This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia and is managed in Tasmania by RANT Arts.
La morte mi troverà vivo
Opening: 6pm, Friday 24th January 2020
Exhibition: 25 January – 23 February 2020
Sit. Listen. What you can hear might be sympathetic resonance, collected likenesses from ten years of reading and recording. What you can hear might be the pushing of numbers into dimensionality to describe a universe, cut seven ways, by seven waves. It might be the voice of the dead, the harmony of spheres, the call of the universe. It might be the Brooker highway.
– Sarah Jones, curator, excerpt from the exhibition essay
La Morte Mi Troverà Vivo (in death you will find me alive) is a 90-minute sound-piece that mediates raw noise to create an aural atmosphere conducive to communicating with the supernatural and listening to the spirit world. A contemporary “sonic seance” where the sound is both the medium of evocation and the manifestation of the spirit itself.
In 2017 Mat Ward was awarded the Claudio Alcorso Foundation’s grant to travel to Italy with the intention of investigating the life and work of Italian Futurist and pioneer of noise art, Luigi Russolo. Russolo is possibly best known for his manifesto, L’arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noise), which was a denunciation of turn-of-century musical practice and a claiming of a new, modern and industrialised musical aesthetic. He proclaimed that the orchestra was a thing of the past which could not, therefore, produce the sounds of a truly contemporary music canon. Russolo then built his own orchestra of machines called Intonarumori which were toured around Italy to the bemusement and sometimes distain of the public.
Russolo believed that noise could be spiritualised and open up portals to other realms and planes of existence – he sought a way to communicate with the dead using sound as the catalyst. In La Morte Mi Troverà Vivo field recordings are manipulated via an occult number system, based on the esoteric writings of Russolo. The work can be seen as both a poetic interpretation of these theories and a threnody for Russolo himself.
Mat Ward is a Tasmanian musician, sound artist, instrument designer and researcher who works across a wide range of genres both in acousmatic and performance settings. His recent practice examines the acoustic structure of noise; pulling apart field recordings to investigate how the properties of noise have both disruptive and cohesive elements and their relationship to human emotion and communication.
Locally and internationally he maintains a diverse collaborative practice with filmmakers, poets and musicians on projects that include free improvisation, contemporary classical music and site specific response.
His research explores the origins of experimental music with a focus on early 20th Century artists, and in particular Luigi Russolo.
Over the last decade he been awarded numerous commissions and residencies, released 15 albums and had his acousmatic work tour across Europe, Asia and North America.
Click here to download a PDF of the catalogue essays by Sarah Jones, Dr Danielle Kirby and Mat Ward.
Image credit: Mat Ward, La morte mi troverà vivo (video still), 2019.