In Stile Moderno
For some years I have been interested in the connections, similarities or bridges between ancient and contemporary music. Sometimes cheese is best enjoyed with a good jam. My interest was awakened by a vocal ensemble that performed works by Gesualdo and Nono. The concert was a real revelation. The aesthetics were so different and yet complementary, one piece created the perfect frame of mind for the next, so distant, so close.
Since then my work has always revolved around one idea: the wonder aroused by the juxtaposition of different colours. Working on this concept made me aware that breakaway repertoires from different centuries often had aspects in common. Musical and aesthetic revolutions were as overwhelming (and traumatic) as they are now and I believe that the surprise felt by the listeners at the transition between the “prima e seconda pratica” was similar to that of those who heard Schönberg's atonality for the first time. Not to mention the amazement roused by amplification, as in the case of the Beatles or Jimi Hendrix to name just a few.
Many contemporary composers look to the past for material, transforming or translating into something contemporary ideas or musical gestures from distant centuries; nothing is destroyed but everything is transformed.
The programme is divided into 3 parts:
Pieces from the first part of the Sixteenth century and their reinterpretation by the composer Maurizio Pisati in Catullus (Archlute, percussion and tape).
A watershed by Michelangelo Galilei (Sonata in A minor) and a contemporary counterpart, Aldo Clementi's Fantasia based on themes by Galilei (Archlute solo).
Pieces from the late Middle age, which inspired the composer Marco Fusi to compose "Ad Mortem Festinamus" (Archlute and live electronics).
“… and thus the central part, with translations of texts by Catullus by Louis Zukofsky: Roberto Sanesi reads (reads? It sounds as if they were intimate memories, the voice of time that passes through us) reads, I was saying, the original text by Catullus, then some fragments of this reading are isolated and deformed, and return together with Jeremy Norris’s voice reading the English text. All around sounds flow from border areas, bells, electricity, steel tubes, a digression on Alessandro Picinini’s toccata Vigesima Quarta for archlute, whilst high up, touching the ceiling the voices of Ursula Joss and Marco Bortoli sing Odi et Amo” (Maurizio Pisati)
“Ad mortem festinamus” is the result of a long reworking of audio material from the Livre Vermell by Monserrat.  There was no particular elaboration process in the drawing up of the material (audio tracks and score), but a kind of rhizome-like development of primitive cells that are then carefully concealed. The melody of Ad Mortem guides the formal arch, and the internal parts, and it acts as a greatly expanded cantus firmus for the entire piece. The dialogue between the instruments and the digital component takes place in a dimension of mutual influence, searching from the beginning of the piece a definitive conciliation of sounds that in the final seconds break up the tones of the instrument and of the tape into a final homogeneous sound. A kind of imaginative improvisation on the slow pace of the ancient monody, that seeks to maintain the ritual aspect of the pilgrims-song, and indicates the path that the piece must follow, notwithstanding the many distractions that the journey offers. The piece is dedicated to Emanuele Forni
(Marco Fusi 30.04.2008)
 “… after some time, as the sweet and lovely singing blossomed, the virtuosos found that these big lutes, were ideal for accompanying  the voice, as they were so sweet.… Mr Giulio Caccini, called the Roman, most excellent man in bel cantare arrived in Ferrara … He had an ivory Chitarrone that he used to accompany the voice.
… and when I had the contrabases of the lute built, many of the virtuosos, took a fancy to the harmonies and variety of the chords, and started to play with just these sounds; quite soon and with much exercise many became very good; and thus began the cry of the chitarrone (Alessandro Piccinini)