Resonance is a series of sound interventions for a specific site, activating the acoustic and historical space in the Museo Reina Sofía’s Sabatini Building. The programme refrains from using the auditorium and electronic amplification, which means guest artists, musicians and composers will present a series of pieces that set in motion alternative contexts for sound and contemporary music.
This series lays out a set of interventions that work with unwanted echoes and resonances, developing the properties sound possesses, depending on where it is produced – a quality that the careful design of auditoriums, speakers and earphones have tried to make us forget.
Modern music in Europe changes with the buildings that houses it. There is a type of opera for a type of opera house, while the waltz in large-scale rooms does not possess the same musical form as swing music in dance halls. Buildings designed for listening such as auditoriums – which are becoming increasingly more specialised – direct attention frontally or define space shared by the musician and listener. The introduction and popularisation of the record player, electronic amplifiers and radio have established new ways of listening based on reproduction, where the musician and listener become more and more distanced and where there is no control over who accesses the symbolic space of the music.
This series puts forward other paradigms of listening, introducing six sound interventions as possible alternatives to the traditional history of modern resonance. Where are we when we listen? When we listen are we in another world or inside the music? writes Veit Earlman. Listening is to live in the sound, and the pieces for these other modes of listening in the Sabatini Building include, among others: a collective performance for voices and vaults by Mattin, a wind concert without blowing for garden and rooms by Alex Mendizabal and a duo for two saxophones and two staircases by Jean Luc Guionnet and Artur Vidal.