Valentina Vetturi

The playground, 6’27”, 2011

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Can you briefly introduce The Playground, the sound piece you will present during Helicotrema?
The Playground is a guided improvisation: I invited eleven teenage girls to sing a nursery rhyme I composed.
The work evokes a memory a memory of my childhood as a sailor. At that time, I used to climb the scaffolds surrounding a closed and unapproachable theatre. At the base of the theatre, the piers of the sailing circle I used to attend. The theatre is the place where the girls performed and the story is set in 1991, in order to connect my personal memory with the general atmosphere of that crucial year.

Was there a particular reason why you chose to compose a text as a doggerel?
My starting point was a well-known nursery rhyme as “giro giro tondo”. I wanted to use that comfortable melody and manipulate it with a text you don’t expect. The irregularity of the script comes from the decision to adapt the composition to the melody. I wasn’t interested in following a rule, but in creating an easy to remember and evocative text, something that lasts in your mind and creates an echo even after you’ve listened to it.

Can you talk about the use of sound in your works?
Yesterday, I happened to listen to a radio interview with Alberto Boatto, and he was saying something like this: hearing exceeds the limits which sight has to deal with. This sentence, somehow, sums up why I’m interested in using sound.
My research investigates the relations between performance, writing and memory, and, in this sense, storytelling is one of the mediums I prefer to use. I see sound as a space. A space potentially open to welcome and originate images. Recently, I’ve also started to collaborate with orchestra conductors, and this is giving a new interesting direction to my work. But we will talk about this next time.