atempo The Music Festival “A tempo

The project


This year the festival is about the sense of time and its flowing. The event is named:  A TEMPO, since the purpose is studying the time of music, psychology, biology and its cycle.

A musician must face this captivating subject every day. It is no longer a question that concerns only music but also other sciences such as: philosophy, psychology and science. It is interesting, anyway, how even physics can’t yet give an only one answer to this important theme. For example, the theory of relativity and the quantum mechanics give two opposite explanations about time and this suggests how little we really know about the subject.

Music pushes us to ask ourselves: does time exist? Do exist several kinds of time? What kind of time should we believe in? To the seasons’ and blooms’ circle or to the line of time that sees us come into the world, growing up and die? Or to the time of events that happen or do not happen?

How far can we perceive the idea of time in a closed and dark room? Can we understand time through a sense organ as we can feel cold or hor, a sweet or bitter taste? When a person perceive time in a different way from another one, who’s wrong? Does exist an objective time and a subjective time?

Music always express these questions. It does not matter if the composer develops these reflections in a conscious or unconscious way. Aphorisms, endless movements, suspensions, linear time or cyclic nature.

Music goes thought all these dimensions. Music hungs up what is before and after our life. (= La musica sospende il prima ed il dopo della nostra vita). During a passage we stop using random categories. When a music piece starts, a specific musical time begins which has nothing to do with the “ time” that came before, for example the “time” we parked our car and went to the Russolo Theatre. Now a music piece starts and the concept of freedom is completely fulfiled: logical rules are very steely but were decided by the composer himself and they do not concern what happens to us before or after the performance.

During our free reflection, the miracle of the most abstract and pure creation has accomplished: the sound. It is a magnificence that acts on our time. Here, just for a moment, we stop living and dying. Music is in our memories forever, it lives in ourselves even when it has already gone by and its being here, at the present time is undeniable.

Schubert is said having affirmed: “Do you know a cheerful music? No, it doesn’t exist, I tell you”.

We would like to propose a possible interpretation of what he said. A cheerful music doesn’t exist because it dies at the same time that it comes into the world. It dies immediately, nevertheless it touches us deep inside and enter our life. It is the cause of nostalgia for a fleeting, elusive and perfect beauty; perfect just because it does not belong to this world. Our festival is about this and other similar stories. We would love to propose selected works where the conception of time is original.

Passacaglie, Ciaccone, will be obsessed by cycling time (the time of Seasons, days, of a pendulum swinging). The music of minimalists such as: Pärt, Webern, Kurtag, Cage and Ligeti, will concern opposite/coincident  poles of time which may be suspended/compressed/expanded. The linear time can be found in the concept of sonata or in all compositions having a logical linear structure.

Enrico Bronzi