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A sonic journey through space and time by the scientist and music composer Domenico Vicinanza

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A sonic journey through space and time by the scientist and music composer Domenico Vicinanza

October 20
09:06 2022
A sonic journey through space and time by the scientist and music composer Domenico Vicinanza
Domenica Vicinanza – SPACE DREAMS
A fascinating scientific/sound story from the Big Bang to today. An instrumental Album that can interest a large audience.

Musica Presente Records, from its very first publications, has expressed a clear editorial line: what interests us is polished music, not intended as abstractly experimental, but capable of combining sound exploration with existential investigation.

Furthermore, the type of music that is not a mere singing of personal feelings but that communicates a deep thought, takes charge of the problems of our troubled time, create relationships between human being and nature, between human being and transcendent, and between human being and science.

Dr. Domenico Vicinanza, a professor at the University of Cambridge, and an expert in Sonification of data and synthesis of sounds, deeply inserts himself into the context of his album, realizing a very original sound story that starts from the cosmic radiations produced by the Big Bang, not following naive creativity but based on scientific elements that are soundtracked. In a way that perhaps only he can do, very convincingly, he has made an album that expresses the special relationship between sound, technology, and science.

In an era in which new-romantic individualism is invading not only the field of pop, but the whole world of art and music in particular (with the misleading idea that music is the romantic art par excellence and suitable for expressing only subjective feelings), the demonstration of the union between music and science seems very appropriate, especially if made with criteria that rigorously refer to both the scientific aspects and the sound, in its auditory beauty. For this reason, the work of Vicinanza assumes an important significance. But what does Sonification mean? Each piece is based on data from scientific experiments or space missions. As Vicinanza himself says: “observations, measurements, numbers, they become music thanks to a complex process called Sonification, which allows you to associate notes, timbres, rhythms owned by scientific data.

In Space Dreams, technology and science become my creative tools. Through twenty years of experience as a scientist and composer, I worked by creating algorithms and mappings, looking for resonances, analyzing structures, and finding symmetries in scientific data and observations. Each song becomes a way to rediscover and dream about our relationship with nature and the cosmos”.

All the songs emanate an elusive sonic charm, dispersed in the infinity of the cosmos, like in the piece that opens the composition, Space Dreams, which refers to the Big Bang, where two pianos and electronics explore the cosmic background radiation that is produced as the echo of the Big Bang.

Compressions and expansions, resonances, and filters create a hidden and enigmatic spatial dimension.

Following a sort of narrative, The Mountain evokes the beginning of life on earth, from chaos to order. Isolated sounds and rhythms begin to interact. The sounds are emitted by the volcanoes Etna, Monte Pinatubo, Monte Mayyon, and Monte Tungurahua. Each volcano generates structured sounds that are then superimposed in a sort of symbolic and ideal perfection. The sound charm is mysterious and the knowledge that comes from scientific processes makes it even more arcane.

In Livelihood comes the human being who immediately begins to exploit Nature, just as the sounds, whereas the rhythms become more and more artificial. This passage, however, still maintains the Mystery of Life, expressed by sounds of dazzling beauty.

In Purgatorio an algorithm filters the four structures generated by the volcanoes, giving life to an interaction of sounds, a metaphor of Human Music, in search of a possible Harmony. 

It’s impressive how one can take inspiration from aspects that are apparently so far from those that are traditionally taken as a source of inspiration (intended not in an idealistic sense but as the ability to urge inventive flair).

Geyser is a piece created by analyzing the waveform of vibrations in the vicinity of a geyser, arriving at a sonic result with a strong imaginative impact. It demonstrates how creativity belongs not only to the artist but also to the scientist.

Mars Soundscape, this time is the NASA Opportunity rover, spectrally decomposed, to constitute the reference of the fantastic sonority of the piece. The seduction of this soundtrack creates an enchantment that seems a form of secular prayer. 

Sunset On Mars refers to a sunrise on Mars seen from the Opportunity rover. An image scanned pixel by pixel becomes a musical signal. The ability of the Proximity scientist is equal to that of the musician who knows how to render sonic attractions the scientific presuppositions.

Voyager 1: Interstellar Music. Voyager is the name of a telescope that identifies protons. Each measure of the detector becomes a sound, which contributes to the creation of a melody that follows the journey of the space particles. The mystery of the Universe becomes sound, in a listening that is not based on simple imagination, but on scientific data that resolve in music of great charm.

Domenico Vicinanza SPACE DREAMS (MUSICA PRESENTE Records) is on Spotify and all the digital music streaming services around the World.

Artistic director of MUSICA PRESENTE Records

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