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The Screen Inside: Aurora Gasull Altisent

Audiovisuals

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The Screen Inside is a programme of screenings in the foyer of the CCCB, devoted to artistes who use the cinema as an instrument to express the world of dreams or the imagination. This August offers a selection of works by music and filmmaker Aurora Gasull Altisent (Barcelona, 1962).

Aurora Gasull Altisent is the composer of the animation or “visual music” pieces which from 1 August are to light up the dark space between two doors in the CCCB’s Hall for a month. As a result the second “The Screen Inside” will shift visitor journeys in the centre’s exhibition halls away from the direct and always straight path to trace the gentle curve of a change in trajectory, attracted by the sensory aura which every lit screen emits until it reaches us. Perhaps in this case the composer’s very name, Aurora, reveals the experience we have in the dark room which we enter like someone falling into a deep sleep. Because as if we were dreaming it, brightness and luminous radiation awaken us to another reality while at the same time rocking us to pursue the longing to continue transforming it. This is because the matter Gasull Altisent works with is none other than intangible time and its trail in the form of movement, changes and travel in space.

Just as she did (some years ago) as a cellist when moving her wooden bow to make the strings vibrate, her computer animation work draws our attention to the fluid architecture of music and its sound and compositional attributes. In fact, she asserts music as the main theme supporting her sound creation and observation. Watching her working with her 3D software and computers helps us to understand where her expressive method comes from, it is easy to maintain the analogy of the performer who decides precisely how much pressure she should exert on the strings with the horsehair. The resulting gentle curve makes it possible to bring the tip of the ebony wooden frog nearer to or farther from her bow. And it is this balancing of his body on the bow and on strings that is the origin of the transmission of the vibrations that the score triggers on her to the point of converting these emotions into sound, which, amplified with the dark space of the instrument's resonance box, travels to us - like the images travel to us now in the Hall of the CCCB.

In the seven pieces screened this year at “The Screen Inside”, Aurora Gasull pays attention back to us. She gives us her listening time turned into creations which bring us to a halt before the free unfolding of her compositions. She thus allows us to remain still so as to see the latent movement which vibrated like a heartbeat in paintings by Iosif Shkolnik and Dani Ensesa. And also to discover the endless shapes and lights that were hidden in the music of Silvestrov, Xavier Maristany, Django Reinhardt, Mestres Quadreny, Messiaen and Bach. Compositions which are random and sometimes an accumulation of errors which are accepted as grounds for chance discoveries. Colours and geometric figures which seek in movement a pathway of freedom until they fade into white silence.

And now... turn your eyes and paths away from the text and trace the curve to the CCCB’s Hall. Read the texts in which the composer describes her own compositions and know that “the days she was working on them were days in which she lived as if dreaming”. Excerpt from the text of Itziar González Virós (Ciutat Vella, June 2019).

Video selection

L’estiu calorós (The hot summer) | 2003 | 1’17”
Music: beginning of Symphony No. 5 by Valentyn Sylvestrov

L’espera (The wait) | 2009 | 3’31”
Music: Xavier Maristany

Divertiment (Entertainment) | 2009 | 3’04”
Music: Charleston, by Django Reinhardt, characters by Dani Ensesa.

Sonades de la calor del foc (Sounds of heat from the fire) | 2010 | 4’26”
Music: 4th movement of Sonades de la calor del foc by J.M. Mestres Quadreny

Geometria (Geometry) | 2011 | 4’10”
Poem: Anna Tortajada; Music: Imma Udina; Voice over: Anna Subirana.

Un Sourire (A Smile) | 2016 | 7’20”
Music: Un Sourire, by Olivier Messiaen

Estudi cromàtic (Chromatic study) | 2018 | 2’54”
Music: Prelude I (BWV 846) by J.S. Bach

Participants: Aurora Gasull Altisent

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The Screen Inside: Aurora Gasull Altisent

The Screen Inside is a programme of screenings in the foyer of the CCCB, devoted to artistes who use the cinema as an instrument to express the world of dreams or the imagination. This August offers a selection of works by music and filmmaker Aurora Gasull Altisent (Barcelona, 1962).

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