Gesualdo Translations (after the madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo Principe di Venosa)

A Deutschland Radio production, © 2007.

Audrey Chen – Mezzo-Soprano.
Simon Zalevski – Harpsichord
Andrew Arceci – Viola da gamba, Violone.
Alessandro Bosetti – Piano, Harmonium, Regal organ, Guitars, Oud, Banjo, Field recordings.

The musical translations presented here originate from the fifth and sixth books of madrigals published by Carlo Gesualdo Principe di Venosa in 1611. They have been sung by people I met in Napoli where Gesualdo used to live and compose. Meetings happened by chance in streets, cafes, parties, markets and churches in July 2007. Each of those persons was previously unaware of those madrigals. They sung along single voices from the original polyphonies I presented to them through a pair of headphones. I then reconstructed the polyphonies with what was given to me. The original cromaticisms in the music widened and frequency proportions bended. Every one of the many off pitch notes mattered. Each omission, each confused muttering was part of this gift. The whole arrangement process that followed has been meditation and practice on the “screziatura” as well as on the erratic nature of musical pitch under the influence of stars, places and human encounters.

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