Chaos and Essence

Closed circuit video by Toni Mestrović (Vimeo)

On Friday, July 10th, at Filodrammatica (Rijeka, Korzo 28, 1st floor), international arts foundation Musagetes in collaboration with association Drugo more will present a performance by Laetitia Sonami, sound artist based in Oakland, California. Couple of years after her last residential stay in Rijeka, this composer and interactive electronic music performer returns to Rijeka to perform two works, using instruments she had invented by herself.

Performance will start at 21:00, and the admission is free.


Magnetic Memories in the Age of the Oracle is an ongoing work based on exploring Sonami’s new instrument the Spring Spyre and the use of neural networks developed by Rebecca Fiebrink.
 The audio signals from three audio pickups are fed to the neural networks which are trained on the live audio synthesis in MAX-MSP. The springs being somewhat chaotic, the neural nets can never be efficiently trained and the synthesis is full of surprises which the performer can “catch” and explore further.

OCCAM IX inscribes itself in a larger series of compositions entitled OCCAM OCEAN created by composer Éliane Radigue for, and with instrumentalists and composers. The process of composition is based on an individual “image” illustrated and evoked within each solo. Each musician is guided by his or her personal “image”. This provides the essential, letting descriptive words and evocations establish a system of communication as the piece is being elaborated, and through this intuitive-instinctive process, guides the performer to the very essence of music. The process is akin to oral transmission of ancient traditional music.

Photo: Tanja Kanazir / Drugo more (Flickr gallery)

Born in France, Laetitia Sonami settled in the United States in 1975 to pursue her interest in live electronic music. She studied with Éliane Radigue, Joel Chadabe, Robert Ashley and David Behrman. 
Sonami’s sound performances, live-film collaborations and sound installations focus on issues of presence and participation. She has devised new gestural controllers for performance, amongst which the now famous lady’s glove, and applies new technologies and appropriated media to achieve an expression of immediacy through sound, place and objects.

Recent projects include Spring Spyre – an instrument based on neural networks conceived for live performance, Labyrinthe Sonore, a sound installation in collaboration with Eliane Radigue, 3-MAJ a sound installation about Rijeka’s naval shipyard, and Sound Gates a public sound installation on a 2.5 km pier in Rijeka. Both projects sponsored by the Musagetes Foundation.

Sonami has received numerous awards among which the Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Awards. A documentary film was recently completed on her work “the Ear goes to the Sound”

Sonami is currently a visiting DAAD professor at HFK.

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