Musica Elettronica Viva, history’s first ensemble to have employed electronics in the improvisation process, has been present in the world’s music scene for more than fifty years, and still performs today. Founded in 1966 in a small room overlooking the Roman Pantheon, it has invited musicians representing different styles, thus bringing together Italian artists and émigrés living in the Eternal City. Following in the footsteps of Cage and Tudor, they have employed not only classical instruments and synthesisers, but also such everyday objects as box springs, glass panes, tins, elastics, toy pianos, and all kinds of metal accessories. They claim that every object has its individual sound, and advertise their own sound, amplified by contact mics, as musical in its own right. Strongly politically involved, they have looked for new anarchy-related forms of expression. For the sake of collective creation, MEV discarded music notation, gave up musical leadership, and replaced it with a creative community in which the ‘who, what and when’ no longer mattered. Instead, they have promoted subtle bonds forming between musicians as the greatest value. They have published left-wing manifestos of improvised art and called for free creation unhampered by the burden of the past but based on conceptual foundations that have been collectively agreed upon.
Musica Elettronica Viva
Frederic Rzewski, piano, Alvin Curran, electronics, piano Richard Teitelbaum, analogue synthesizer / 11.10.2019 / Warsaw, The Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Laboratory, Wojciech Krukowski Hall
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