Ivan Bushuev. I campi dei ricordi

15 Jul–30 Sep 2022

The “field” in the name of Ivan Bushuev’s installation has a number of meanings. Along with a “field of thought, ” that is, a sum of associations, the word is a reference to “field recordings”—recordings of the sounds of an environment. Finally campo—field, clearing—is the name given open urban spaces in Venice, each of the many islands has its own main meeting-place, or campo. Strictly speaking, the area in front of Saint Mark’s Cathedral is the only piazza (square) in the city.

I campi dei ricordi includes field recordings of works by the Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli, made during the final concert of the Tuning project’s programme in May 2022. Gabrieli composed his Canzoni especially for Saint Mark’s Cathedral, taking into account the basillica’s structure. a cross with many galleries and niches, in which the composer positioned his musicians. The audience, sat on the ground floor of the cathedral, followed the movement of sound above, from gallery to gallery. One of Gabrieli’s most frequently used devices was the echo—when one and the same musical phrase is repeated from a number of different points. For the concert at GES-2, the musicians of the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble were distributed throughout the House of Culture in approximately the same way.

Image by Ruslan Shavaleev
In my work with electronic music, I have always been interested in juxtaposing spaces and memories, in attempting to convey the acoustics of a place that heard only inwardly. Music lives in the consciousness and subconsciousness of an author constantly, where it is joined by the sounds of the city, mixed with memories of other music and events that took place in in various places. Memory undergoes constant transformations, generating something new which might never have existed in reality. Images are romanticized, and a new layer appears, a variation of the original memory.
Working on the installation, I thought of the different ways the Canzoni might have sounded to Gabrieli himself—in his own head, under Saint Mark’s vaulted ceiling, on noisy Venetian campos. How did the composer feel the difference between these acoustics? I campi dei ricordi is composed of fragments, which are at first glance entirely unrelated to one another, but united by a common theme—memory. The memory of light, sound, smells, and of those acoustics that have surrounded and surround us. I have imagined each field—campo—as a separate space, with its own events, flashbacks, and landscapes.

— Ivan Bushuev

Gabrieli’s Canzoni sound out alongside recordings made during different days of the Tuning project—echoes of the Resonance installation by Vangelino Currentzis which previously occupied the Prospekt, along with other noises made in this space are heard here. The entire composition might be thought of as an acoustic memory.

Ivan Bushuev (Moscow, 1984) is a composer, conductor, flautist, a soloist of the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble and the author of the electronic music project nerest. He is a graduate of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory’s historical and contemporary performing arts faculty. He has trained at the Baroque Academy in Gmunden (Austria), studied the traverse flute and modern flute in Milan, and studied as an exchange student at the Jan Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. He is a laureate of a number of international competitions.

Audio-engineer: Andrey Titov Vroublevsky