Yves Klein's Monotone-Silence Symphony, arranged for inclusive choir
Written and conducted by Francesco Venturi, in collaboration with Caledonia Maxwell and Goldsmiths University, London
A community-oriented project to perform the UK premiere of Klein’s iconic diptych and bring together the sound(s) and the silence(s) of South East London. A praise to the power of mutualisation practices. In memoriam Mark Fisher.
The project aimed at performing Yves Klein’s composition Symphonie Monoton-Silence (1947-61), arranged for inclusive choir. Rehearsals took the form of a structured exercise and were open to anyone, with or without experience in music. The composition (originally scored for choir and orchestra) is divided into two parts: first, a unique sound, continuous, then an equivalent time of silence. During the workshop, participants were invited to find a sound and learn how to sustain it in a potentially endless loop, by combining it with the sounds made by the others. Then, they were invited to do the same thing, but in silence. Such a practice has great value in terms of encounter, cohesion and self-consciousness. Further, it opened up a space for exchange and discussion, which was an important aspect of the project. The final performance took the form of a traditional concert, and constituted both the restitution of the workshop and an example of the structured exercise itself. It was about making a collective noise, all at the same time in the same place, and then taking a moment of silence.