Roberto Paci Dalò – Ye Shanghai


CD – Marsèll

“Ye Shanghai” is a project originally conceived in 2012 as a performance based on film and audio. The source materials come from the years between 1920 and 1949, organized in order to bring the story of the Shanghai ghetto back to life. Roberto Paci Dalò – an Italian composer, director and visual artist not inexperienced in creating audio/video projects that relate to urban environments and specific soundscapes – has chosen an enchanting path suspended between collective memory and mnemonic distortion. We encounter deconstructed and re-stabilized iconic Chinese songs, an interest in nostalgia but also an infusion of more contemporary patterns and field recordings, giving an alternative dignity to memories that somehow become more familiar, private and intimate. Paci Dalò beautifully crafted the overall iteration of images and audio sequences and played the bass clarinet, samplers and electronics. Aided in production by Davide Quadrio, Francesca Girelli and Mirko Rizzi, the first performance of the project – commissioned by Massimo Torrigiani – was held at SH Contemporary at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair in 2012. A sense of acute longing pervades many passages and hovers steadily through the grooves of this elegant composition, a strong continuum that remains vivid and exciting throughout. Enacting “the art of listening” since the Giardini Pensili (one of his theatrical projects in the eighties), Paci Dalò once again stands out as a sensitive experimental interpreter, attentive to the coherence of compositional structures and the “voices” evoked. This work is ultimately very musical, inspired and poetic in the package of sounds and atmospheres brought into play.


Performance “Ye Shanghai” by Roberto Paci Dalò