Swedish composer Maria W Horn presents her new work “Dies Irae” in Milan at Santa Maria Annunciata church in Chiesa Rossa, whose spaces host the light installation by American artist Dan Flavin created by Fondazione Prada. The musical performance is presented by Threes Productions and MMT Creative Lab in collaboration with Fondazione Prada.
The interior of the church designed by Giovanni Muzio in 1932 becomes the ideal place to host and enhance Maria W Horn’s music, which will dialogue with the site-specific intervention Untitled (1997) by Dan Flavin (United States, 1933 – 1996). The work was produced after his death by Fondazione Prada in collaboration with Dia Center for the Arts in New York and Dan Flavin Estate. Untitled, one of the last projects conceived by Flavin, was presented on the occasion of his first Italian solo exhibition organized in Milan by Fondazione, which has been supervising and supporting the conservation of the work ever since.
“Dies Irae” is inspired by a poetic composition in Latin dating back to the 13th century and attributed to the Franciscan poet Thomas of Celano. It is a vision of the Day of Judgement, between divine salvation and eternal flames, on which Maria W Horn builds a pièce for a female vocal quartet and electronics. The piece is divided into two vocal parts, and for the occasion, the choir will consist of four local voices.
The compositions of Maria W Horn (1989) implement synthetic sound, electroacoustic and acoustic instruments and audiovisual components, often devicing generative and algorithmic processes to control timbre, tuning and texture. She employs varied instrumentation ranging from analog synthesizers to choir, string instruments, pipe organ and various chamber music formats. Acoustic instruments are often paired with digital synthesis techniques in order to extend the instruments’ timbral capacities. Often based on minimalist structures, her music explores the inherent spectral properties of sound and their ability to transcend time and space, reality and dream.
For the first time, Fondazione Prada is collaborating with Threes Productions, which has organized a series of concerts inside the Santa Maria Annunciata church in Chiesa Rossa since 2017. The program has included performances by international artists from the minimalist and avant-garde scene, such as William Basinski, Charlemagne Palestine and Ellen Arkbro, and a reinterpretation of a composition by Arvo Pärt, exploring in the religious dimension of the place the boundaries between sacred and profane music, between tradition and innovation.