Exhibition view: AUFGERISSENEN AUGES: TRANSMANIERISTISCHE REAKTIONEN xhibit Vienna, Nov. 2015
O Dolcezz’ Amarissime D’Amore
Installation with Sound, 2015
O Dolcezze‘Amarissime D‘Amore is a sculptural sound installation wherein a mirrored snare drum is hanging from the ceiling and is surrounded by three so-called subwoofer boxes on the ground. Above the floating snare drum is also a blown glass drumstick hung centrally and only in a short distance to the mirrored surface of the snare. Out of the speakers comes a six minutes looped composition by the artist whose bass-heavy parts of the sound piece make the snare wires below the snare drum bottom tremble in vibrating resonance. The piece of music is based on samples of the same-titled madrigal for three sopranos with tender ornaments and realized basso continuo by the Italian composer Luzzasco Luzzaschi that was composed for the Concerto Delle Donne. These were professionally singing women – individually, in pairs and „A Tre Soprani“ -with bass accompaniment in the late Renaissance period. The special feature of the Canto delle Dame di Ferrara was their singing with little voices in the same high position. In O Dolcezz‘ Amarissime D‘Amore the ornate embellishments such diminutions (resolution long notes into many small) Passaggi, suggestions and trills that are usually improvised, precisely notated – and that‘s really special. Also, the Concerto Delle Donne meant a revolutionary musical establishment that helped in the shift of the women‘s role in music; its success took women from obscurity to „the apex of the profession“. Women were openly brought to court to train as professional musicians, and by 1600, a woman could have a viable career as a musician, independent of her husband or father. New women‘s ensembles inspired by the Concerto Delle Donne resulted in more positions for women as professional singers and more music for them to perform. Veronika Eberhart refers to this historical moment of female empowerment on a musical instrument that helped in shaping her own musical identity and makes the former echoes vibrant again within a super fragile and highly aesthetical installment.