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fließend (b) performed at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna

Ensemble Zipangu conducted by Fabio Sperandio




fließend (b) • Zipangu [Download]



Ensemble Zipangu

Direttore: Fabio Sperandio

Violini: Alessandro Di Marco, Giacomo Scarponi, Emanuele Benfenati, Anton Berovski, Elvi Berovski, Alessandro Bonetti, David Caramia, Silvia Mandolini, Elena Maury, Cosimo Paoli

Viole: Corrado Carnevali, Loris Dal Bo, Emanuela Bascetta, Nicola Calzolari

Violoncelli: Mattia Cipolli, Vittorio Piombo, Roberto Cima, Chiara Tenan

Contrabbasso: Gianandrea Pignoni


The idea of this concert was born of desire to welcome our friend Giorgio Magnanensi, passing through the city, performing his music. To present the composer is an authoritative Giordano Montecchi, always accomplice, whom we thank.

It was 1989.

That year, the many (already) precarious ones who for years had taught in the Conservatory, got their tenure. So we found ourselves in Parma, Giorgio Magnanensi and myself, he was teaching Harmony and Counterpoint and I History of Music.

First colleagues – just a “hello ….. hello ….” – and then, after all, friends together with the discovery of having both a double, or perhaps multiple, musical identity. There was the Magnanensi professor at the Conservatory and there was the Magnanensi who spent the summers in Siena as assistant and then friend of Franco Donatoni. And then there was the “after hours” Giorgio, for whom music meant enthusiasm, adventure, play, falling in love, furores. All translated into an irrepressible creativity pouring into the discovery, experimentation and refinement of a totally free, intuitive and anti-academic music making.

Creativity without restraints, yes, but especially infectious and engaging – and this was (as is always the case) the key to everything. Because if autistic experimentalism is a form of pollution of today’s music, creative liberation, conceived as a common, joyful and shared experience, is a dimension that music always needs, like us oxygen.

The basic system or device was a poor electronics, driven by inexhaustible ingeniousness, perhaps an electric guitar resting on the knees and reinvented with heterodox interventions and techniques. But, above all, an extreme, empathetic, thoughtful sensitivity for the combination of sounds among themselves and for their flourishing in an unsuspected and enchanting music: that virtue that once was called “gusto“.

Among contemplation, light textures and excitements, it was a desire, a pure musical pleasure, often reached together with a small group of improvisers, mutually and intimately listening, also captured in those not only playful, but also spiritually regenerating sound games. And unforgettable.

No conservatory or academy could, can or will ever teach this way of making – or rather “being” – music. And that is precisely the germ of that aesthetic subversion that most (if noticed) remove, so as not to undermine the subtly hypocritical ménage of academic avant-garde as Morton Feldman called it. But Giorgio Magnanensi did not remove it. He listened to it, indeed, and he believed it. And at some point he left, slamming the door. After years in which his hyper-reactivity to the tangles of inefficiencies, mediocrity and pettiness that the routine of the typical Italian establishment was inexorably growing: Conservatories, Publishers, Commissions, Competitions, Festival, Theaters … enough! Away!

It was 1999. And Giorgio Magnanensi went to Canada to stay there. Telling what he found there would seem like an exercise in xenophilia. Let’s just say that he has found the way to realize his ” oxymoronic ” nature: his irreducibly libertarian vocation, so fertile and irreducible precisely because emancipated from his solid academic platform.

“Generosity” is the word that perhaps better sums up the sense that Giorgio Magnanensi assigns to his musical and artistic making. Open his website and learn it on the fly: hours and hours of music, performances, video art accessible to anyone. Materials in which the journey of an artist who is together creator and also, in his role of Vancouver New Music’s artistic director, “rice-transmitter” continues tirelessly. Tireless: so is Giorgio. I, we, from here, cannot keep up.

For this, having him here again, the times he comes back, is not just a pleasure, but a precious opportunity.

Giordano Montecchi



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