20160831 L1005448Et in Arcadia ego – an aural meditation garden
Music Centre, Helsinki September 1st 2016

Sofia Buono mezzo soprano, voice-improvisation
Yoldia van Gemert dance, coreography

Assi Karttunen, musician, artistic designer, research texts
Timo Muurinen sound engineer, artistic designer


Jean-Henri d’ Anglebert (1629–1691): Gaillarde, O beau jardinLes Pièces Manuscrites-kokoelmasta

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643–1704): Sans frayer Stefano Landi (1587–1639) Augellin

Graham Lynch (s. 1959): Pastorale (2015), Rondeau

How does an intrinsic utopia perform? Do we have an access to Arcadia?

Et in Arcadia ego is an aural garden taking its inspiration from 17th-century European meditation gardens. The organic sound material recorded in advance is related to wooden instruments like organ pipes, psalteries and harpsichords, including also concrete sounds of wood, cones, stalks and sticks. The concert's program includes works by d'Anglebert, Charpentier, Landi and Lynch, whose composition Pastorale had its premier on September 1st in Helsinki Music Centre.

Et in Arcadia ego 2016 impros


These sounds, projected to the concert venue by sound engineer Timo Muurinen, work as a basis for the improvisations sung by mezzo soprano Sofia Buono and harpsichordist Assi Karttunen.
It’s typical for a human perception to grasp a sound as a living thing.[2] The distances and the surroundability of the sounds are taken into consideration in this aural garden’s design.

The Italian harpsichord’s lid painting, painted by Andrea di Maio (2014), works as an imagined stage setting for our performance. The textual fragment ’et in Arcadia ego’ is echoing the Eclogue V by Virgil, which tells about shepherds at the grave of Daphnis. “I was Daphnis in the woods, known from here to the stars,lovely the flock I guarded, lovelier was I.”’

[1] See also Nicolas Poussin, Dialectics of painting (1990) ja Louis Marin, To destroy painting (1994).

[2] This animated sound has been discussed by phenomenologists of music, such as Don Ihde (1970), Thomas Clifton (1983) and David Borrows (1990).

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