Isolario is a cycle of 9 duets, which can be performed, or just imagined, by any instrument or voice. The scores consist in a textual part and in a visual part; the music resides in the clash between these 2 sorts of material.
The textual part of the scores consists of 3 sections.
The first section is a quote from different medieval writers from the arabic world (al- Qazwīnī, Ibn Waṣīf Šāh, al-Ḥimyarī), compiled by Angelo Arioli in his book Le isole mirabili (1989 Einaudi, Torino). These are descriptions of special islands, and they belong to the tradition of the literature of wonder.
The second section is a commentary on the quote, in which I talk about what these stories communicate to me, and what make me think of, expanding the meaning of the first part.
The third section contains instructions for the performance of the piece, in which I attempt to translate some characteristics of these islands, or some behaviours, into music; ultimately they create a bridge between the textual part of the score and the visual.
The visual part of the scores consist of my versions of preexisting maps from the medieval Arab and Persian tradition of KMMS1. The use of these non-mimetic maps2 was certainly not for navigation, as in the case of the modern ones, but they had an iconographic use: they could be defined as carto-ideographs. Therefore these pictures can be seen not as descriptions of territories but rather as spaces3 , in a very similar way as graphic scores do not necessarily describe the final auditive result. My versions of these maps insert in the tradition of inexact copies of copies; nevertheless they have been bonded to my musical necessities, and therefore transformed into musical graphic scores.
The instructions part of the text provided information about how to read and use the visual material.
Each of the 9 pieces can be performed separately from the others, or in combination with all of them, in any order, with any duration. Since the material of these pieces is not defined, these scores are ment as tools for any musician or artists who can use them regardless of the style, language or media. The performers are therefore responsible for making important choices, which can be very personal and different every time, influencing dramatically the colour of the outcome, though the structure of the pieces should be strictly respected.
Please download here the full score.