Trento Symphonia

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    Trento Symphonia

    Directed by

    France, Italy

    2014

    20 min

    • Italian

    Documentary, Music, Short

    It is sunset in a mountain landscape. An orchestra and a choir, along with a large group of adolescents who act as "living-music-stands", are filmed as they play the first part of Mahler’s 8th Symphony. The musicians gradually begin to move in a precise choreography, led by their living-music-stands. As these movements are executed, disparate groups of musicians, singers, and living-music-stands begin to disappear along with the sounds that they emit. The music progressively becomes a sound object captured in the course of its own erosion, which corresponds to the slow dissolution of the landscape’s visibility due to the setting sun. Ultimately, the music as a sound object and the landscape as a visual object become identical, all while being completely transformed in regard to the starting configuration. Thus, in TRENTO SYMPHONIA, the landscape becomes a point of convergence between contemplation, correspondence, and imagination.

    Credits

    Cast
    G. Rossini Symphonic Orchestra of Pesaro
    Choir of the Teatro della Fortuna of Faro
    Students from the Scientific and music High School of Pesaro
    Screenplay
    Flatform
    Cinematography
    Olivier Chambon
    Editing
    Flatform
    Music
    G. Rossini Symphonic Orchestra of Pesaro
    Choir of the Teatro della Fortuna of Faro
    Students from the Scientific and music High School of Pesaro

    Director's Statement

    In TRENTO SYMPHONIA we are faced with both the dissociation and the recomposition of the landscape, which is achieved by means of listening and seeing. The well ordered, supervised, and regulated space of seeing is confronted with the disorder that is brought about by listening. For us, these are the ideal conditions for a more attentive appropriation of this space and of the events that it contains. Furthermore, this occurs during the transition from day to night—a time which upsets the banal and reassuring activities that we attribute to the eye and acts as a visual counterpoint by introducing the unknown, which is a characteristic of listening.

    In other words, with this work we attempt to create an unusual reciprocity between seeing and hearing: the mimetic character inevitably triggered by the sight of the landscape is integrated into, and substantiated by, the purely participatory character of listening to the landscape. This progression towards an impossible correspondence develops, however, in a continuous movement of mutual arrivals, lingering, and evocations. The movements of the musicians and the singers follow a precise choreography that allows different groups (such as violinists, flutists, etc.) to occupy various fields of vision. In the beginning of the video, all performers are present and occupy the entire panoramic view. Then they slowly begin to move in seemingly random patterns.

    However, this choreography of the musicians and singers, picked up by the 3 different cameras, is designed produce a slow dissolution of vision, and consequently, of the listening experience. Thus the complexity of the choreography allows for a slow deconstruction of the musical performance, all while not intervening on the timing and the melodic structure of the score. The piece of music chosen for this performance is a sizable portion of the first part of Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony.

    The reasons for choosing this particular composition are linked both to its great musical complexity (tonal masses, number of musicians and singers, etc.), which lends itself well to accentuate the disappearance of whole groups of musicians, and to Mahler’s effort to recreate a new "natural" music. This piece not only draws on so-called "art music" but also on many common, if not trivial, musical forms such as marches, street songs, dance rhythms, and folk songs, which outline the fresco-like quality of the symphony. We believe that Mahler, an exemplary post-romantic, began here a redefinition of the nature of music—a decomposition and reconstruction of musical complexity. Even here, a form decomposes musically to reappear in a new light through regenerating processes and combinations.

    Production
    LGM
    Flatform

    Flatform

    Italy

    Our work is moving along an ideal border-line, the one of meaning, which articulates the difference between possibility and impossibility, between movement and pose (pause).

    Flatform is a group of artists founded in 2006 and based in Milan and Berlin. The group works on video, video installations and mobile installations. Works by Flatform have been featured in several film festivals all over the world such as IFF Rotterdam, Nouveau Cinema Montreal, Venice Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival and in many exhibitions in museums and institutions including, among others, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus Ohio and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Awards: Screen Festival 2008 in Oslo; 25FPS 2009 in Zagreb; Lago Film Festival 2010 in Revine Lago. Their latest short film THAT WHICH IS TO COME IS JUST A PROMISE (2019) premiered at the 51st edition of Directors’ Fortnight.

    Selected Filmography