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Commission to Christopher Trapani

Cohort Productions vzw, Brussels (BE)

In 1925, with the advent of electronic recording techniques, the number of records of popular music, especially from the port cities of the world, exploded. The historical 78 rpm records of this era are the not-so-silent witnesses of the birth of son, jazz, samba, rembetiko, fado, tango, etc. They reveal a kind of B-side of music history, a people’s history of music-making driven by the bustling marketplaces of colonial port cities. Composer Christopher Trapani creates with Noise Uprising: A Polystilistic Atlas a song cycle for two sopranos, four guitars and live electronics that sets this theme to music. His composition for Cohort Productions is based on the book of the same name by Michael Denning. Noise Uprising is a polystylistic atlas that unravels a subterranean, cross-cultural network far away from, and with a wider reach than, traditional concert halls.

Based on analyses and transcriptions of existing historical recordings, Trapani composes a collection of short works bundled into a song cycle. In doing so, he does not shy away from fictional encounters and imaginary cross-pollinations between musical styles: gamelan meets tango, fado meets samba. Trapani uncovers hidden connections between geographically distant genres. The guitar, in all its possible variations, forms a common thread. For live electronics, Trapani will explore the historical practice of recording techniques, not only from a musicological perspective, but also from a technical one. Lastly, the human voice plays another central role in Noise Uprising. For this project, made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, Tripani and the Zwerm guitar quartet will collaborate with Swedish-Ethiopian soprano Sophia Jernberg and Puerto Rican soprano Sophia Burgos.

Further information:


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