Gavin Bryars – In La LP
In Là is the outcome of the collaboration between Gavin Bryars and the Italian visual artist Massimo Bartolini. Staged as a large-scale installation at the Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art in Prato, Italy, during the autumn of 2022, Bartolini transformed scaffolding into pipe organ bars, suspended from the ceiling across seven rooms of the museum as the central piece for his retrospective exhibition. It is the music played by these singular organs, composed by Bryars, that makes up the two sides of Alga Marghen’s LP edition. Here is a compositional practice by Gavin Bryars returning to some of the experimental and conceptual territory that defined his work during the early 1970s, prior to the composition of seminal works like “The Sinking of The Titanic” and “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet”. In Là presents the composer working across the vast space of the installation, with sounds physically spread in each of the museum’s rooms and placed in careful consideration of the space continuity, while at the same time never fulling being experienced in its totality by the listener. This allows the LP documentation of the work to become a singular complement to the live, real-time aural adventure, unveiling phenomena and perceptions of the work’s rich tones and poetic structures that would otherwise be unavailable. While Gavin Bryars background in music is well documented, the connections of Massimo Bartolini’s poetic to sound as less known. The early practice of modifying architectural or domestic devices into sound producers, eventually led Massimo Bartolini to create installations made of scaffolding tubes which are modified into the pipes of an organ. Conceived in different forms and in relation to different architectural contexts since 2008, these works clearly relate to Baroque organs, the most visual of musical instruments, and to the use of scaffolding in construction sites. The organ conceived for the solo survey at Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato is the largest incarnation of these series and altogether the largest installation ever conceived by the artist. Hung from a structure that runs along the museum ceiling and suspended just centimeters above the floor, Bartolini built a continuous 75-meters-long wall of scaffolding tubes which winds through seven of the ten rooms of the exhibition space. For this structure of complex engineering Gavin Bryars was invited to compose a specific polyphonic score. Assigning each room a unique melody, the composition creates a richly layered soundscape that is constantly shifting with the viewer as they move through the space. As the title suggests — alluding to the dominant tonality (La) of the piece — the score is always “beyond,” out of reach, never experienced in its entirety by a single listener as, in fact, the shape of the organ itself. Standard edition of 400; including an insert with liner notes and photo documentation of the installation; numbered.