A poetic study of Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd. Noise for Syd by Yuval Avital Icon/sonic opera in memory of Syd Barrett. World Premiere: Festival Aperto | Reggio Emilia, Italy | Teatro Cavallerizza | Wednesday 13th November 2013, 8.30 pm.
A Wagnerian concept of a “total opera” meets the psychedelia in a poetic study dedicated to the controversial personality of Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd.
A total opera where sounds, images, gestures, objects and actions complete one another thanks to the creative partnership of a truly unique Italian “task-force”: soloists from the Teatro alla Scala, directors of Milan’s Conservatory new technologies department, a legendary underground artist of the 60’s & 70’s, dancers performing everything from ballet to avant-garde theatre, together with post-punk and contemporary musicians. All will be performing as one, guided by the psychedelic creation of the visionary composer Yuval Avital, to give life to one of the most controversial dramas of the cultural scene in the second half of the 20th century which had became a symbol of an era. In this work, the frame is not the long-established “Rock opera” format but is a truly multi-sensory poetic experience dedicated to Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd, seven years after his death*.
Yuval Avital – composition, direction, video, electric guitar, noise effects | Matteo Guarnaccia – visual arts, analog projectors, objects, body painting, limerick |Giovanni Cospito – electric bass, live electronics | Riccardo Sinigaglia – vintage synthesisers, piano (to be played inside), live electronics
Eros Sabbatani – contrabass tuba | Paolo De Gaspari – bass clarinet | Simone Beneventi – percussions and noise objects | Lorenzo Colombo – extended drum set, percussions | Anna Kolesarova and Marta Mazzoleni – dance, performance | Isabella Spinelli – stage design and costumes, assistant director | Paolo Latini – light design
Production: Magà Global Arts:
*WARNING: Noise for Syd contains adult scenes, strobe lighting, also for long durations, and loud music.
Noise for Syd:
A multimedia opera composed of seven allegorical tableaux, created of electronic sounds, live recordings, classical and electric instruments, art objects and sound objects, analog projections, video productions and stage action whose expressive language ranges from classical dance to Abramović performances, from Butoh theatre to Pina Bausch’s dance theatre.
77 tightly-packed minutes, during which the spectator is submerged in a psychedelic trip made of parallel layers of action and meta-symbols of light and sound: this is Avital’s new creation “Noise for Syd”. Realised thanks to the collaboration of different but mutually complementary personalities and professionals, Avital has brought together an extraordinary team of Italian creative artists who will make their debut in Reggio Emilia, Italy on 13th November, as part of the Festival Aperto 2013 programme at Teatro Cavallerizza, at 8.30 pm.
The icon/sonic opera Noise for Syd features no arrangements or citations from Syd Barrett’s or Pink Floyd’s music. And yet, Avital’s psychedelic score – a detailed graphic work that blends stage cues, traditional notations, iconic images, drawings and quotations – is a map of signs, motifs, sound metaphors, gestures and symbols that recall intimate and detailed aspects of Syd’s story: his fantastical and psychedelic dimension that mixed Lewis Carroll’s surrealism, art, spirituality, urbanity, blues and rock, all with almost a childish freedom; the world of hallucinations in which Barrett lost himself; his early departure from the music scene and his withdrawal into self-imposed exile at his mother’s house in Cambridge for over 30 years; testimonies of his band mates and family members and, most of all, the wound he left, that smarted for many years afterwards, drawing in the rock scene tears of sound – as with the celebrated Pink Floyd songs “Shine on you crazy diamond” and “Wish you were here” – and fuelling a variety of theories and legends about his life that, when publicly discussed, still have the power to arouse heated debates to this day.
“Syd never understood celebrity”, his sister Rosemary stated in a radio interview a few years ago. And indeed, Avital’s opera distances itself clearly from the cult of Syd Barrett as a celebrity “to be exploited” and shuns the way the media made capital out of the mysterious circumstances of his death. Instead, this is works aims to create a staging of a human archetype which, as in the myth of Icarus, reaches the light and then burns his wings. From this point of view, it is interesting to consider the inevitable analogy between Barrett and Rimbaud, both of whom reached the zenith of their careers at a very early age and then retired completely from public and artistic life and took refuge in a frame of an “ordinary life” .
The visual contribution of Matteo Guarnaccia (explained by the artist):
“Images resembling pulsating amoebas, enfolding and engulfing. Dancing coloured matter. Divinities and demons, tigers and flowers travelling through light to devour and be devoured, changing the perception of space and the physiognomy of heedless participants. Flashes of eroticism are ablaze in the vast, desolate and magic arena of creation. Slides, magic lanterns, Chinese shadows, body painting, billowing fabrics and puppets like symbiotic life forms. Guardian spirits of the stage and of the artists engaged in the rite/celebration.
A turbulent, post-rock’n’roll shamanic session, going through Alice’s mirror like a revolving door. A nomadic, low-tech set design, messenger of high life.”
Syd Barrett (1946-2006) – [by Matteo Guarnaccia]:
“This is the story of a young Englishman, beautiful, delicate, brilliant – a human being with an amazing flair for translating and articulating the Zeitgeist of the sixties through a virulent sonic art, the mise en scène of childhood emotions. It’s a story that transcends the hackneyed settings of the cursed rock star; it goes beyond the usual cliché of genius and loose living – a life that fizzled out not down the path of egotistical self-destruction but as it drifted away from the hub. It is the story of a mystifying absence that continues to plague and obsess those who deal with creative communication, existential artistic investigation and experimental languages. Syd was an adventurer, an explorer of the uncharted areas of the psyche, who did not allow himself to be devoured by lions but, rather, devoured himself. Without a safety net, without a safety belt, without the necessary precautions… It’s the story of a tragic implosion, a devastating fall, not into hell but into the ordinariness of everyday life. Rimbaud goes back home to mum.“
Composer, guitar player and multimedia artist Yuval Avital, born in Jerusalem, 1977, living in the recent years in Milan. His works spread from huge sonic events for numerous performers to demanding orchestral and chamber compositions, from Icon/sonic operas which include classical performers, multi-media together with traditional carriers of ancient cultures, to highly technological projects, involving scientists, artificial intelligence and live sonic elaborations.
Among Avital’s works:
KARAGATAN for 100 musicians from the Gong and Bamboo traditions and two conductors (Philippines 2013); OTOT icon/sonic symphony (opening of the 200° concert season of the Teatro Sociale in Como 2013); UNFOLDING SPACE, a project created in collaboration with scientists from NASA & ESA (Bergamo, 2012); GARON for 45 tubas, 6 percussions, 3 conductors, choir and live electronics (closing event of Dirty Corner installation by Anish Kapoor, Milan, 2012), 3 operas commissioned by Italy’s major festivals: REC (KOLOT, Reggio Emilia, 2008), MiTo SettembreMusica (SAMARITANI, Milan, 2010) and RomaEuropa Festival (LEILIT, Rome, 2011), as well as numerous chamber music compositions played by leading soloists and ensembles.
Yuval Avital is also an acclaimed classical and electric guitar player, graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and later specialising under the tutorship M° Angelo Gilardino, artistic director of the Andreas Segovia Foundation. Avital has performed worldwide from the Centre Pompidou in Paris to the Palazzo Reale and Teatro Nuovo in Milano, from the Quinta da Regaleira Palace in Portugal to the National Conservatory of China in Beijing.
His works and concerts have been broadcast by SKY CLASSICA (a network that has produced a documentary on Avital), CCTV China, Radio 3 Suite, Kol Ha Musica (Israel), WQXR & Classical Guitar live (United States) and many other television and radio channels.
Yuval Avital is the founder of the Trialogo Festival and of the Magà Global Arts performing arts factory. http://www.yuvalavital.com/
Matteo Guarnaccia (born in Milan in 1954), is a leading personality in contemporary visionary culture and is actively involved in the world of art (international exhibits, installations at the Triennale in Milan and the Hall of Flowers in San Francisco), fashion (Biba, Corso Como 10, Vivienne Westwood, Malo) design (Bruno Munari, Atelier Mendini, Italo Rota & Partners, Yoox, Coin), writing (over twenty publications dedicated to twentieth-century avant-garde/counterculture), journalism (Vogue, Rolling Stone, Abitare, Zoom, Gap Japan, Wired, D-La Repubblica, Alias), teaching (NABA, Domus Academy), curatorship (exhibitions on Skate Art, the Provos movement, Psychedelia, the first exhibit in Italy on Vivienne Westwood) and music (Byrds, Donovan, Timoria).