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Who said contemporary music has to be serious? Who said humour should be banned from concert halls? Certainly not Mauro Lanza, who composes works full of surprises, irony and sometimes sick humour, in which sublime mixes with obscene, flutes with hairdryers, voices with whoopee cushions. On the occasion of rehearsals of his piece, composed in collaboration with Andrea Valle Regnum Lapideum, at the “Conservatoire à rayonnement regional de Paris”, we met the Italian composer and asked him some questions about his work, his collaboration with IRCAM and ManiFeste-2016, the Academy.
Andrea Valle, conductor Pierre Roullier and Mauro Lanza with Ensemble 2e2m
Mauro Lanza, together with his compatriot Andrea Valle, are currently composers in residence with the ensemble 2e2m in Paris, working on Regnum Lapideum, the third part of their series Systema Naturae inspired by the work of the Swedish botanist, zoologist and physician Carl von Linné. In this major piece, Mauro Lanza and Andrea Valle combine classical instrumentation with unexpected objects like second-hand household electrical goods or electro-mechanical objects. After Regnum Animale and Regnum Vegetabile, this third section, to be premiered on April 29 at the “Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Paris”, evokes the mineral world through percussive sounds of electro-mechanical objects controlled by computer and pizzicato playing, with many surprising references, from Alighiero Boetti’s algorism to mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan.
The Cetro, instrument created by Andrea Valle
After studying writing and musicology in Venice, Mauro Lanza discovered computer music composition while attending the IRCAM Cursus. Since then, his collaboration with the Institute has remained regular and intense: many of his works were made with IRCAM computer music designers, such as I funerali dell’anarchico Passannante (2005-2006), Vesperbild (2006-2007) and Häxan (2009), an electronic composition for Benjamin Christensen’s silent film (1921) with Olivier Pasquet, or Ludus de Morte Regis (2013) with Gilbert Nouno and Manuel Poletti.
As part of ManiFeste-2016, the Academy, Mauro Lanza will lead the In Vivo Electro workshop with the circus artist Jérôme Thomas. Mauro will give advice to four young composers and sound designers with different backgrounds for electronic writing but also for the link between music and artistic performance, writing and improvisation, thought and body, which are the core of the workshop. ManiFeste-2016 audience will also discover, or hear once more, excerpts from his piece Ludus de Morte Regis (the game of the King’s death) during ManiFeste-2016 in Inaudible, a French premiere by choreographer and dancer Thomas Hauert. This work for choir and electronics, inspired by the murder of the Italian King Umberto I in 1900, shows in a carnival atmosphere the composer’s interest for irony and grotesqueness through the use by a choir of many surprising instruments, such as harmonicas, reed pipes or even whoopee cushions.
Ensemble 2e2m under the baton of Pierre Roullier
Upcoming works for Mauro Lanza include the fourth and last part of the cycle Systema Naturae still working with Andrea Valle about fossil world, which will be a summary of the three past sections, and a collaboration with IRCAM on an electronic string quartet using the Institute’s SmartInstruments.
SAVE THE DATE!
with Regnum Lapideum
Inaudible with extracts from Ludus de Morte Regis
Concert In Vivo Electro workshop