> Voyage that never ends performed by Dario Calderone on the IIC Melbourne Vimeo channel: click here
Voyage that never ends (1978-2011)
Voyage that never ends by Stefano Scodanibbio is probably the most important composition for solo double bass. The remarkable duration of the composition (45 min) associates it with that universe of sound in which there is a “getting lost”, a direct passage through the musical material, thus putting it in relation with popular music from all over the world.
The importance of this piece of music in the contemporary panorama lies precisely in this: the ability to speak to any listener in a direct and “ahistorical” way, while remaining radically rooted in our contemporaneity. The piece is also innovative from a technical point of view, both for the new instrumental possibilities invented by Scodanibbio, and for the scientific exploration of some acoustic phenomena generated by the resonances of the double bass, similar to the experiments generated in the same years by Arnold Dryblatt.
Voyage that never ends was composed between 1978 and the year of the author’s death (2011), developing over the years around a conceptual starting material.
Although the piece has had hundreds of performances by the author himself, it has not been transcribed in a precise notation: the identification of the author with his work has in a certain sense made a fixed and exact codification of the piece impossible, following the a rule that says that every formalization of a living and pulsating idea inevitably leads to its death.
I had the privilege of being the only one to learn the piece directly from M ° Scodanibbio during the years preceding his untimely death. The learning process took place directly, starting from an extremely meticulous study of the techniques used in the piece. Unfortunately, his death left this process of translation unfinished, leaving out the last section of the piece.
The work of research and “reconstruction” of the parts of Voyage that I was unable to study with Stefano, consists above all in the comparison of different recordings and videos of the piece performed by the author himself, in search of a “rhizomatic” score. What is in common between these versions, and what can be defined as “text”, which intentio operis and which intentio autoris, have been my field of research and investigation. Being, in this specific case, the two types of intentio closely related, I tried to deepen the study of all the cultural references that were part of Scodanibbio’s personal universe. To give just one example, the studies carried out by the author on Indian metrics cannot be ignored, if you want to reconstruct some passages in a “flexible” way.
Voyage is a masterpiece of our contemporaneity, for and beyond the double bass. Voyage is first and foremost a device. “A device is like a skein, a multilinear whole made up of lines of a different nature. These lines follow directions, trace processes in perennial disequilibrium… Each line is broken, subject to variations in direction, bifurcated and forked, subject to derivations. “* Some of these forces can be described as processes of accumulation or relaxation, and they follow very precise and defined structures.
The relationships between these forces, which sometimes intersect, establish the map of the labyrinth of the mind that created it. Stefano’s deliberate choice not to publish a written score causes an interpreter following him to inevitably plunge into the sea of this tangle with the eyes of an explorer, thus embarking on an inexorable continuation of a journey. Between-saying an open work like Voyage that never ends means entering the mnemonic systems and cognitive structures of Scodanibbio, exploring its labyrinth, and finally discovering the thought behind it in a profound way.
Studying Voyage, I came across a completely non-linear learning system, as it was for learning the first part, which took place with Stefano and through Stefano. I say through because in Voyage at a certain point this research, this journey, becomes impersonal, no longer of the author, but of collective knowledge. A bit like Borges’ libraries, or its famous Garden of forking paths, Voyage is a set of possible outcomes of an event, each of which in turn branches off into possible futures. I like to imagine that one day it becomes a ritual, a recurring practice: play it, listen to it … get lost … stop … continue …
Dario Calderone was born in Rome in 1978, he studied double bass with Massimo Giorgi, Franco Petracchi and was one of the few pupils of Stefano Scodanibbio. He has devoted himself to contemporary music for almost 20 years, and has performed hundreds of compositions for solo double bass, chamber music or ensemble music at major festivals in the world, including La Biennale di Venezia, Milano Musica, Wien Modern, ECLAT Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary music Festival, Festival d’Automne in Paris, ENSEMS in Valencia, Ultraschall, Berlin Philarmonie, The Library of Congress Concert Series, Rainy Days Louxembourg, Holland Festival, Shanghai Expo, Moscow New Music Festival and many more.
His most recent projects for double bass solo include UR, two rites for double bass, a one hour composition by Giorgio Netti that takes the double bass to new instrumental frontiers, as well as a restoration of Stefano Scodanibbio’s famous piece “Voyage that never ends” , and to various compositions dedicated to him by composers such as Peter Ablinger, Peter Adriaansz, Claudio Baroni, Bernhard Lang, Yannis Kyriakides, Alberto Posadas, Helena Tulve. He is currently a member of the Nieuw Amsterdams Peil group in Amsterdam, of the Trio Feedback in Spain, and of MAZE in the Netherlands.
From 2009 to 2019 he was the double bass player of the Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam. He regularly collaborates with the Klangforum Wien, the Ensemble Asko-Schönberg and the Ensemble Constantinople of Montreal. In recent years he has also dedicated himself to the composition of works mainly for double bass solo, working in particular on micro-amplification systems of the instrument, and on a double bass prototype with resonant strings. For these researches he received the support of the city of Amsterdam and the Dutch FPK.
He works as a teacher, having been regularly invited to give masterclasses at the Impuls Academy in Graz, the Amsterdam Conservatory, and the Lucerne Festival Academy. He has recorded numerous CDs for various record labels such as Kairos, Hat-Hut Records, Wergo, Stradivarius, Unsounds, Moving Furnitures, Attacca Records.
His recordings for double bass solo have received numerous praise from critics: especially the album Bass Works, dedicated to the music of James Tenney for Hat (art) Hut records, Bass and Flute for Kairos with music by Bernhard Lang, together with the flautist Manuel Zurria, and The new Italian double bass for Stradivarius / Naxos with music by Luciano Berio, Giacinto Scelsi, Franco Donatoni, Salvatore Sciarrino and Stefano Scodanibbio.