‘10001’ Undercurrent project

11 September 2020 – Launch of Sonos Civitatem MMXX

Sonos Civitatem MMXX is a dialogue between music composition and visual art, transpiring into a complex, yet minimalistic artistic body of work. 

The project aims to unravel personal afflictions and questions, which seem to be left unanswered from a pandemic ridden world. Through this surreal reality, the artists’ experiences, visions and aspirations meet and reach common grounds. 

With this in mind, the project presents personal reflections of the current situation (like issues of eviction and affordable healthcare) and moves on by picturing future narratives happening in NYC and beyond. The project touches upon ways of how people can connect and find inner peace, which will eventually lead them to rediscover themselves through a multicultural society. 

The collaborative project will first be introduced and presented virtually through Undercurrent Gallery’s online platform as an electroacoustic composition combined with a set/repertoire of visual art. It is our intention to develop the project further so it may be experienced in real time as a possible sound and video installation with the participation of the audience. 

The visuals include layers of rubbings/frottages of ‘home’ using objects like a radiator and a comfy chair. Stitched ephemera of things such as hospital bills are used as printing plates upon a prepared paper of an abstracted yellow color field, subtly hinting at the structure of Indian Tantric Drawings. All of these works symbolise grief, desires, and expectations of life, which come together as a puzzle completed by the music. 

On these lines, the musical composition travels from one section to another by hovering through rhythmic patterns and combination of sounds, which form layers of colours and textures. The piece provides a balance of sounds and spaces that encourage and allow personal reflections to overshadow everyday noises. The piece also makes use of phrases that—similar to the visuals—thread into the notes and sounds, making them significant to current reflections on the fragility of what we considered as normal and on the construction of the new normality. 

Finally the project offers the audience a sense of belonging and a longing for a better quality of life that is focused around good health, human compassion, and fulfilment. 

Addendum – notes on process

The project has truly been, on all levels, a continuous exchange of each artist’s ‘marks’ —visually and audibly. At the start, Nicola recorded the sounds she makes while stitching; while applying paint to paper; and while making a rubbing (frottage).  All of those actions had both a visual result and an audible manifestation from which Mariella continued to build her composition.  Mariella would then send Nicola a variation of her composed cords and Nicola would try to feel their intensity and movement through visual expression.  Kandinsky—would first of course come to mind, historically— responding to music in his artworks.  

This kind of communication between their media and marks continued several times.  And not to forget, THEIR ‘marks’ originated from focusing in on specific topics discussed. As the final unified piece came together, the artists made the decision to allow the music composition to dictate the visual marks. By doings this, those marks on paper were given the capacity to morph further by what the digital space had to offer. 

see project here.

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