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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 17, 2003

Silent Film Will Be Shown With Live Electro-Acoustic Music Oct. 28

The Edison Studio, a four-person electro-acoustic performing group from Rome, will perform live musical accompaniment to the 1913 silent film "The Last Days of Pompeii" at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

The performance will be free and open to the public.

Appearing as guests of the UI Electronic Music Studios, members of the Edison Studio -- Mauro Cardi, Luigi Ceccarelli, Fabio Cifariello Ciardi and Alessandro Cipriani -- will also present a free public lecture about their work at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27 in Room 2067 of the Voxman Music Building. While on campus, they will meet with students in the Cinema and Comparative Literature Sound Seminar.

"The Last Days Of Pompeii" is considered one of the last of the great "tableaux" films. Based on a classic novel by Edward George, Sir Bulwer-Lytton, "The Last Days Of Pompeii" is set in 79 A.D., the year that Vesuvius erupted, burying the ancient city of Pompeii. In the film the lives of a prominent statesman, a beautiful woman, a pagan priest, a spiteful witch and a blind beggar are carefully interwoven and brought to a climax at the moment the sleeping volcano unleashes its fury.

Edison Studio has composed a computer soundtrack on several layers: symbolic sonic backgrounds and foregrounds, dialogs in "improbable" languages and (un)naturalistic references. In the spirit of the silent-movie tradition, the soundtrack will be performed live. The work was previously selected for performance at the 2002 International Computer Music Conference in Goteborg, Sweden.

The Edison Studio was founded in 1993 in Rome and re-founded in 1997 by the current members. Edison Studio tries to create sonic spaces together with visual artists, light designers, musicians and software engineers.

For the realization of this project the composers of Edison Studio work in three interconnected areas: production of electro-acoustic and intermedia objects and events; research on instruments for human-machine-space interaction; and education related to synthesis and sound processing.

The composers of Edison Studio have worked with leading electronic and contemporary music organizations in Europe and around the world, including IRCAM (Institute for the Research and Coordination of Acoustic Music) in Paris, Electronic Music Studios in Stockholm, Roma and Catania Universities in Italy, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and the Institute for New Media in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Electronic Music Studios have been part of the composition program at the UI School of Music for more than 30 years. By offering a traditional emphasis on the compositional aspects of electronic media, the studios have helped prepare Iowa's graduates for composing, research and teaching careers at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Now, the current director Lawrence Fritts has brought the latest generation of technologies to the studios.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <ur-acr@uiowa.edu>.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.