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Evolving soundscapes

  • Event
  • 4 October 2023 - 31 March 2024
Progetto senza titolo

Music public program of Trad u/i zioni d’Eurasia

Evolving Soundscapes, the public program curated by Chiara Lee and Freddie Murphy, is renewed on the occasion of the exhibition Trad u/i zioni d'Eurasia - Liquid frontiers and entangled worlds, curated by Nicoletta Fazio, Veronica Prestini, Elisabetta Raffo and Laura Vigo.

From Asia to the Mediterranean passing through North Africa, in a history made of crossroads, exchanges, influences, connections, translations, rewritings as well as violence, colonial rule, appropriation. A history of liquid and fluid borders, which directly or indirectly shaped the invited artists, pushing them to narrate struggles for freedom and justice, to subvert gender and cultural traditions, to be inspired by folklore but to transform it, to reflect on the violence, oppression and resistance that have shaped entire territories and to work towards a future of sonic possibilities and intersections of polygenesis.

The program is completed by Distilled, a site-specific sound installation, a distilled sound alphabet series that will gradually develop and be enriched with new elements through the duration of the exhibition.

October, 4th 2023 - 7 pm
An expression of religion, revolution and freedom

Abdullah Miniawy is an Egyptian expressionist, a writer, singer, composer, and actor. His performances have graced prestigious international stages and venues, including the Festival d’Avignon, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Haus Der Kunst museum in Munich and the Louvre in Paris. Most recently, Abdullah's album "Le Cri Du Caire," featuring Erik Truffaz, won LES VICTOIRES DU JAZZ 2023 award – the French equivalent of the Grammy Awards. in the World Music category.
In addition to his music career, Abdullah proved his natural acting talent in Alaadine Slim's "Tlamess," a Tunisian feature film featured at the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. The film achieved critical acclaim, winning the Best Full-Length Feature Film award at Kino Der Kunst 2020 and the Best Director Award at the Marrakech International Film Festival 2020. Abdullah was also recognized with a nomination and shortlisting for the Best Actor Award from the Arab Cinema Center at Cannes's market.
During the Arab Spring he became a political figure of resistance after his poetry spread through Al Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria as well as Tunisia and other countries. In 2017 he was forced to leave Egypt by the oppressive Al-Sisi regime. In 2021 he was selected by the European Parliament in Strasbourg as one of three change makers from the Schengen area to offer a French-Egyptian artist's perspective on pressing contemporary challenges at the European Youth Event 2021 in the "Live Fully" section. He also participated in "Europe Takes Part," a gathering of 30 diverse speakers discussing new economic models and digital solutions for artists in a post-pandemic world.
At MAO he presents a concert for voice and field recordings, accompanied by Robinson Khoury on trombone.
Free admission.

November, 3rd 2023 - 10 pm @Antiche Ghiacciaie del Mercato Centrale
Performance by RAJA KIRIK with Silir Pujiwati and Ari Dwiyanto

Desire for freedom and rejection of colonial rule: a contemporary take on traditional Javanese folk trance dance.
The result of extensive artistic research into the island’s history, Raja Kirik considers the violence, oppression, and resistance that has shaped Java. At the time of Dutch colonialism, trance dances served the Javanese as an expression of their ardent desire for freedom and their rejection of colonial rule. Raja Kirik show how music, dance, and ritual still provide narrative means today to assert oneself against foreign rule and violence. These explorations can be heard on their eponymous 2018 album, as well as the follow up recordRampokan (Yes No Wave and Nyege Nyege Tapes).In their new music performance, “The Phantasmagoria of Jahtilan”, Raja Kirik, accompanied bySilir Pujiwati (an acclaimedsindhèn, a female solo singerversed in the Javanese tradition) andAri Dwiyanto(performer, director, choreographer, and one of the founders of Yogyakarta Bengkel Mime Theater) investigate the Jathilan horse dance, a folk trance dance popular in Java, Indonesia,as a way of regaining strength despite defeat. Jathilan is an acronym of “Jarane jan tjil-thilan”, which translates to a horse that dances irregularly. The current form of Jathilan developed after the Java War (fought between Javanese rebels and the colonial Dutch empire from 1825 to1830) as a folk practise to grapple with the defeat by the Dutch Empire and the devastation caused by the civil war between the Javanese population and the Javanese aristocracy who supported the Dutch. In Jathilan people use stick horses made of bamboo as a form of appreciation as well as an expression of support for rebel leader Prince Diponegoro's horsemens who fought bravely against the Dutch colonial forces. Despite the actual defeat of the rebels, Jathilan itself always depicts an imaginary victory of the local rebel cavalry against demons, monsters, or the colonisers. This heroic performance therefore has multiple purposes: to entertain, to encourage, to heal, and to unite people against oppression.
Raja Kirik’s “The Phantasmagoria of Jathilan” is an artistic exploration of the Jathilan tradition, re-interpreting its musical, vocal, and dance forms. Syncopated electronic rhythms combine with the metallic percussion of homemade instruments that is as trance-inducing as it is bellicose. Beautifully monotonous singing in a captivating repetitive melismatic style weaves through lilting melodies that gust out of makeshift wind instruments. With frantic, seemingly endless forward propulsion, the music of Raja Kirik inhabits a wide emotional breadth.
Free admission.

December, 6th 2023 - 6.30 pm
A retro-futuristic mix of traditional Yemeni songs, contemporary grooves, and self-made instruments.

El Khat – a homemade found-sounds band led by multi-instrumentalist Eyal El Wahab performing original compositions inspired by the music of the Golden Age in Aden, Yemen. El Wahab plays many instruments and some he constructed himself. Using his skills to make music from the items people discard. A child of the Yemeni diaspora who’s grown up in Tel Aviv Jaffa, Israel, it’s a practice that harks back to the family homeland, where even rubbish can become an instrument.
As undulating and stimulating as the eponymous plant, El Khat mixes trash and tradition in a timely urban reclamation of a disenfranchised culture.

January, 25th 2024 6.30 pm
Electronic folk reclaiming one of Azerbaijan’s most controversial lyrical traditions

A collaboration between Finnish producer Tatu Metsätähti and Azerbaijani musician and vocalist Zuzu Zakaria, Ya Tosiba absorbs electronics, live instrumentation and folkloric poetry of Caucasus into a spirited, groovy sound.
Their latest album ASAP Inşallah (Huge Bass, 2023) plays with tension of living in a world of contradictions and takes the listener on a global trek. Sonically, features come from Norway’s Center of the Universe, France’s Poborsk, Ukraine’s Zavoloka, Sweden’s Pavan and Daniel Savio, and Azerbaijan’s Rahman Memmedli. Four of the tracks draw on the meykhana genre, a style of Azerbaijani improvisational wedding music, with “poetry battles” soundtracked by microtonal electric guitar-playing.
Banned during the Communist period, meykhana saw a resurgence after the fall of the Soviet Union on televised talent shows, though it was still considered a form of low culture.
Zakaria presents a highly personal take on the genre, subverting both its gendered and musical traditions. “Women are not invited to this ritual, made by men for men, and [that] makes it undoubtedly even more important [for me] to continue to do it, but I would rather do deconstructed, wicked versions than copying what they do, how they do it,” she says. “Baffling them with a lot of bass and a very feminine voice feels kind of a slap in the face.”
As Zakari sings in Azerbaijani, the storytelling of ASAP Inşallah comes alive. All of the album’s lyrics are taken directly from poetry and texts: with tales of romance and war, sex and gender, nature and machine, politics and society. Though the stories are varied, and some are historical, they all tap into that tension; it’s the weight of history versus the promise of tomorrow.

February, 14th 2024 - 6.30 pm
Fantastical pan-global folk music unstuck in time

Širom” is an old word for “around” and “širom sveta” translates as “around the world”. That is exactly what this Slovenian trio’s music sounds like – like it has travelled, listened, climbed and swum.traditional music as liberation, playfulness and exploration.
The intertwining of diverse musical approaches and tools, histories of sounds and unbridled musical imagination and craftsmanship is the expansive guiding principle of the Širom trio.
More than a dozen instruments can be found in the repertoire of Iztok Koren, Samo Kutin and Ana Kravanja and at least as many given musical forms that can be perceived as an inspiration behind the character of this new ensemble. However, in their practice as well as experiencing they remain anchored in their creative process to an extent that allows them to avoid merely reflecting existing patterns. What this generates in an original, stylistically homogeneous form of expression that oscillates between a wide array of folk sounds and contemporary acoustic rock-style meditations. The end result is grounded yet still mystical minimalism. Širom’s music is contemplative, but can get harder when necessary, it is closer to being band- than chamber-like, to being street as opposed to urban in nature.

March, 27th 2024 - 6.30 pm
An exploration of voices and music from Palestinian past and present

Maya Al Khaldi مايا الخالدي is an artist, musician and composer from Palestine, based in Jerusalem whose work explores voice and the music of the past and present, working with archival materials to imagine the future. Her debut album “عالم تاني – Other World”, produced by Sarouna, is inspired by Palestinian folklore, influenced by the present. All songs include either lyrics, melodies, or recordings from the audio archive of the traditional Palestinian music of the Popular Art Center in Ramallah, Palestine.Sarouna سارونا is a Jerusalem-born Palestinian qanun player, audio engineer, producer and DJ.She is also the founder of Tawleef, an independent women-led Palestinian record label and artist space and working on an all-female collaborative music project, featuring local and diasporic Palestinian artists.She is currently working on her first album, an electronic exploration of memory through sampling and qanun.

Tickets: 15 € full | 10 € reduced (for students)
Tickets are available at the museum and online.