“Villa Pennisi In Musica”, Summer School of Architecture and  Advanced Musical Studies

Project location: Italy, Acireale
Project start date: September 2013 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2013-035
Beneficiary: M.A.R. Musica – Arte - Ricerca

Villa Pennisi in Musica is a Summer School where every aspect in connection with the training of live performing professionals was confronted. This training took place in two stages:
 1_the educational stage (where lessons and in-depth analysis classes are given during the Architecture workshop "W-SOUND" and the Postgraduate courses for advanced musical studies)
2_the performance stage (the concert part the 2013 Villa Pennisi in Music Festival).
Every aspect of a live event production (focusing on open-air classical music  concerts) was studied: from the building of the stage and the artist’s lighting, to the best possible propagation of sound produced on stage, and the preparation of the performing artists. All this was possible thanks to the courses and workshops that took place at Villa Pennisi, a multifunctional location that hosted architecture, acoustics and lighting design lessons as well as postgraduate courses for advanced musical studies. Together, teachers and students focused on the solutions to the different problems presented in each field: planning, construction, design, lighting, musical acoustics, breathing techniques and relaxation, musical and artistic preparation. On stage they faced the final step together, (the concert), overcoming in this way the traditional student/ teacher barrier, sharing each step of the creative process, from its gestation in the classroom to  the final concerts. This type of training, far from being completed with the attainment of a certificate of participation and frequency, tested the final results with the construction of the object of study. This method of learning (and therefore of thinking) reflects some fundamental principles of sustainable building: all materials in use at the Architecture workshop were low in grey energy content (environmental sustainability), low cost (social sustainability) and with a careful regard for the production cycle (from cradle to grave). These materials were in the context of direct and indirect interactions with the environment as established by the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) protocol and therefore sourced from certified dry coppice wood assembled without the presence of the glue. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a protocol using scientific criteria to measure and compare the impact of different processes throughout the whole life cycle. By using this method one can select the best solutions for the preservation of resources and the reduction of emissions into the environment, all within a global observation of the production system connected to a specific environmental awareness. As defined by the ISO 14040, the LCA protocol examines the environmental impacts in relation to human health, the quality of the ecosystem and the depletion of resources, including its economic and social impact. In this sense, the main pavilion requirements were: the possibility of being self-constructed, foldable, collapsible, reversible, movable, adaptable to different environments and to a different number of spectators, as well as to different types of music. The pavilion had also to operate as a technical lamp suitable for illuminating the musicians, and occasionally the surrounding area. Through this the public’s ear was guided, improving the pavilion’s acoustic effect and outlining its own structure with the help of artificial light.  Knowing that the resources at our disposal are not unlimited, and that their rational use is the only sensible choice (especially considering the many risks that energy production poses to the environment as well as to our own health) and, being as we are part of the scientific community and of a civil society, we are faced with the need to consider our Planet as a closed system in which every natural resource is limited by availability and by the ecosystem’s ability to assimilate them. Additionally, the productive context that has based its own economy on the use of wood, can be validated and promoted through a process of innovating production models, and also by recovering a form of forest management associated with a tradition presently fallen into a deep crisis.  Hence the decision to experiment with the possible innovative uses of semi-finished wood from coppice  - wood from a forest containing vast young vegetation under 24 years of age, the production of which is characterized by trunks of small diameter (up to 18 cm). Well-managed forests, where cuts do not exceed the amount of new growth, will continue to be a fount of inexhaustible raw material. There is ample evidence that an intensive, fair and environmentally sustainable management, can result in a significant increase in timber production without particular contraindications for the environment. Today in fact, the mere passive preservation of the environment by means of restrictions and prohibitions, is not enough to gain back what we have lost. "The use of wood as a building material is the only way to safeguard the future of the forests."2 
The structure that serves as the stage (ReS -Resonance String Shell) built during the 2012 edition of Villa Pennisi in Music, was the object of a research project sponsored by the MAR association, with the participation of CMMKM Architecture & Design, Buro Happold Engineering International Consultants and the University Federico II of Naples. Thanks to its modularity and reversibility it was possible to put the ReS - Resonance String Shell to “rest” until the 2013 edition of the Festival, where it has built once again in order to test and perfect its acoustic technology and design.
Admission was free to all 2013 Festival events, except for the SAVE THE CHILDREN concert (by invitation only).
Participants to the Summer School (Architecture division) were selected according to their curriculum [max 35 students].
The musicians participating in the Postgraduate courses for advanced musical studies were selected by audition. The number of participants was unlimited, but groups of active students and auditors were selected in order to ensure the highest level of education [max 10 active students per class].

August 1 - 9, 2013 - Architecture workshop “W-SOUND”
The workshop focused on three different aspects of the sound’s architecture: the acoustic, the light and the design-to-build
ACOUSTICS LESSONS AND WORKSHOP- In the appreciation of a musical piece, sound (as a physical phenomenon) has a relatively low impact. Of more importance, is the way in which we perceive the sounds that conform the piece. And even more important is the development of that perception based on our own personal background. Just as in large concert halls, where wood is the dominant visual element for the audience, the wooden structure that makes up the ReS acoustic shell (built during Villa Pennisi in Music 2012) allowed students to test the ability of the acoustic panels to reflect the sound back onto the audience. By learning the fundamental rules of acoustics, the students deepened their knowledge of the different techniques of musical acoustics, and helped refine the sound quality of the events during the Villa Pennisi in Music festival.
With Serafino Di Rosario - Acoustic Consultant Buro Happold London - www.burohappold.com
LIGHTING DESIGN LESSONS AND WORKSHOP– Light projection nowadays means to consider all the parameters motivated by a shared desire to improve the levels of well-being both in public and private areas, indoor and outdoor, all the while reducing energy consumption. Therefore today, more than ever before, lighting design is a necessary discipline as it can increase the significance of an architectural project through the wise use of natural and artificial light management.
Lessons on stage-lighting found the students applying low cost and low energy solutions to the ReS acoustic shell (built duringVilla Pennisi in Music 2012). Ambient lighting for different event areas of the 2013 Villa Pennisi in Music festival were also be discussed.
With Filippo Cannata - www.cannatalight.it

DESIGN TO BUILD LESSONS AND WORKSHOP- The rationale behind Design-to-Build was to confer a high educational value to the creative experience, and to this end it presented itself as an instrument to conceive and reflect architecture. In relation to self-built constructions, Design-to-Build is an excellent example of the relationship between design and construction techniques. The lessons at Villa Pennisi focused on acquainting the students with geometrically complex, form-resistant structures. During this workshop a gridshell was built in the natural setting of Villa Pennisi’s historical gardens
With CMMKM Architecture and Design - www.cmmkm.com
Sergio Pone –Federico II di Napoli University
Serafino Di Rosario – Buro Happold London
Filippo Cannata – Cannata light and partnersCMMKM Architecture and Design
Conversation with Michele Campanella, Eduardo Hubert about acoustic experience from inside

August 3 - 12, 2013 Music Masterclasses
The postgraduate courses were geared towards young artists who, having chosen music as their way of life, were now searching for a Master from whom to learn the secrets of the profession.
The excellence of the teaching staff and their analytical approach to the issues faced when preparing orchestral and solo competitions, made of these courses an unparalleled offering in Sicily.
Every aspect of the performance was discussed with the student: preparing the instrument, relaxation and breathing techniques, study of chamber music scores.
Individual lessons.
Chamber music lessons.
Villa Pennisi in Musica 2013 Artists
Michele Campanella - www.michelecampanella.org
Eduardo Hubert - www.eduardohubert.com
Sestetto Stradivari - www.sestettostradivari.com
David Romano, Section Leader Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra
Raffaele Mallozzi, Solo Viola Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra
Diego Romano, Assistant Principal cello Orchestra Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Sciancalepore, Solo Double Bassn Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra
Andrea Oliva, Solo Flute Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra
Francesco Di Rosa, Solo oboe Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra
Francesco Bossone, Solo bassoon Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra

This project receivd a grant from the Nando Peretti Fundation.
Thanks to the participation of renowned musicians, artists and professionals, to the multifunctional structure where events of the highest level are presented and to the richness of such an artistic and educational offer unique to this area, Villa Pennisi in Music has become both an international Festival of the highest level and a reference point for the Sicilian cultural life.
Objectives for the 2013 edition
1_Training and specialization of 30 students of architecture / lighting design / acoustic – WSOUND workshop.
2_Training and specialization of 60 musicians - Postgraduate courses for advanced musical studies.
3_Building, acoustic testing and design of the ReS structure- joint research project between the MAR Association, CMMKM Architecture & Design, Buro Happold London, University Federico II of Naples. Villa Pennisi in Music Festival - Students and teachers together on stage.
4_Special concert for Save The Children Italia.
During the Villa Pennisi in Music Festival, the students had the chance to confront the creation of LIVE OPEN AIR events in a different frame of mind, actively participating in every step of the process from the know-how needed to prepare and build-up a high-performance acoustic stage, to the real life concerts.

Founded in 2005, the Association M.A.R. Music - Art - Research is a modern platform for the production of ideas, an innovative partner for those who would like to see culture taken into the spotlight, without losing its inherent artistic nature.
MAR is an integrated, self-sufficient production system managed by musicians, architects, artists, sound and light designers, actors and dancers.
 Fueled by the idealistic enthusiasm that only artists possess, MAR brings theater, music and dance to those places where beauty has been outlawed. MAR provides the ideal framework for courses, concerts, workshops, seminars, installations; everything that brings the audience closer to the arts finds in MAR the ideal producing platform. Beyond genres and conventions, MAR artists give themselves fully to their audience. Each unique event is created exclusively for the occasion. The work of art is therefore placed outside the logic of the product. Since 2005 MAR has organized more than 100 events involving artists from all over Europe. In 2009 the traditional “concert season” was abandoned, in order to focus on production and education.
Founded in 2009 at Villa Pennisi in Acireale, Villa Pennisi in Music - Summer School is a project for which MAR puts in action all its mission’s values.
The MAR association oversees all the different aspects of the Summer School: organization, coordination, fundraising and artistic direction.
 Villa Pennisi (designed and built in the late nineteenth century by the architect Mariano Falcini) has been the object of a renovation that was concluded in January 2008. Once the Villa was returned to the city of Acireale and to the Pennisi family, the first priority was to bring the mansion back to its former splendor, the same splendor that over the years attracted luminaries such as the Italian Royal family and the composer Richard Wagner. It is thanks to the partnership between the Pennisi family and David Romano, principal second violin of the Orchestra Sinfonica Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, member of the Stradivari Sextet and artistic advisor to the MAR Association, that Villa Pennisi in Music was born.  The goal of the festival is to establish a platform within the estate of Villa Pennisi where music and culture meet. An estate that, thanks to its halls, its marvelous internal courtyard and to the church of the Crucifix (a small seventeenth-century chapel used by Villa Pennisi) offers a wide range of unique locations. www.villapennisi.com.
Francesco Pennisi (1934-2000) the composer, writer, graphic artist, painter, founder of Nuova Consonanza, was not only born in Acireale, but also lived and grew up in the Villa. Inspired by his work and creative spirit, during the last five years the MAR Association has organized concerts and performances during the summer (like the special celebration hosted here in 2010 to honor the Acireale-born composer), continuously increasing the number of events and the presence of world-class performers, enriching in this way the cultural and touristic offering of Acireale.
The honorary committee for Villa Pennisi in Music includes, among others, Professor Bruno Cagli and Maestro Antonio Pappano, respectively Superintendent and Music Director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
26 september 2009 – sponsor by Nek&Nek Catania
Sestetto Stradivari
Music by Pennisi, Dvorak, Rossini
19 june 2010 – partnership with Associazione Musicale Etnea
Sestetto Stradivari | Emanuele Segre, guitar | Gianluca Campo, flute
Music by Pennisi, Debussy, Strauss, Giuliani, Boccherini
20 giugno 2010 - collaborazione con Associazione Musicale Etnea
Sestetto Stradivari | Gianluca Campo, flauto
Musiche di Pennisi, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikowsky
24 july 2011 - partnership with FESTIVAL DEL MITO
Rossini à la carte
David Riondino, voice | Sestetto Stradivari with Antonio Sciancalepore, double bass | Fabio Battistelli, clarinet | Francesco De Zan, piano
Music and text by Gioacchino Rossini
26 july 2011
Sestetto Stradivari with Antonio Sciancalepore, contrabbasso
Musich by Mozart, Brahms
from 23 to 29 jult 2011
Postgraduate courses for advanced musical studies held by musicians Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Symphonic Orchestra, Rome.
Thanks to experience gained over the years, encouraged by the great acclaim from audiences and critics alike, and driven by the growing number of applications from young musicians from Sicily and the world over, Villa Pennisi in Music expanded in 2012 into a ten-day festival dedicated to the training of young talents from around the world.
The festival presented itself as a modern educational package (the only one of its kind in Italy), product of the collaboration between musicians, architects, acoustic engineers and lighting designers which is accomplished in the architecture workshop W-SOUND.
The Festival’s artistic excellence was assured by the presence, both as performing artists and teachers, of musicians from the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, an orchestra whose fame has grown so much over the last few years as to be selected by the prestigious magazine “Classic FM” as one of the 10 top orchestras of the world, alongside the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Chicago Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic.
W-SOUND Architecture workshop held by Università Federico II di Napoli
INARCH Catania
Architect Order Catania
Cannata Light – Lighting designer
Buro Happold London  - International Engineerin Consultants
CMMKM Architettura & Design

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