Song of Hours

A multimedia opera according to the Indian ‚Book of Hours‘.

ASHTAYAMA-SONG OF HOURS has been produced
and premiered Podewil, Berlin and at
Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie – ZKM, Karlsruhe.

Amelia Cuni (singing and dance) and
Werner Durand (sound design & live-audio mixing)
have been collaborating with several artists
in a variety of presentations.

Since 2002 with stage, light & video created by Uli Sigg

Altstadtherbst Düsseldorf – tanzhaus NRW (Sept.2002)
De Ijsbreker – Amsterdam (Feb.2003)
Werkstatt der Kulturen – Berlin (Feb.2004)
OTHER MINDS Festival – San Francisco (March.2004)
AUDITORIUM – Rome (April.2004)
Festival Temps d’Images – Theo Otto Theater – Remscheid (Oct.2004)
STIMMENfestival – Kaserne – Basel (June.2005)
SERRALVES Modern Art Museum – Porto (June.2006)
TORINO Spiritualità Cavallerizza Reale – Torino (Sep.2006)
Burghof LÖRRACH – Germany (May.2007)
ESPIRELIA Festival – Lorca (July.2007)

Press comments:

… Ashtayama by Amelia Cuni and Werner Durand thrilled the audience in the Tanzhaus Düsseldorf with Song of Hours. An impressive sound performance with a fascinating voice in a superlatively conceived multimedia setting …
Bernd Schuknecht,Rheinische Post, 27/9/2002

… A clear, and typically multicultural, highlight was a captivating conceptual setting of Indian dhrupad vocalizing by Italian Amelia Cuni, in collusion with electronic manipulation by Werner Durand and elaborate projections by Uli Sigg…
Josef Woodard, The Los Angeles Times, March 9 2004

…The foundation (of the multimedia performance) was Cuni’s 10-year study of Indian Dhrupad singing. Durand’s layering of Cuni’s material, over which she continued to add live realizations, made for stunning effects, augmented by the singer-dancer’s own graceful movements and Sigg’s alarmingly beautiful visuals…
Marc Alburger,

…. Cuni is one of only a handful of Western women to seriously study Dhrupad, an austere style of classical North Indian music; whatever the technical specs of her vocal control, she sounds like a master to me, but with a vulnerability that undercuts the machismo that is mastery`s trap. For Ashtayama, she and Durand, a minimalist who makes instruments from plexiglass and PVC, created a high-concept multimedia “Song of Hours” that follows the diurnal cycle of raga from sunrise to night. Moving with hieratic precision inside a cylindrical scrim enlived with projections by Uli Sigg, Cuni performed eight songs as Durand responded, in real time, with various loops and drones built from untreated samples of Cuni`s wine-dark voice. At times , these layers of voice and image began to flutter like rose petals in the winds of time, and without budging from his seat, this reviewer simply left the hall …
Erik Davies, The WIRE Issue 243 , May 2004

… the piece was at once ancient and contemporary, contemplative and energizing …
Cathryn Hrudicka, MUSICWORKS, Fall 2004 # 90