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24 October 2022
Share to preserve An animated interview

Fito Conesa - Órgano MNAC

A big thank you to Homessesion, ARTefACTE (in particular to Oscar Abril Ascaso) to Lluís ALabern and Norma Vélez (what a beautiful trio we have created), to Maria Arnal for clearing up doubts and expanding the forest, and to Albert Blancafort for the days to come and his passion for organs.

A Choreographed Score

The most definitive answers are those hidden inside subordinate ones. We believe, or we take as absolute truth, statements that we have constructed or molded as we please to avoid entering fully into the ecosystem of nuances.

Around October 2020, the Homesession project instigated me 🙂 to be part of a new, totally unexpected equation with potentially positive results. I’d like to draw a clear context before continuing with this text, full of scrolls, curlicues and other protected species:

The ARTefACTe festival, especially its first edition ARTefACTe, Música d’acció, invited the Homesession project to propose an artist and create a kind of triangle that will encompass this kind of unique combination within the structure of the festival itself. In this way, Homession invited me together with the MNAC to think of an action to be carried out in the context of ARTefACTe.

Once configured, the scenario returned to the original story.

ARTefACTe proposed an almost mathematical formula and a broad but well-grounded framework for action, that is, of performance and action music. Things happen/notes sound. My need to hide my inner confusion led me to accept a tour of the museum to sketch ideas of how to resolve the conflict in some way. Lluís Alabern, an important accomplice in all this, suggested in a whisper the possibility of visiting the inside of the organ hidden in the oval room. I say hidden because many people who have entered and visited the building have not noticed how silent and expectant it sits there and watches our steps.

Once inside, he took hold of a tube and blew, creating a sound like a strange flute, a vibration that opened heavens’ gate, a light entered and, almost as if the myth of the muse were a fact, generated an image like the ones we evoke in memories, an image without color but made up of all of the colorsat the same time, without sound but screeching, without movement but with all the action already choreographed.

The action will consist of seven of us wearing black and blowing organ pipes next to it. This will open up a crack in our daily life that will allow other lights and new melodies to enter. It will be a great secret oracle.

Reverberate Possibility

Tenora created an unexpected need, the result of the formulas that ARTefACTe knew how to intuit. Suddenly, I was at the MNAC doing an artistic residency based around the organ. This is how OVAL came about, a project that will culminate in a presentation on December 10 and in which some of the voices that we have been reading and seeing in the animated interviews of the previous weeks will participate.

Our guest is almost 100 years old, she is surrounded by mystery and is made up of 11,700 tubes. This whale, forest, cave, mythological being has brought with it new feelings and new ways of walking. Before entering into spoilers and speculation, I have decided to share, as an animated interview, some of the sonorities that arise from this being. With the complicity of Marçal Cid, we have been recording from inside.

No more scrolls, no more subordinates, no more text.

Test Rhytmic Organ #3

Audio Organ

(Featured Image: Presentation of Tenora, project by Fito Conesa result of the collaboration between Homesessionand the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, part of the program MUSICA D’ACCIÓ promoted by ARTefACTe, Transit Project and Club9)

Fito Conesa is an artist and programmer. With a degree in Fine Arts from the UB, he teaches and develops workshops, conceptualizes and produces visual and sound works and curates exhibitions. He was director of the project Habitació 1418 at MACBA and CCCB and was part of the tutorial team of the Sala d'Art Jove in Barcelona.

The organ was manufactured in Germany by the E.F. Walcker company and was inaugurated on July 6, 1929 by Alfred Sittard. In the spring of 1955, Paul Franck began the renovation and enlargement of the organ with 2,500 pipes. Half of the pipes of the old organ were melted down to make the new ones and the console was increased from five keyboards to six. The aim was to provide the Oval Hall with the most monumental organ in Europe. On June 8, 1958, with a concert by soloist Fernando Germani, the new organ was officially inaugurated after its enlargement. Currently, the organ is not operational and is awaiting a restoration process.


24 October 2022

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