The basement of the State Philharmonia of Armenia is a magical place. It is a hidden cave, albeit in the heart of Yerevan. It is usually called “Ground Floor”, perhaps because it is located at a lower, older level of the city… In any case, it is made up of different spaces interconnected by arches, whose walls are all covered with ancient tuff. In recent times this underground has become a space for creative sharing and a melting pot of new possibilities for Armenian artistic-cultural life.
This autumn, the series of monthly “alternative” events entitled Theatrum Phonosophicum, was started. In fact, this series already had its prelude last March, with two events:
“Invitation to Listen to a Journal” (in cooperation with the magazine “Actual Art”) and the synaesthetic “Happening for Alexander Skrjabin” (coinciding with the spring equinox).
Theatrum Phonsophicum is a project that encourages to create experiential spaces, to share knowledge in a creative and sensual way, in which traditional knowledge intersects with experimental practices, striving for the synthesis of different artistic expressions, for the Gesamtkunstwerk , id est the “total work of art“ (from Richard Wagner to the avant-garde). Hence, a knowledge that is not only bookish, but experienced through the senses.
In this series, different types of events are planned: lecture-performances, projections of experimental films and “cinema for the ears” (acousmatic), concerts, listening rituals, installations, exhibitions, poetry readings, talks etc., also complemented by workshops. Always trying to involve all five senses: not only the main ones, hearing and sight, but possibly smell, taste and touch too.
The series was inaugurated on November 19th with a tribute to the French composer Jean-Claude Eloy and a guided listening to parts of his work Shânti, composed between 1972 and 1973 in the electronic studio of the WDR in Cologne. The event was intended to be an opportunity to meditate together on the archetypes of peace and war: through sound.
November 2022, Leopoldo Siano and Shushan Hyusnunts