John Tilbury and John Lely play bau bau
(2015)

Concert with objects, subjects, and other instruments.

Drawing on the idea of functional art objects, Céline Condorelli has invited John Tilbury and John Lely to perform inside her exhibition and use the sculptures and installations as instruments with further, musical purposes. “bau bau” is transformed as both site and instrument for the performance, putting to use the polymorphic character of the works in the exhibition and several musical instruments and dialoguing with the architectural elements of HangarBicocca. This concert resonates with Condorelli's transversal approach to art. Both the sculptures and the piano are played by the performers while, at the same time, the exhibition plays the performers and the audience, which will be guided in a sonic promenade through the space. John Tilbury has previously collaborated with Condorelli, and played Structure for Preparing the Piano, or while sitting on Spatial Composition 11 (to John Tilbury), which is dedicated to him in the first place. Central to both Condorelli’s and Tilbury’s practices is a commitment to forms of collective invention, and how shared responsibility and the politics of friendship are found to structure the very processes of working together. Condorelli's series of sculptures “Additionals” and “Intentionals” arises under this investigation. Two of them were made for and dedicated to Tilbury who, in turn, uses the furniture-like pieces for musical performances. John Lely brings forward a research tied to the relation between sound and silence, around proportion, process, perception and listening.

Member since 1979 of the British improv-group AMM, together with Keith Rowe and Eddie Provost, John Tilbury (1936) is considered by many one of the most important pianists of our time. Over a career spanning more than fifty years, Tilbury has collaborated with composers such as David Bedford, Howard Skempton, Dave Smith, Michael Parsons, John White, John Cage, Christian Wolff, Terry Riley and remarkably with Morton Feldman, becoming an outstanding interpreter of his solo piano works, and with Cornelius Cardew, whose biography he also wrote (“A Life Unfinished”, Copula, 2008). John Lely is a composer and curator of concert series. He has developed a special interest in the variety of sounds, correspondences and experiences that can emerge through the use of limited sets of musical building blocks. He was a student of John Tilbury and has collaborated with new music ensembles and composers, amongst which Cornelius Cardew, Alvin Lucier and Michael Parsons. Lely has dedicated a special attention to text scores and is the co-author, with James Saunders, of “Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation” (Continuum, 2012).

Hangar Bicocca, 28 April 2015, Milan.

Film by Videorise.