Quell'usignolo innamorato, Study N°1


Quell'usignolo che innamorato, Study N°1
Philip V's armchair, digital image produced by a Generative Adversarial Network (in collaboration with Ahlad Reddy)
Study for The Ear N°1, after 'De Visione, Voce et Auditu' by Hieronymous Fabricius
Performance with Erik Kallo and Poppy Shotts, Royal College of Art, 2018
Performance with Ana Beard Fernandez & Antonio Breitenfeld Sa-Dantas, Royal College of Art, 2018
Quell'usignolo innamorato, STUDY N°1, Royal College of Art, 2018

This research plunges into the depth of a ritual that linked the 18th century castrato singer Farinelli to Spanish King Philip V: every night for a decade, Farinelli sang for the King to alleviate his melancholy.

Study N°1 is a performance and installation that have been developed collaboratively with sound engineers, singers, and a computer. It features a first version of the king's favorite song Quell'usignolo che innamorato (that nightingale who is in love).

A second version is currently being created at IRCAM, as part of the 2021 artistic research residency programme with the Analysis and Synthesis department: https://www.ircam.fr/person/judith-deschamps/

The recreation of this song and ritual, realised through various digital materials and emerging technologies, seeks to express the anxiety lying behind the fabrication of the castrato's voice. It tends to explore what connects this anxiety to the evolution of technology today.

Ana Beard Fernández, António Breitenfeld Sá-Dantas, Jesse Cahn-Thompson, Yaprak Göker, Erik Kallo, Poppy Shotts