Points on the music to find, 9’55”, 2012
The Studio of Musical Phonology in the Milan RAI headquarters in Corso Sempione 27, designed by physicist Alfredo Lietti, was born in June 1955 on the initiative of Luciano Berio and Bruno Maderna. That year, Milan became a point of reference in the post war international electroacoustic music, with a new expressive language, summary of practical experiences and electronics were accomplished in Europe in the Studio für Elektronische Musik (WDR) in Cologne and at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris. Among the productions of experimental electronic music in the Studio of Phonology, are to be quoted Luciano Berio’s Visage, Notturno by Bruno Maderna, Fontana Mix by John Cage and Homage to Emilio Vedova, the only work carried out fully electronically by Luigi Nono.
“In the opacity of Milan in the ’50s, with the opening of the Studio of Phonology, Maderna and Berio found a dull and hostile territory. Very different from the newly-born studio in Cologne, the two masters, aware of the contemporaneous French experiments, carried out this idea with a different technical methodology, more free and imaginative. Creatively, it was the most important experience throughout the Old continent … ” – Giacomo Manzoni
In 1955, the fact that they had 9 oscillators tuned to different frequencies, compared to the single one of the Cologne studio, was like having a “full orchestra”, where they could simultaneously generate more sounds, like in a chord. There was already a cluster, a palette of sounds that reduced production time. The ear was the only element to judge whether a sound was working or not; after many trials and errors, the interesting tapes were recorded and filed and the work continued up to the result obtained. Berio broadcast on the radio every new composition of the other European studies, in order to introduce the repertoire. He was a great teacher, as well as a great composer, a person who could talk and bring music to the general public.