Acquario Romano, Rome, Italy
In collaboration with artists Andrew Ginzel and Kristen Jones
June 21 from sunset to midnight

Sponsored by: Commune di Roma
American Academy in Rome

Dimensions: H 70' x W. 45' x D. 135' (21.3 x 13.7 x 41.1 m.)

Elements: 4,000 water filled glasses
Hemispherical vessels
Bay laurel trees
Circumnavigating solar light
Aluminum sphere
Talc and Stones
Photographic flashes
Incandescent and natural light
Grand piano
23 member chorus

Composer Edmund Campion began playing the continuous music composed especially for this occasion exactly at the moment of sunset in Rome (21:36). The music consists of several highly virtuostic toccatas punctuated by fantasy interludes that included the participation of The New Chamber Singers directed by Keith Griggs. The audience was welcomed to experience the continuous work at any time during the 2 hour and 24 minute duration.

The musical score was accompanied by intermittent visual elements that punctuated and animated the space. The piano, at the center, was concealed within a forest of vegetation, surrounded by constellations of water filled vessels. A glow of light circumnavigated an orbiting globe. Other occurrences, such as photo flashes were to be triggered by the piano and chorus .

The work is a meditation on the inevitable evolution of time. The work surged, swelled and cycled. The acoustics of the Acquario Romano served to further extend the vaporous sound. The choir defines moments in time within the piano’s continuum, acting to amplify to magnify the syntax in what appears to be a randomness. Visual elements marked, divided, punctuated and augmented the evolving sequences. Black stones falling into fine powder accumulated at even intervals. The audience was in motion, observing the work from all sides from the elliptical balcony above as well as from the corridor on the ground floor.

2001 ELLIPSIS II was released on the CD to accompany the exhibition organized by P.S1 Contemporary Art Center July 2-November 19,2000 and at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, July 2001.

Edmund Campion