Alessandro Cipriani

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Born in Tivoli (Rome), 1959

Cipriani completed his studies in music composition and electroacoustic music at the Conservatorio S.Cecilia in Rome with G.Bizzi and G.Piazza. He studied for a time with Barry Truax in Vancouver (Canada).

Since 1989 he has worked on intermedia pieces and audio-video multichannel and interactive installations, often in collaboration with visual artist Alba D’Urbano and director Giulio Latini, on pieces for instruments and electronics and electroacoustic pieces with traditional religious singers.
He has composed soundtracks for creative film-documentaries and silent movies, integrating an advanced concept of fusion between dialogue, sound environment and music, including the soundtrack of “Inferno” (1911) published in surround DVD on Cineteca di Bologna, “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1913), “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1919), the expressionist masterpiece by Robert Wiene, and “Blackmail” by Alfred Hitchcock, in collaboration with Edison Studio composers. He has also co-written the soundtrack for the 3D movie by Michel Comte “The Girl from Nagasaki” (to be released in 2014), in collaboration with Luigi Ceccarelli.

His works have received honors and have been selected for performance at Synthèse Bourges, Government of Canada Award, International Computer Music Conference 94, 95, 99, 2002, 2003, 2008,  CalArts/RedCat Festival – Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles, Venice Biennale, Opera Theater Leipzig, (Germany) International Symposium on Electronic Arts, Musica Nova (Praha), Newcomp (U.S.A.), Inventionen (Berlin – Germany), Nuova Consonanza (Rome), Ravenna Festival, Engine 27 (New York), Festival d’Automne (Paris) etc.
He has been tenured professor of electroacoustic music at the Conservatory of Catania (Ist. Mus. V. Bellini) from 1995 to 2003 and at the Conservatory of Frosinone (Rome) since November 2003. A compilation of electroacoustic pieces by his students from Sicily has been published on Electronic Music Foundation label (New York).

He has taught and lectured about his music and his theory of ‘electroacoustic tradition’ at several Academies (Sibelius Academy – Helsinki, Accademia S.Cecilia- Rome etc.) and Universities in Europe, Canada and the U.S. (Simon Fraser University – Burnaby B.C., Californian Institute of the Arts (Los Angeles), University of Rome “Tor Vergata, University of California – Santa Barbara, Univ. of Catania,  MedienKunst Dept. of Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, DMU University, Leicester etc.).

He has published analytical and theoretical papers in several journals (Organised Sound, Musica/Realtà, etc.) and has published the textbooks “Virtual Sound” and “Electronic Music and Sound Design” (written in collaboration with M.Giri and R.Bianchini) and adopted for computer music courses in various Universities and Conservatories in Europe, South and North America.

His CD “Il Pensiero Magmatico” in collaboration with Stefano Taglietti is available on Edipan label. Other pieces can be found in the International Computer Music Conference ’95 and ICMC’99 CDs. A monographic CD, “Al Nur”, including all his works with oral tradition musicians and his trilogy on religious chant, was released on CNI Compagnia Nuove Indye. Computer Music Journal (M.I.T. Press) selected one of his multi-channel pieces  (in surround 5.1) to be included in the annual DVD in 2003, released on CMJ 27 (4). A piece written for Iranian percussionist Mahammad Ghavi Helm  has been published on CNI-RAI Trade label. A 5.1 piece on DVD has been released on Everglade Records (USA) and an acousmatic piece on XXI Musicale – Elettronica Italiana Vol.2.

His music has been broadcast by RAI, CBC and several other national radio networks as well as performed at festivals in Europe, China, South-America, Canada, and the U.S.A. He is one of the founding members of Edison Studio in Rome. He is also member of the Editorial Board of the review Organised Sound (Cambridge University Press). For this review he has been guest editor of a special issue dedicated to the relationship between electroacoustic music and Local/Global culture with articles by Trevor Wishart, Barry Truax etc.


About the CD “Al Nur”

Alessandro Cipriani uses cutting-edge technology to bring us closer to the music of a timeless oral tradition, including religious chant from the three Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Musically and conceptually, this is an extraordinary CD, with wonderful sounds and human warmth. And as a result of Cipriani’s great sensitivity and gift for sound, the music becomes more a part of us, more a part of our contemporary language. And as the music sings to us, we feel more a part of the humanity it represents.

Joel Chadabe , Electronic Music Foundation site

I have been listening to Cipriani’s works for five or six years and I thought I knew his music. I was completely wrong because after this new CD I can no longer recognize him. ÒAl NurÓ is the revolution of a musical language. Why? Cipriani writes in the booklet “My latest works are a rewrite of pieces of oral traditions (more or less complex), including a trilogy on religious chant (Gregorian, Islamic, Jewish), a traditional Chinese piece, another Arabic, fragments of a piece of rock music composed without writing the music and other fragments from memory.” What does it mean? The melodic and rhythmic structures absorbed into these compositions are not simply quotations put in only for the taste of something exotic, but they signify an alive element that flourishes step by step. We can sometimes listen to polyphony that doesn’t belong to the old composition but to the new one. There is always great respect for the oral traditions; in fact the music of these civilizations has not been shattered, camouflaged and reduced to a loop for a schematic composition that nowadays we can easily hear everywhere. The melody, the rhythm, the single sound revive to create other melodies, rhythms and sounds. Cipriani puts a mosaic together and its tesserae are: time and space of music, the witchery of silence, spirituality, time/space seen through a soul. This is Cipriani’s new ways to constitute his medium.

Giuseppe Rapisarda, Computer Music Journal Volume 26 Number 3 Fall 2002 – M.I.T. Press