1986, Pietro Grossi has developed the concept of “HomeArt”
using Qbasic graphics. The simple instructions of each program can be
modified to create various processes within a single artistic idea/composition.
Grossi’s concept of art also offers a broad chromatic range that
can be either used directly or modified. Sergio Maltagliati has innovated
upon the original programs, adapting the programming code and adding an
inspired audio track as varied as the symbols and colours, involving a
multiplicity of musical variations.
found out about Sergio
Maltagliati’s work while researching into Pietro Grossi, the legendary
father of Italian music informatics. We had decided to dedicate an exhibition
to him at Ivrea, in conjunction with the “Musiche Possibili”
My overview of Sergio Maltagliati’s
work would have to start from that particular visual angle – the
ties and associations with the works of the great Florentine ‘master’.
Sergio Maltagliati is compared with Pietro Grossi mainly due to the central
role of the “BIT” to his work. Digital technology is not only
the source of his tools, but also a way of setting essential new boundaries
and making bold changes that make the forms and musical invention of the
past seem dated and dangerously conservative, like worlds of sound that
have lost all relation to life and reason for being. His work is undoubtedly
“experimental”, although not in the academic sense of the
term. He wished to offer new “experiences” of reality; he
was aware that the world is now, more inevitably, perceived through the
medium of digital technology.
Since 1997 Sergio Maltagliati has dealt principally in music on the Internet
and one of his first compositions intended for the network, netOper@,
was based in fact on an idea of Pietro Grossi. Like much of his work,
it is clear that the emphasis is not on the traditional introspective
search for musical language. The sense of the work is not to be found
in its pure acoustic result. This might seem paradoxical, but the acoustic
result is not the key or, perhaps, the most important feature of this
work. Such an approach inevitably connects the work of Sergio Maltagliati
with that of Pietro Grossi. Our attention is drawn to the artistic potential
of the technology – the Internet.
Another essential aspect to Sergio Maltagliati’s approach is the
idea that art is not just the fruit of the composer all alone in his ivory
tower. In truth, this concept of the tower has always come across as more
of a convenient and, at times, lucrative simplification, than the actual
reality. The creation is always the fruit of collaboration. It is a shared
effort. The author is not the ingenious creator; he is a modest inventor
of limited powers. The work arises out of collaboration and cooperation.
Two of his works are strongly based on this concept: neXtOper@_1.03 (a
work for mobile phones) and midi_Visu@lMusiC (music and images on
I-Mode mobile phone).
The work is open to collaboration not only in the way it is organized
but also in terms of its evolution. Sergio Maltagliati’s work is
therefore about randomness, which is exploited and given an aesthetic
value. Randomness is attributable to music automatically generated by
algorithms and self-designed programs, as well as to the fact that the
work permits the autonomous decisions of collaborators, musicians and