"Sadalsuud” (2020) a concert-film
by composer Emanuel Pimenta
and filmmaker Dino Viani

A visual and sound portrait of over 60 people in international locations whose day-to-day lives were transformed by the pandemic.

Sadalsuud (2020), a 40-minute concert-film by composer Emanuel Pimenta and filmmaker Dino Viani, observes people around the world whose everyday lives have been transformed by the pandemic. This state of quiet isolation that has touched all of society, has brought personal reflection and unexpected problems. Feeling the stark reality of the interconnection of life has brought the obvious conclusion that Mother Nature is in charge. The camera alternates its focus to the small creatures of nature and beautiful landscapes unaffected by this human crisis.

Emanuel Pimenta:
I wanted to create a work that superseded the virus and touched the humanity of people. So I contacted dozens of people in Italian Switzerland and in Italy, the two places most devastated by the pandemic, and asked them to send me what they were hearing internally and externally as they had become prisoners in their own homes. The sounds of the world had changed, the streets were the cities were changed. Thirty-nine people replied and sent me 66 recordings.

 

I contacted my friend Italian filmmaker Dino Viani, a great poet of cinema and suggested Viani use the same process to create a movie of what people were looking at during their pandemic isolation.

 

The objective was to produce a common work - music and film, created totally independently, as I have done since the 1970s, also with John Cage and Merce Cunningham, following the French dramaturgist Antonin Artaud's principle of independence of the arts. The result would be a concert-movie, or a movie-concert. Two independent works in a single project, comprised of a collage of the actions of people using their ears and eyes to record the world around them. Sadalsuud has involved people in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Spain, the United States, China, Japan, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and more.

Above is a video of the music and graphic score for Sadalsuud which is based on an ancient engraving of the Aquarius constellation by the cartographer Gerardus Mercator a 16th-century geographer, cosmographer and cartographer from Flanders. Mercator is most renowned for creating the 1569 world map based on a new projection which represented sailing courses of constant bearing as straight lines—an innovation that is still employed in nautical charts. 

Pimenta placed the sounds sent to him by participants in Italy and Switzerland, on the map where each Aquarius star was located, and in a floating virtual-reality, created the timing of the score according to the process of chance. Also by chance, the number of stars in Mercator's constellation engraving was exactly the number of sounds from the recordings that had been sent.

The supergiant Sadalsuud star is the most luminous in the Aquarius Constellation with a crown of x-ray emissions. In Egyptian times the Sadalsuud star was associated with the rising of the sun after winter's end, and in this way it was related to the spring season - a time of growth and prosperity. Because of this it was later called the "luck of lucks".

 

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More about the composer and filmmaker

Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta

Dino Viani