Universo Project

Universo Project

Based on my explorations of sound possibilities and thorough research of extended techniques on the piano, and with the experimental use of “extra-instrumental” objects in interaction with the piano which is very often handled as an acoustic resonator, the idea of my project “Universo” was born in 2018.

It focuses on a series of performances with prepared piano, under different contexts and formats, in collaboration with other artists and specialists from other disciplines.

As in all the manifestations of the project “Universo”, I wish to bring the spectator towards deep reflections, that bring us closer to the mystery that gives life to Life. But also and above all, I want to bring the spectator to what is essential: Contemplation.

The paths of science and philosophy are paths which can, among other things, lead us to develop intellectually and give us certain answers. Art, I deeply believe that as the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky said, “can help us elevate ourselves spiritually, even prepare us for death”.

In the Universo project, fields such as science and philosophy come together in balance with the field of art, not necessarily to give us unique answers to the questions that may emerge from the works, but to give a broader look, at the cosmogonic, cosmological or ontological level, and finally, on ourselves.

Performance 1: ¿Fluye el Tiempo?

Immersive audio-visual installation

“¿Fluye el tiempo ? ” Is an audio-visual installation of immersion which unites two artists : the Franco-Mexican pianist Anna Paolina Hasslacher, specialist in contemporary music an free improvisation, and the Mexican artist Carlos Gamboa, expert in visual arts and multi-medias.

The instrumental and musical approach of Anna Paolina, out of the ordinary entirely thanks to a method using extended technics, allows the listener to perceive qualities of sounds and unexpected expressiveness of a piano, creating thus, a musical thread that intertwines itself to a perfect result with a projection of visions and sequences created by Carlos, with a great sensitivity. The spectator is introduced somewhere else, in a simultaneous visual and resonant immersion for new sensorial experiences.

“¿Fluye el tiempo ? ” Which could be translated as “Does Time Flow?”, crosses all frontiers, not only as to where the artists come from, nor the interdisciplinarity between their artistic and technical domains, but also, domains such as science and philosophy merge in balance with the domain of art, not necessarily to give unique answers to the questions that can emerge from that work, but to give a look more spread out, at the cosmological and the cosmogonic level and finally, on ourselves.

By means of this work, both artists seek to explore one of the fundamental questions of the laws of classical physics and of the philosophical thought: “the now”.  

Irina Spinadel, writer

At first, ¿Fluye el Tiempo? is a piano free improvisation that took place and was recorded at the Austral University of Valdivia, Chile, in 2018, and was the starting point for the “Universo” project. Then, I wanted to enhance this work by mixing music and visual arts, mainly because the acoustic effect and concept of the performance and the project itself can very well evoke images. I had the idea of creating a sound installation with video, and when I discovered the originality, sensibility and eclecticism of Mexican artist Carlos Gamboa’s work, specialist on visual arts and multimedia, I realised that by collaborating with him, one of my project’s main goals would be able to materialize. In fact, the purpose isn’t to “animate” music or to “add sound” to an image, but to free each artist’s creative imagination in his or her own discipline (music and video), so as to finally converge, and complement, thanks to the project’s concept.

Through the work ¿Fluye el Tiempo?,as in all the manifestations of the project “Universo”, we will wish to bring the spectator towards deep reflections, in this case, from a cosmological and philosophical point of view: “the now”, the nature of “Time” and our way to perceive it… Each moment is it born still and still? Or each moment is it always in its place? We are sure that time passes because things change, we get old, stars die… But is it truly time that flows like a river or is it rather that is human, who has given the name “Time” to that fact, which is rather a state of change of ourselves and of things in a succession of presented moments? As said various scientists, among whom A. Einstein, our perception often is different from physical laws which prove that past, present and future, are in reality nothing more than a mirage of the human experience. Then, if all things are passing, at the same time, what is that mysterious human quality that decides to look up on a alone “now” illuminating, one after the other, leaving behinds, in the darkness the other ”now” and which gives us the illusion to advance in time? Maybe it means that we are conscious that we are alive, that we live the present of each moment, but each “now” is always shown in what one can conceive as history of the existence of the Universe.

We shall find, maybe, the answer when we will arrive to the last sequence of our own “now”…

¿Fluye el Tiempo?, is a universe in permanent becomes, from the violent creation of the first particles, going through an astral meditation, looking for a truth, maybe it looks like a connection at the quantic level, maybe we shall understand the “illumination of the present”? Three screens with 180 degree perspective, with a spatialized audio system brings the spectator to live an audiovisual immersive experience that turns in loop, it carries little difference when the spectator begins to look and listen, he/she will dive in a “flux” of events that although they have a direction since they advance in space and time; there are neither time beginning nor time end, one becoming the other.              

¿Fluye el tiempo ? invites us to lose on in an acoustic and visual immenseness with multiple transformations which, maybe, will give us a glimpse of the immutability of constant movement…-



Performance 2 : Entropía

Free improvisation, piano solo

The answer may be hidden in that little spark that we think it is the beginning of a so perfect order, which by nature tends to chaos…

The first time I heard this word (Entropy), it was in a science fiction story by Isaac Asimov, “The Last Question”, I think I was about 12 years old and I was shocked by the end of the story. Ever since, it has been a word that stayed in my spirit, and now it has resurfaced with my Universo project, giving rise to the Universo’s performance 2.

The ways I carry out this idea in this performance are diverse:

-Technically speaking, the concept is handled as a parameter that, as indicated by the second law of thermodynamics, will inexorably lead me to disorder. Thereby, I gradually create a superposition of elements that are accumulated proportionally in speed and density.

-Musically speaking, I seek precisely to allow this chaotic tendency to emerge and increase in an expressive and intuitive way.

For this project as for others that I have carried out, it has been necessary for me to complement my preparation by inquiring into the scientific literature -with my humble claim of a musician-, to understand certain things, for example that for classical physics there in no difference between the past and the future, so entropy can be backwards or forwards. But still there is a direction in time, just like cracked eggs cannot be put back together, we all grow old and die… this is because of the incredible state of order in which the universe began. It is like an inheritance. An ordered system creates another ordered system that will become disordered, and so on. So, going to extreme, even if the universe began to go backwards, our reality would always have an arrow of time that would tend towards disorder.      

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