“Theatre of Sounds,” an event oriented by the question “How does the territory resonate in theatrical spaces?”, focused on the sound dimension in theatrical practices and experiences: from knowledge through the body to the condensation of a space-time, from fundamental interactions with present time to the anthropological composition of identity ties. But the speakers also reflected on the spaces and sounds that denote the railway movement, in particular of the Centovallina, in a space-time that is technically its own (and for Switzerland, in relation to the questions posed in the series of events “La Suisse existe – La Suisse n’existe pas”, the train exists as a territorial marker), in a continuous game of references to the train as a living space characterized by pulsating rhythms imperceptible to those who live it as a place where distance is not measured according to a spatial metric, but according to a temporal perspective. The Centovallina and the scenic or artistic events that involved it, in particular Il rumore lontano, Centovalli-Centoricordi and Re Cervo, were also the starting point for reflections, based on concrete experiences, on the spatial and sound dimension of a way of doing theater strongly rooted in a relationship of anthropologically strong ties with geographical and cultural borderlands.
In the first evening of the event, the speakers presented contributions related in very different ways to the main theme of the evening, creating a kaleidoscope of varied points of view. Lorena Rocca, head of the Research Department of the DFA, and professor of geography at the same DFA and at the University of Padua, presented “Il rumore lontano”, a research project on train narratives in Ticino developed in collaboration with the sound artist Xabier Erkizia. Oliviero Giovannoni, musician, composer and first teacher of Rhythm at the Accademia Dimitri, told from a sound perspective the experience “Centovalli-Centoricordi”, a theatrical journey in time and space through the Centovalli. The musicologist Anna Stoll Knecht (Accademia Dimitri), presented the research project “Music and Clowning in Europe”, which addresses the issue of musical humor in the 20th century from two different perspectives: on the one hand, examining the way music and sound are used in European clowning traditions; on the other hand, proposing to widen the field of musical humor by introducing the category of “clownish”. Matthias Sebastian, researcher, choreographer and artist associated with K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie / Tanzplan Hamburg in Kampnagel, spoke about his research on the phenomenon of movement transmission in discos, in relation to which he closely analyzed and described dance actions and interrelationships. Finally, Antonella Astolfi, teacher of Voice at the Accademia Dimitri, presented, always from the sound point of view (also with the help of small moments of performance proposed by the students of the University of Applied Sciences of Verscio), the theatrical path “Re Cervo” (directed by Claudio De Maglio), artistic result of the project “SPASS (Synergy between artistic promotion and sustainable mobility)” which aimed, through creative action, to raise public awareness of eco-mobility. Demis Quadri, head of the Research department of Accademia Dimitri, member of the SSST steering committee and SUPSI professor in Research and didactics of physical theatre, between one intervention and the other connected the different and multiform threads woven by the speakers through a dramaturgy vaguely Shakespearean in its spatial and temporal leaps.
The second day was moderated by Lorena Rocca and took the form of a workshop based on the approach known as “Open Space Technology” (OST). OST is a method of interaction that relies primarily on spontaneity, leaving participants to define the topics to be discussed. The main goal of OST is to structure an interaction environment that facilitates communication, builds mutual trust, and fosters creativity among participants. The proposal was to collect, in working groups, different suggestions around the question “How does the territory resonate in theatrical spaces? ” and also derived from several abstracts received following a call for papers that allowed, among other things, the participation of Carlotta Sillano, musician, researcher and expert in soundscapes, and Francesco Michi, musician, sound artist and coordinator for Italy of the activities of FORUM KLANGLANDSCHAFT (FKL), an international association for soundscapes, with which “Teatro di suoni” has allowed to establish links for future collaborations. The topics addressed in the working groups were, for example: “Soundscapes, artistic languages and responsibility”, “Landscape, relationships, genius loci and popular musical traditions”, “Lake Salmace”, “Emotional geography: movement, image, sound” and “The relationship between spherical and linear spaces”.
Enriched with further contributions, the symposium gave rise to an issue of the journal “Quaderni di Geografia / Geography-Notebooks” entirely dedicated to the exciting topic of soundscapes, scenic and geographical that can be read and downloaded here: https://www.ledonline.it/index.php/Geography-Notebooks/issue/view/142/showToc
Link to the symposium website: https://paesaggisonori.supsi.ch/progetti/teatro-di-suoni/
The Swiss Society for Theatre Studies, in collaboration with the Dimitri Academy and the Department of Formation and Learning of SUPSI and with the support of the Swiss Academy of Human and Social Sciences, proposed, as part of the review “La Suisse existe – La Suisse n’existe pas / Raum – Espace”, the symposium “Theatre of Sounds. Theatrical and territorial acoustic spaces” (Verscio and Locarno, June 13-14, 2019), which has now given rise to a dedicated issue of the journal “Quaderni di Geografia – Geography Notebooks”.