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genesi : from the museum of sleep

Scott Gibbons' [LILITH]
sound score for Romeo Castellucci's
Genesi: from the museum of sleep
a Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio production

with:
Maria Luisa Cantarelli
Araz Gamzaev
Moukhtar Goussengadjiev
Renzo Mion
Lamine N'Diaye
Franco Pistoni
Silvano Voltolina
and with:
Teodora, Demetrio, Agata, Cosma, Sebastiano and Eva

Libération (FRANCE):
"leads audiences into a trance-like state as though on the brink of the unconscious, where the brain, free of all its inhibitions, creates its own images, without concern for their morality or coherence."

Mark Fisher, The Herald (UK):
"Subtitled 'From the Museum of Sleep', it is the closest a piece of theatre can come to a nightmare. Like a nightmare, any attempt to describe its impact crumbles into fragments of impotent language. The all-consuming images that had such power, such meaning, such fear when you experienced them subconsciously lose their resonance when the conscious mind steps in. David Mamet has described theatre as a way of dreaming in public, an idea which Castellucci takes to its most abstract and compelling extreme."


Co-Produced by Holland Festival-Amsterdam, Zuercher Theater Spektakel, Hebbel Theatre-Berlin, Le-Maillon Théâtre de Strasbourg, Perth International Arts Festival Western Australia, Centre Dramatique National / Orléans-Loiret-Centre, in collaboration with Bonci Theatre-Cesena

"Genesis scares me more than the apocalypse: the terror of endless possibility, the open sea of potential. I get lost - the Book Of Genesis goes beyond the imagination, because it comes from chaos, its substance is chaos - like mine and yours."
- Romeo Castellucci


When Romeo Castellucci conceived a piece about the book of Genesis for his theatre company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, he approached Scott Gibbons for ideas in creating a unique audio experience for the piece. Castellucci had previously used music from Gibbons' Lilith recordings for the masterpiece Giulio Cesare, and the proposal to work together on Genesi was an experiment to see what was possible in creating a new kind of sound score specifically for a new kind of project.

Much of the sounds developed for Genesi: from the museum of sleep were granularly synthesized from photographs inspiring Castellucci's direction (height mapped to pitch, color to stereo position, brightness to amplitude, etc). Granular synthesis technology was only just becoming practical due to the faster processor speeds of the new computers at this time, and this was one of the first major works to be created with such extensive use of the technique. Selections from the work were showcased at several electronic music festivals in the USA. Castellucci had also some pieces in mind from Gibbons' repertoire which were remixed specifically for the Genesi project: sounds of rocks being rubbed and smashed together from the album Stone (Sub Rosa: 1992), vocal and astronomical sounds from the album Orgazio (Sub Rosa: 1994) and sexual sounds from the album Redwing (Sub Rosa: 1994). These were natural sounds from organic sources, yet Gibbons' treatment of the recordings in his sound studio resulted in something altogether different...

The result is a collection of sounds which are impossible to place, music which is impossible to hum, and an unsettling atmosphere which is as alien and terrifying as the possibilities inherent in The Creation itself... possibilities as varied and real as a child's tea party to the terrors of the Holocaust.

After Genesi, Gibbons returned to work with Castellucci and Soc. Raffaello Sanzio on Il Combattimento; which saw a collaboration between Gibbons' avant-garde approach to composition and Roberto Gini's Ensemble Concerto, who have acheived top level in the field of Medieval music. Together, they reworked the timeless operas and madrigals of Monteverdi into a sonic work which has been compared to a person's listening to music for the very first time, while still in the womb.

For the present, Gibbons continues to do research with the Socìetas on Tragedia endogonidia in the direction of an "organic theatre" which is constantly mutating and advancing, like an organism which explodes out of the shell of theatre to embrace new combinations of contemporary and classic art.