Moby Dick suite

The wrathful skies gallow the very wanderers of the dark

Mocha Dick


A punta secca

In August 2016 we started a new adventure which will take five years or more to resolve. Luigi Francini and Andrea Semerano have started at Piane di Bronzo an incredible work starting form Moby Dick. Piane di Bronzo is becoming a Melvillean landmark, with artists being invited to work on, over and under the white whale and it's tale.
For this purpose I was invited to create three main sound installations, one for the installation created by Luigi Francini - basically a lookout post which is also the whale's stomach, Melville's writing or even an astronomical station.

partial view of Pure Data (Pd) patch

I have called the generative sound engine "Mocha Dick" like the 19th century albino whale of the chilean pacific which partially inspired Melville's Moby; it is a standalone Raspberry PI with a Pure Data patch.

Another installation, "Vele" is for the amazing paintings created by Francini, 3m high sails which depict the main characters of the book. I had in the exhibition room 4 small speakers hanging from the ceiling (roughly 6m tall) sending the signal coming from PD on a laptop in another room, here's an excerpt below.
Finally "A punta secca", only a small patch that generates oscillators harmonically adjacent to the other two installations - in the room where Luigi's "punta secca" prints are exhibited. The objective was to have similar sounding areas in Piane di Bronzo where the exhibition and the installations are.

partial view of Pure Data (Pd) patch

"The wrathful skies gallow the very wanderers of the dark" is a quote from Shakespeare's King Lear, quoted within Moby Dick and gives the title to the composition for electronics (Pure Data) and electric guitar I brought for the concert, during the August events in Piane di Bronzo.
I call it composition as there are there are parts which have to be executed each time following a certain order, timing, gesture and so forth. There are nevertheless random metros and sound generators which, in the grammar I have created for myself, tell the musician on guitar to start or stop sound, increase or decrease intensity, change the portamento when using the bow and so forth. The main trigger for the instrumentist is a random generator of "beeps", signals which seem to have a logic and a grammar of itself but in reality totally open to interpretation - as there is no real organized language behind. Also to be noted that the guitar is never to be played in it's canonical position:

I will try to publish the score as soon as possible and the Pure Data patch.