an online audio-visual project with the artist Viktoriia Sviatiuk
Amongst the piano pieces of Henri Dutilleux that I prepared for my first CD recording, Résonances (1964) was the work that impressed me the most.
I find it incredibly refreshing: each time playing it, it never really sounds the same, it is somehow unpredictable, for each piano has different qualities of resonance. Especially the overtones of the ghost-chords, which unmistakably characterize the piece, always appearing in different shapes and colors.
(Sometimes, while practicing, you happen to find yourself fantasizing. Some ideas occur, deliberately interfering with your duties as a diligent musician, and finally push you to write down some thoughts, just in case.)
Shapes and colours.
That small piano piece could have solid visual potential, I thought, and I wanted to discover it further, together with a “real” artist, who could make visible what is by definition (and here many digressions could start…) invisible: Music.
My mind ran immediately to Vika: an incredible artist and a true Slavic “force of nature” who I got to know better during my residency at Cité internationale des arts in Paris.
The visual artist Viktoriia Sviatiuk ©Antonio Covello
Vittoria Quartararo during the recording of the piece Résonances ©Yaroslav Likhachev
During the months of pandemic closure, I asked her about developing an animated video together, based on her original drawings, and starting from the impressions I had from Dutilleux´s music. In that difficult period, the many video calls we had made us realize how exciting (and fun!) it was to find some time to talk in our different artistic languages, interlacing the visual and audio levels with spontaneity and an open mind.
We unfolded the central idea of Dutilleux´s piece Résonances: starting from Galileo Galilei, who first studied the phenomenon of resonance through his experiments with the pendulum, we then moved to the audio-visual implications.
Wassily Kandinsky became our ideal reference, particularly his studies on the vibration of forms and colours. His painting Balancement (Swinging, 1925) finally offered us a valuable comparison with the movement of sound waves.
© Vittoria Quartararo 2021