ORIS: lectures – program block Architecture + Sound
Over the course of history, artists' and thinkers' intuitive ideas about the unbreakable bond between time and space, sound and ambient, music and architecture, have been expressed through works of art and cultural views with the help of scientific and technological improvements of the 20th and 21st century. What the old Pythagoreans created in theory, mankind has put in practice over time. Music always mirrors a specific space, just like every space incorporates a specific sound. Even though both the origins of music and the origins of architecture are essentially viewed as two separate disciplines, both have often communicated with each other, served as each other’s inspiration, used common structural elements and influenced each other's shared development. Can we imagine the centuries-old history of church music without the resonant cathedrals in which it was created? Can we imagine the development of virtuoso Baroque arias without the adequate opera interiors with the acoustics to support their coloraturas? In many cases, it was the space and its acoustic possibilities that were the critical factors in defining the musical style adapted to it. Just as the wild and distorted punk music would sound incoherent in a Gothic cathedral, a children's choir with its liturgical repertoire would have been inappropriate, to say the least, for the British underground clubs of the late 70's. Ultimately, the acoustics have become a shaping element, both in music and architecture. Composers thought increasingly in terms of space, until the space and its sound movement became basic musical criteria. At the same time, architects have turned their focus from shaping space using light and texture to its acoustic features they could manipulate, and began designing all kinds of sound pavilions and multimedia installations. Both disciplines have, in fact, surpassed themselves.
However, many an artist's interdisciplinary tendencies are not simply systematizations of interior sound reflection. To conceptually connect time and space, or music and architecture, as much as possible in order to create an exceptional artistic entity, the creative path had to step out of the realm of physics into the realm of metaphor. Contemporary composers such as Albert Posadas, or architects such as Steven Holl, draw their inspiration specifically from opposing disciplines, while trying to establish structural and formal links between them. In this process, they will often stumble upon the obvious problem concerning the opposition between the Dionysian narrative and dynamics of music versus the Apollonian statics and distinctiveness of form found in sculpture and architecture. Means and ideas used to resolve these problems vary from case to case, each interesting in its own way. The goal of a series of lectures hosted at the Music Biennale Zagreb is to gather experts from the areas of music and architecture so that they could present their experiences on the subject to the Zagreb audience.
With their different approaches, media and techniques, several lecturers will outline contemporary viewpoints on interdisciplinarity using their own works and the works of others as examples. They will not only attempt to answer the question of coexistence between two opposing media, but also the question of removing the barriers between music audience and architectural audience. – Marko Slaviček