Thursday, November 22, 2007

SoundArt: Mario Bertoncini

Date Of Birth: 27 September 1932, Rome, Italy

Composer, pianist, musical constructivist Mario Bertoncini is a leading figure of contemporary avant-garde music.
From 1951 to 1961 he dedicated himself to classical and musical studies: composition with G. Petrassi and piano with R. Caporali in Rome; electronic music with G.M. Koenig in Utrecht. From 1956 he performs widely as concert pianist in Europe, as a soloist with orchestra (Bruno Maderna, Daniele Paris, Mario Rossi, Paul Hupperts, Roelof Krol and others) and in recitals.
In 1962 he wins prize Nicola d'Atri (S. Cecilia National Academy) for “Sei Pezzi Per Orchestra” and soon after he starts his first experiments with invented/prepared instruments (Quodlibet, Cifre, Tune, Scratch-A-Matic).
And for “Quodlibet” in 1965 he gains the prize of the Fondation europeènne de la Culture.
From 1965 to 1973 he is one member of the Improvisation Group Nuova Consonanza and from '67 to '73 Music Theatre professor, working on functional interaction of sound and gestures (Spazio-Tempo, ›Note per un teatro della realtà‹).

In 1968 he works on Epitaffio: correspondence between the action of drawing and writing a text and its sonorous. While the world première of Spazio-Tempo is held at Venice Biennale in 1970, while he is committed to the construction of his first sound objects on the principle of the Aeolian harp.
From 1970 to '72 he is elected President of the contemporary music society Nuova Consonanza, and in 1974 he is invited to Berlin as »artist in residence« of the DAAD art program, where he realizes the first ambitious project of open air kinetic sound-sculptures (VELE, Berliner Festwochen).
In 1975-76 he gains associate professorship at the McGill University, Montréal where he helds an experimental composition course called ›Musical Design Course‹ and became founder of the MUD group, later known as SONDE.
From 1980 (to 1997) he becomes professor at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. In 1986 he co-founded the theater group VIE with Matina Schaak and Roberto Capanna.
In the same period, he invents an interactive system for the transformation of dance-gestures in optical and acoustic signals called ›Choreophon‹, while in 1992-93 he develops the ›Stabdämpfer‹ (bar mute), a special device for the preparation of stringed instruments and combines compositional work with performing activities as a pianist (works by Scarlatti, Schönberg, Stravinsky, Satie, Messiaen, Scelsi, John Cage, Terry Riley, Morton Feldman etc. and own arrangement: Earle Brown 4 SYSTEMS; Cage CARTRIDGE MUSIC).
He is now back in Italy, but still really active with Concert/Lectures activities in Italy, but also Germany, USA, Canada, Europe, Korea, Israel…

  • Cifre / Four Systems / Cartridge Music (1997, Edition RZ, Ed. RZ LP-1002) (w/Earle Brown, John Cage)
  • Arpe Eolie (2007, Die Schachtel, DS15)
Appears on:
  • John Cage - Sonatas And Interludes (2001, Edition RZ Parallele, RZ CD-20001)
  • John Cage - The Complete John Cage Edition, Volume 24 - A Cage Of Saxophones 1 (2002, Mode, mode 104)
  • John Cage - The Complete John Cage Edition, Volume 35 - A Cage Of Saxophones 2 (2006, Mode, mode 160)
  • Gruppe Nuova Consonanza - Improvisationen (1968, Deutsche Grammophon, 643541)
  • Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - Nuova Consonanza (1966, RCA, MLDS20243)
  • Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - The Private Sea Of Dreams (1967, RCA, RCA Victor LP LSP-3846)
  • Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - The Feed-back (1970, RCA Italy, PSL-10466)
  • Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - 1967-1975 (1992, Edition RZ, Ed. RZ 1009)
  • Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - Azioni (2006, Die Schachtel, DS13)
  • Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - Nuova Consonanza (2007, Bella Casa, CASA 009CD)

more (detailed and expanded discography, photos) on:

(Artist Profiles section)

Mario Bertoncini

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