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Curran's music at Baths of Caracalla

Curran's music at Baths of Caracalla

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(ANSA) - Rome, October 23 - The long howl of a wolf and singing birds are among the sounds of nature that create a magical music played inside the ruins of Rome's Baths of Caracalla as part of an installation by American composer Alvin Curran.
The installation in the evocative archaeological setting, called 'Omnia flumina Romam Ducunt' (all rivers lead to Rome), promoted by Rome's special superintendency, is open until January 13.
The acoustic language of lions, wolves, blackbirds and water, along with the verses of poets, are mixed by the 80-year-old American composer with electronic sounds, percussions, sounds from the Brooklyn bridge and a fragment dedicated to Demetrio Stratos, the frontman of Area in the 1970s, an experimental lyricist and multi-instrumentalist.
Speaking about the installation, Curran said that, "real words come out of the walls, tunnels and bird nests of this monument, which is one of the most beautiful in the world and becomes a natural theater in this case".
"My work is based on two simple principles: each sound is potential music, the use of nature itself and of sites".
"The architecture of the Baths is like canvas receiving strokes of sound - a canvas that will appear new and original at each cycle and tune", continued the artist.
The composer, who is considered a leading artist in the creation of music played outside concert halls, explained that he used recordings of natural sounds from around the world that he made and preserved over the years.
"The composition flows constantly and never ends".
"The starting point comes from the century-old concept of 'musique concrète' made of natural sounds - it is a sound that comes from these ruins and moves through space".
The casual element of the music evoke s John Cage's art.
Twenty loudspeakers are hidden inside the ruins of the Baths, including eight placed underground, to create the music while three computers are used to manage the installation.
Marina Piranomonte, the director of the Baths, said the installation is a further step in a project to pay homage to contemporary art, which started in 2012 with an exhibit on sculptor Michelangelo Pistoletto and has continued with a show on another sculptor, Mauro Staccioli.
Superintendent Francesco Proseperetti said Caracalla is "the site most attuned to multimedia" in the Eternal City while the artistic director of the project's promoter Ram-Radioartemobile, Mario Pieroni noted that Rome "offers inspiration to artists who believe" in it.

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