
Posture and tension of the performer are superimposed on the sound image, which is not directed towards any pre-existing practice, but is open to an understanding of the external space on the basis of pure rhythmic-dynamic expressions: there is a glow of the body - dynamic, grasping, adventurous - in an empty space, circumscribed by the possibility of being there only to be there, in complete solitude.
It is an atmospheric event that predisposes one to new forms of intimacy for listening to sound by inhabiting a pre-arranged space.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY IMMEDIATE BODY?
To move, to shift, to change, to be in motion; to understand in this action the idea of a process of constant transformation. Evaluating the environment to adopt an approach strategy.
An immediate body has no time to be decoded, it simply produces an environmental intention, dissipating words and gestures to make more space. It precedes any formal and artistic result, in free artistry and concentration on doing.
Everything in the space is crossed and overlapped, said and shown.
WHEN WAS THE SIGOURNEY WEAVER DUO BORN?
Sigourney Weaver is a duo formed by Daniela Cattivelli and me.
Formally the work is done through performances, live acts, live sets, workshops that involve an in-depth study of sound, body and space.
Together we are working on an idea of sound layering that takes shape from a kind of score of gestures and actions to support a dense rhythmic grid.
Concrete gestures, such as turning a knob, pressing a button, moving a fader, are superimposed on the image of the sound... the one who acts has to do it as quickly as the learning process has to be, in order to translate and send back with lightning speed the information that forcing the body to be constantly vigilant and inclined towards a permanent imbalance.
The body evaluates sound/space information with the aptitude of a ping-pong player, forced to anticipate or foresee the opponent's moves, without any distraction that could compromise the project.
PISCINA MIRABILIS SOUND PROJECT
Piscina Mirabilis Sound is an offshoot of Piscina Mirabilis, a project of the company MK - of which I am one of the founders - originated in Milan at the Triennale, a place where we will be resident artists for three years.
Piscina Mirabilis was born, first of all, from the desire to address a large and non-exclusive community of male and female dancers, performers, actors, athletes, bodies, figures and people whose aim is to go on stage, the stage that doesn't necessarily coincide with the canonical one of professional performing activity.
Body activity is always associated with a sound gesture, with an artist who works with sound. I was one of the various performers who came one after the other.
Piscina Mirabilis Sound is linked to a modular system, a collection of analogue synthesisers that can be interfaced with each other.
The interesting thing about these synthesisers, which I use to produce the sound, is that it cannot be memorised (with some exceptions), and this makes the whole system precarious, which for me is even more interesting because it introduces a different perception of sound production.
The project is developed over a period of 3 hours, because I have always been bound up with the question of time, I mean, with the idea of internal expansion, a state of temporal immersion where the perception of sound and the external environment is in constant transformation.
The production of sound, as well as its realisation, is organised on a thick layer of random operations, managed by machines in an apparently chaotic manner, but actually organised almost scientifically.
A bit like chaos theory, apparent chaos organised by strict laws of physics, energy and tension, i.e. chaos is only possible if it is organised. That is exactly what I’m trying to produce - a series of concatenations of sounds that come from different, layered devices that converge at a certain point and then drift apart again.
It is precisely the anticipation of the moment when everything comes together that determines the sense of time and rhythm/sound and opens up to the possibility of an encounter with the other.
I built a structure with a 3x3m black balloon floating above my head. A projector aimed at the balloon marks time with a countdown. The audience immersed in this environment can lie down and be transported into a system where time is suspended. The atmosphere of this environment defines a non-place.
for Dare Clan
images provided by the artist