L'Impero della Luce, an experimental music duo
L'Impero della Luce
L'Impero della Luce / The Empire of Light is an Italian experimental music duo that explores the sounds of electric current by using the technique of electromagnetic induction . This particular approach to music allows the listener to get closer to the sound of the electron, the physical and historical source of electronic music.
Acquatint, 1868. Amédée Guillemin, Les phénomenès de la physique.
The empire of light sorrounding us
Like the wind that moves the branches of trees, electricity produces unintended sounds: like trees, which cannot hear the sounds of their own branches, humans too are surrounded by sounds that are not audible to the human ear (Vlad Kreimer). L'Impero della Luce considers these sounds a "natural" expression of the Anthropocene and our listening implemented by technology can grant aesthetic dignity and wonder to the sounds of our electric forests (cities, homes, factories, places of culture...).
Their productions wish to contribute to the creation of a different idea of soundscape capable of including in its definition not only the sounds that we can hear with the naked ear but also what is considered inaudible, if not equipped with an amplification.
Their sound has been described as "una musica meditativa che rende quasi impossibile continuare la vita ordinaria", a sound form "indispensable to give a dress to the anguish of the present".
In an era of widespread use of instruments intended for the production of electronic music, L'Impero della Luce has chosen to concentrate its research on the original matter of this discipline: electric current.
Thought the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction, L'Impero della Luce creates real time compositions by organizing the sounds of electromagnetic fields produced by daily devices, thus retracing the enthusiasm aroused by pioneers capable of giving voice to the light such as Alfred Graham - among the first to employ voltage control on 1895 - e William Du Bois Duddell (1899), a forerunner of the Electric Arc musical potential.
The musical production of L'Impero della Luce comes from the use of disused technologies - old power supplies, clock radios, CD players, cathode ray tube televisions - and small household appliances - lamps, fans, electric toothbrushes... - and assimilates John Cage's philosophy and the experience of the musical experimentation from the Sixties, expressing a meditative and oniric music.
Il Mare di Dirac
Il Mare di Dirac / The Dirac Sea is the first album released by the duo in February 2020.
Full concert held in Treviso at the Festival L'Arsenale Nuova Musica, December 2019.
Musica da Camera
During the pandemic (March 2020), L'Impero della Luce was asked to be part of the on-line concert program called Musica da Camera and promoted by Centro D'Arte, Padua.
Calcite, Onyx, Hawaii, Tabacco
Part of Il Mare di Dirac, the piece consists of the sounds of the installations and textile machinery recorded at the Fabbrica and the Bonotto Foundation in Molvena (VI).
We don't shake hands
The track appeared in Dio Drone record label special christmas compilation in December 2019.
Unreleased Improvisation, 2018.
L'Impero della Luce performed two Sleep Concerts in August and September 2020, playing two concerts lasting 7 uninterrupted hours each.
Invented by Robert Rich in the late 1980s, the Sleep Concert is a special concert for dormant or semi-dormant audiences. The duration of the concert - from midnight to seven in the morning - allows the performers to confront their physical and creative limits, while generating a propulsive thrust in the balance between the state of trance and meditation.
Première: Festival FemminileSINGolare, Parco della Favorita, Valdagno (VI), 15th August 2020.
The special concert was repeated during "Il cielo in una stanza" / The sky in a room, Cartiera di Vas (TV), on 29 September 2020.
In September 2019, L'Impero della Luce began to record electromagnetic sounds collected in urban spaces and places related to the world of art, culture and everyday life. These soundscapes will be transformed into musical compositions and will be used as samples during their live sets. Among the compositions already released:
Calcite, Onyx, Hawaii Tabacco
Calcite, Onyx, Hawaii and Tobacco are the names of four yarns used in September 2019 by one of the Bonotto company's looms - a textile industry located in Molvena, (VI) dedicated to the creation of fabrics for high fashion. L'Impero della Luce recorded the sounds of the electromagnetic fields produced by the machinery used for the textile production and those emitted by the installations of the Bonotto Foundation art collection. Organized in nine minutes, the sounds of electromagnetic fields generated the composition Calcite, Onyx, Hawaii, Tabacco (380 V). The rhythmic acoustic roar of the looms hides two "silent" sets of electromagnetic sounds: that of the recently manufactured looms, characterized by the low hum of the power supplies, and that of the Jacquard looms, an extraordinary landscape made of crystalline harmonics and ringing tonal variations. Through a process of synthesis, the universe of textile production merges with that of artistic production, represented by the hissing of the monitors of Nam June Paik's Robot: the Baseball Player (1989) or by the chirps of the surveillance camera of his Voyeur Mail Box. A familiar sound, that of neon, flickers to tell the Homage to Jacopo da Ponte by William Xerra (2018) accompanying the pizzicati of Mechanical Surmandal (1978) - Joe Jones's automated Indian harp - and the electromagnetic fields of the screens that transmit the performance made by Philip Corner at the Wool Mill in 1995.
The city of the future
Invited by Lago Film Fest to create an original sonorization, L'Impero della Luce chooses to work on Metropolis, a masterpiece by Fritz Lang (1927).
Sounds and images tell the famous story of a megalopolis in which the workers are forced to live underground in inhuman conditions, exhausted by the exhausting shifts to keep the Machine M active, the beating heart of the glories of the upper city and its skyscrapers. In this brutal dystopian future, the events of Mary - teacher and prophet, of her evil robot-clone and of the revolt involving the production of electricity, cause of the sufferings and conflicts of workers and compositional material for this soundtrack - unfold.
Première: Lago Film Fest, Lago (TV), 25 July 2019.
L'Impero della Luce became endorser of SOMA Laboratory (August 2020), a production company of synthesizers and musical instruments dedicated to experimentation founded between Russia and Poland by Vlad Kreimer in 2016. The connection is established thanks to Ether, a device created by SOMA to amplify and listen to the electromagnetic landscape of urban sites.
In July 2020, L'Impero della Luce is invited to collaborate in Usmaradio's KIN project at Santarcangelo Festival 2050. During the three days of work, L'Impero della Luce recorded the electromagnetic sounds of Santarcangelo town, a collection of sounds offered to KIN's participants as compositional material.
On the evening of Saturday 18 July, Usmaradio broadcasted one live concert by L'Impero della Luce that could be also heard from the speakers of Nello Spazio's stage, at Santarcangelo Festival 2050.
The recordings made in Santarcangelo will soon become a new composition belonging to the Electromagnetic Soundscapes project.
In January 2020, L'Impero della Luce was selected to be part, together with 79 other international musicians and operators, of the European Key Change project dedicated to achieving gender equality in the music industry.
The program supports the development and international growth of our music project, offering connections with industry operators and festivals, seminars, meetings and workshops.
Postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic, the Key Change project will host a performance by L'Impero della Luce at Tallinn Music Week (August 2021).
Marco De Vidi, "L'Impero della Luce: il suono di una lampada a neon, quando la luce è elettrica", (L'impero della Luce: the sound of an electric lamp. Light become electric) in "ilmanifesto", 19th June 2020.
Valerio Veneruso, "Musica e imprenditoria. L'impero della Luce incontra la Fondazione Bonotto" (Music & Entrepreneurship. L'Impero della Luce meets Bonotto Foundation) in ArtTribune, 20th July 2020.
Marco Salanitri, "Elettrico Festival: cronache dal futuro" (Elettrico Festival: tales from the future) in lereticosumarte.com, 13rd April 2019.