Cum grano salis, season of immersive music
01 February 2020
“Cum grano salis” is the title of a season of immersive music that is part of the exhibition project ” Museum of Passions” by visual artist Javier Viver. Although this exhibition has its main venue in the Lázaro Galdiano Museum in Madrid (where it can be visited from the 5th of February to the 4th of May), it is in the second venue of the project, the Architects’ Chapel, where this cycle of concerts will be held (which will take place between the 13th of February and the 4th of May). Under the dome designed by the architect Ventura Rodríguez, whose remains rest in the crypt of this chapel in the historic Church of San Sebastián – located at number 39, Calle de Atocha – the musicians Fernando Monedero – together with the Taizé choir – will perform (“Nacimiento”, 13 February), Menhir (“La meditación del agua”, March 7th), Luis Hernáiz (“Levitación”, March 21st), Lucas Bolaño (“Latido”, April 4th), Alberto Bernal (“Disolución”, April 18th), and again Fernando Monedero (May 2nd), this time without the physical presence of the choir, but with their voices previously recorded. The worship space, without abandoning its dimension as a space for reflection, thus also becomes an exhibition space and a space for the search for the unspeakable.
In this edition of Ars Sonora we talked with José Delgado Periñán, coordinator of “Cum grano salis”, as well as with the visual artist Javier Viver -from whose exhibition project the initiative arises-, and with the two members of the duo Menhir (Coco Moya and Iván Cebrián), who star in one of the sessions. As our guests commented during the conversation, the main particularity of this cycle is the desire to immerse the public, making use of the special acoustics of the architecture that hosts it, as well as its spiritual function and its symbolic load. If Javier Viver focuses, in his exhibition montage, on the cross plan of the architecture (the body), these sound proposals resonate in the circle from which the semi-sphere of the dome that points to the sky (the spirit) emerges. The acoustic design that will be used for all the proposals that participate in the cycle projects the sound from various sources that draw that circle and that semi-sphere that represents the cosmos.
Also appearing in the dialogue is the work of José Val del Omar (1904-1982), an artist to whom Javier Viver dedicated his doctoral thesis (entitled “Val del Omar Laboratory”), from which he derived a first montage that recreated the PLAT laboratory (Picto-Lumínica-Audio-Táctil) at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía of Madrid, as part of the exhibition “Desbordamiento de Val del Omar” curated by Eugeni Bonet in 2010. Val del Omar was dedicated for a large part of his career to “diaphonic sound” (an acoustic device designed to represent the conscious and subconscious through various sound sources), which is connected to the immersive approaches that are the protagonists of this concert series.
Our conversation is complemented by listening to various works by the sound artists participating in “Cum grano salis”.