Music From Glory

by Cinema Volta

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Music from Glory is an excerpt from a soundscape for Pietro Fortuna's installation, "Glory" at Tramway in Glasgow. I created an ever-evolving soundscape from a large collection of looping material. 100 different tracks were stored on four MP3 players, set to shuffle mode. This created an endless piece of music that played 24 hours a day in the space.

There are two ways to listen to this album - the first is the normal way, all tracks in order from the beginning to the end. The second way will create a similar experience to the installation. The hour-long piece has been divided into 15 four minute and eleven second tracks. Put the album into shuffle mode and infinite play with a crossfade setting as long as possible and press play - this will generate a new, constantly shifting piece of music, similar to what the visitors to the installation experienced.

From the text for the exhibition by arts writer, Lauren Dyer Amazeen:

Quiet Musings: Pietro Fortuna and GLORY

“ None of us can ever retrieve that innocence before all theory when art knew no need to justify itself, when one did not ask of a work of art what it said . . .” – Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation

Pietro Fortuna’s latest series of grand installations titled Glory are quiet pieces, restrained, and perched to reveal a glimpse of something that we are invited to observe and perceive or, what Pietro might refer to as to witness. The artist allows the work to remain silent, not asserting an imposed meaning. Taking his art away from an idealisation, Pietro approaches the act of creating an artwork basically as a reflection . . . an encounter. Pietro believes that the term original refers to the work, while authentic refers to the author. It is only from their encounter that the exemplary emerges. “I prefer to think of the freedom of the exemplary, that is, of the encounter between the original and the authentic.” The viewer also becomes active in this process . . . in an attempt to bear witness to that which can exist without any illusions and dogmatic baggage. And here, it is all right to question, to doubt. As the artist relates, “What is life without a question mark? It is the underlying impetus. It is not narrative, metaphorical – it is existential.”

Conceived as a series of diverse exhibitions, Glory stems partly from the artist’s reflections on the concepts of good, sharing and common space. For his Glory I, exhibited and performed in Glasgow at Tramway in August 2010, Pietro devised an immersive environment within the cavernous Tramway space. He constructed this installation through the long process of meticulously layering thousands of large cardboard sheets in an abundance of configurations. The artist positioned the large soft brown cardboard sculptures around the space giving ample space, or intervals, between each one, and mounting some up and attached to the walls around the space, at different levels. Viewing the vast space as a whole, this installation appears architectural, like the model of a cityscape. As the viewer approaches these cardboard monuments, the eye is drawn more and more to the details and texture of the simple cardboard. Patterns begin to emerge along the edges of the material. The intricate designs of the layered cardboard articulate the constructions. This commonplace material which one might take for granted otherwise, is perceived differently when placed in this situation. The material has its own dignity. Pietro takes care to relate the integrity of the objects he creates. The aesthetic of this material, soft brown paper, takes hold, surprisingly. The gaze continues to move back and forth between the ornate and large scale. Pietro is concerned however, with “ leaving one’s gaze in the balance between the perception of the single portions and the image of the whole body that appears to cancel them.” For Pietro, a certain type of vertigo occurs during this process, “ as the world twirls from taking in the greatness of the whole and grasping the minute.”

At the centre of this elegant installation, Pietro built a piazza, a platform constructed by the artist as a place where diverse groups from the local communities were invited to gather. Here, during a short residency, the artist built conversations around the process of constructing his surrounding installation. The piazza within the installation might represent that place in between, where time is suspended – to give the mind a rest from defining it all. . . the artist can offer a quiet place without any pressure from or referral to the past or the future. Through his practice, Pietro creates scenarios to illuminate something inherent in our humanity . . . a constructive view, one might say, of our shared distance. The installation could be seen to frame what he calls “the distance that exists between us.” For Pietro that distance is something we all share. The key here is sharing a natural distance – as opposed to being bound by a dogmatic union. Pietro turns the idea of bonding inside out with his new works.

Pietro feels a sense of responsibility not to impose or project meaning on the objects he creates. For Pietro, “Things live in ignorance of themselves – they are just there – Look at things as they are . . .still.” Yet the tension of their existence is not absent. Graham Harmon’s object oriented philosophy comes to mind here. A bit of a renegade in philosophical circles, Harmon cites, “ I will defend a weird realism. This model features a world packed full of ghostly real objects signaling to each other from inscrutable depths, unable to touch one another fully. . . My claim is that two entities influence one another only by meeting on the interior of a third, where they exist side-by-side until something happens that allows them to interact.”

Fragile souls,
Ungovernable figures
Neither knows the
wounds of the other.”
– Pietro Fortuna


released May 10, 2014



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Cinema Volta Glasgow, UK

Cinema Volta consists of Glasgow-based musician John Maxwell Hobbs, a stack of electronic equipment, musical instruments in various states of disrepair and occasional collaborators.

For much of the ’90s he was the Producing Director of The Kitchen in New York where he produced the work of Philip Glass, DJ Spooky, David Hykes and many others.
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