Copyright 2012

Giovanni Giaretta

Walter Bonatti, Le Voci Meravigliose della Natura, 13'15'', 1976








Can you tell something about Le meravigliose voci della natura ("The wonderful voices of nature"), the piece you will present in the festival?

After an intense career as mountaineer, Walter Bonatti began a successful collaboration with the weekly, “Epoca”.
In 1976, for the same weekly “Epoca”, Bonatti recorded a 33 rpm vinyl gramophone record entitled “The wonderful voices of nature”.
The aim was to create an explicative and didactic audio document from the world of ethnology applied to the sounds of the animal kingdom. Bonatti’s recordings, however, would not have been complete without the compelling descriptions which transported the listener on an imaginary voyage, guided by the narrator and the voices of the animals, intertwined with excerpts from Peter Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony no.1 in G minor op.13”.
The detailed narration and the explicit “theatricality” of the scenes turn this document into a sort of audio version of those mock-ups found in nature museums, stage settings designed to show the characteristics of the animals on display.


Would you consider the presentation of this audio as a ready-made?

No, I don't consider it as a ready-made.
It’s more a sort of “proposition”. I didn’t alter the track. I prefer to think that I just make it listen to others. This action is like when a friend comes to your place and you want to show him something you consider precious. Usually it’s something you have found during a research, sort of a discovery. I guess it’s with the same feeling that I decided to present this audio. This audio session builds up a total shift of imagination through its narrative, which is halfway between a bio-acoustic catalogue and a geographical adventure.


In your work you often use outmoded cultural elements. Is there a nostalgic dimension to your research?

I think nostalgia is related with something that can’t be used. You can just observe it and feel it. It’s a feeling of being stuck, that does not allow you a lot of movement inside it. To me this feeling it’s more a contemplation of a sort of swamp.
Nostalgia can make you sick and fall in love with some outmoded cultural elements, but after this moment, a research or a work, should be a kind of “healing”, which obviously still carries with it the consequences of a love or a disease.
If this nostalgic dimension becomes part of your everyday memory and starts triggering a few questions, then it becomes a living area where you have many more active opportunities to play.

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