Philip Samartzis

Journal #7

02.07.2017

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Sunday July 2, 2017

Today I am performing in the courtyard of the ancient Palazzo Baldini Palladini Amorotti, a 16th century monastery located in the mostly abandoned medieval centre of Loreto Aprutino. The antique building is in various states of decay - with many windows and shutters cracked or broken. The modest courtyard has tight acoustics due to the uneven pavement, textured surfaces and potted plants. An ancient well is lodged into one corner hidden by a small door. The action of drawing water over centuries has cut deep grooves into the stone. Nervous pigeons fly around the rooftop. A series of stone steps steeply descend down into the dark cellar where stainless steel vats and oak barrels of fermenting wine sit within the original architectural framework of the space. It is cool and extremely quiet with many original features still intact such as the vaulted ceilings, paving and stone wash basin. A dramatic summer thunderstorm suddenly appears from the direction of Gran Sasso inundating the region with long anticipated sheets of rain and hail. The storm is spectacular with bolts of lightening regularly piercing the black sky for over an hour. Once the storm clears I present a series of sound recordings of the region focusing on the effects of weather on the rural environment and the agricultural processes used to cultivate the land. The audience primarily comprises local farmers and townspeople curious to hear what I have been doing over the past week. The presentation is occasionally punctuated by the tolling of bells of the nearby church, as well as the pigeons, excited by the sounds appearing in their space. A local curator specializing in Joseph Beuys tells me afterwards how much he enjoyed the concert. After explaining Beuys’s long connection with Abruzzo he offers to drive me to dinner in his new open top MG sports car. As we speed through the dark and deserted streets - wind blowing through our hair - I feel the urge to replace the cool jazz playing over the sound system with Broken English.

Open Field is a collaboration between Liminaria, Pollinaria and the B-CSC and is supported by the School of Art – RMIT University.

Sponsored by Broadcast Workshop at 476 Victoria Street, North Melbourne.