Luciano Chessa + Hermione Johnson – 11/03/2023

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Audio Foundation is pleased to present Italian artist Luciano Chessa in concert with Auckland pianist Hermione Johnson. Each will perform a solo set, followed by a duo collaboration.

Luciano Chessa is a composer, conductor, audiovisual/performance artist, and music historian. Chessa’s compositions include A Heavenly Act, an opera commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Cromlech, an organ piece written for Melbourne’s Town Hall Organ; and Cena oltranzista nel castelletto al lago, an opera merging experimental theater with reality TV. Chessa has created multiple works commissioned by the Performa Biennial. In 2014, he presented three events at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as part of the exhibition Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe. Chessa’s work has appeared in Artforum, Flash Art, Art in America, and Frieze; and has been featured in the Italian issue of Marie Claire and in the September Issue of Vogue Italia. As a music historian, Chessa specializes in 20th century Italian and 21st century American repertoire. He is the author of Luigi Russolo Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult (2012), the first book dedicated to Russolo and his “Art of Noise.” In 2009, his Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (OFNI) was hailed by the New York Times as one of the best events of the year. Chessa has conducted this project around the world at venues such as Rockefeller Center in New York, RedCat in Los Angeles, the New World Center in Miami, Radial System / Maerzmusik-Berliner Festspiele, the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, and Lisbon’s Municipal Theater. In the Winter 2018, while in residency at the Steel House in Rockland, ME, he developed the audiovisual installation #00FF00 #FF00FF and prepared the diplomatic edition of Julius Eastman’s Symphony No. II . After publication, he conducted the piece’s premiere at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Luciano is supported by the Italian Embassy.

Hermione Johnson is a pianist and composer from Auckland, New Zealand. Her performances centre largely on extended and prepared piano techniques, focusing on the timbral qualities of the instrument, and drawing out a range of voices with contrasting patterns and phrases in different registers. Her prime focus is free improvisation, and with this she has been a significant force in the New Zealand experimental music scene. Her compositional practice is based in hand written graphic scores.

She performs regularly in Aotearoa and has featured in Dunedin’s Lines of Flight Festival, Wellington’s Pyramid Power Festival, the NoWhere Festival in Auckland, the Nownow in Sydney, and the SoundOut in Canberra. Internationally she has played with Roger Turner, Magda Mayas, Susan Alcorn and Peter Brotzmann.

As a musician she works across several genres – playing piano for ballet classes and pipe organ for the Methodist church, synthesizer solos as Ogadon and in the duo Drorgan with multi instrumentalist Ben Holmes. She also plays candlelight piano for Ron Gallopoli. She has featured in et al’s ‘For the Common Good’ improvising a score by Samuel Holloway, created music for Zahra Killeen-Chance’s ‘The Fallen Mystery’ and her organ and piano work has featured in films such as Gabriel White’s ‘Around the Margins’, Damian Golfinopoulos’s ‘Circle of Willis’, and James Ashcroft’s ‘Coming Home in the Dark’.

Saturday 11 March, 8PM @ Audio Foundation
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