“Beethoven piano Sonata, no. 1 – no. 14 “, stripped sonata

Beethoven piano Sonata

Stripping the work of Ludwig van Beethoven of its musical components and performing only its tempo: this is the conceptual operation at the root of “Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, no. 1 – no. 14” by Samson Young, a classically trained musician who is strongly oriented to electronica and installation art. In this case, the installation is made from 47 electronic devices, arranged symmetrically in a grid, each of which flashes and performs a ticking noise. Both effects are controlled by the tempo of one of the movements that make up Beethoven’s first 14 sonatas. The small devices, working like metronomes (an instrument that Beethoven used for his work; a pioneering act at the time), are programmed specifically to perform the tempo of a single piece. The combination of flashing lights and ticks marks the rhythm of the Allegretti, Adagio and Rondò, in spite of the eternal domination of the (totally absent) melodies. Despite this overwhelming mutilation, the result is a hypnotic visual and aural representation, and it is difficult not to catch oneself looking for (almost impossible) synchronicities between sound or light, as a search for a melodic theme.

Chiara Ciociola