As a drummer, I’ve toured throughout Europe with several musical projects.
Since 2018, I’ve been experimenting digital performative actions that intertwine music, contemporary art and social network hacking and developing the concept of sound murals
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Max Magaldi

SOUND
MURALISM

Sound Murals can be described as site-specific soundscapes for public spaces that anyone can listen to through their devices.

Every sound mural achieves its full meaning only in relation to the space it was conceived for.

Can music become Public Art?

Can we use sounds to build psychological architectures able to dialogue, shape and give alternative interpretations of our natural, urban and social landscapes? Welcome to my research about Sound Muralism

In the midst of the populistic wave that was hitting all the major Western countries Iʼve conceived theDrama project. Through this project I started to work on the migrants’ theme
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Max Magaldi


theDrama is the slang sound of the words “the drummer” but also a concept that synthesizes the conditions of millions of people forced to leave their countries due to wars, violences or climate disasters in which, whether we like it or not, we are all involved.

The overlapped and stylized mouths that form theDrama logo represents comedy and tragedy, the two sides of the classical drama, but also the prosperity of the rich part of the world that can smile only because of the exploitation of the poor part of the world, beneath it.

theDrama is an artivism project that uses music as contemporary public art; every release consists in a site-specific composition that achieves its full meaning only in relation to the space that itʼs written for and itʼs announced by cross-medial actions between virtual and real world.

Meanwhile, I began to work in the contemporary art scene, creating sound installations and live performances for exhibitions and installations
Simbiosi & Merci Find out
Merci Simbiosi

Sonorizations
Installations

In 2019 Iʼve created musical performances for “Merci”, the exhibition of the Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo in Bordeaux, France

In 2019 I released Riportiamogli a Casa lʼOro the first theDrama sound mural dedicated to the European crude-oil ports
RiportiamogliACasalOro Find out
RiportiamogliACasalOro


The first sound mural of theDrama project is called "Riportiamogli a Casa L'Oro”. It is dedicated to all the crude oil ports where the rich part of the world welcomes boats from other countries only if theyʼre carrying crude oil or other precious raw materials instead of human beings.

Lyrics are taken from a radio interview of Italian right-wing politician Daniela Santanchè at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

According to her (and to many other Italian and European politicians) the crisis could be solved by “sinking the boats”.

The audience listening to this sonorization in the proximity of a crude oil port will hear words suggesting them to “use force” and “sink the boats”, but they will face crude oil tankers instead of migrants boats, often coming from the same countries as the migrants do.

To announce this first release, Iʼve created one of the biggest Facebook trolling initiatives ever, deceiving thousands of Matteo Salviniʼs fans (at the time Matteo Salvini was Italyʼs powerful interior minister and leader of the anti-immigrant Lega party).



RiportiamogliACasalOro



Iʼve created “STOP Barconi” (STOP the Boats), a pro-Salvini Facebook page that reached 30,000 followers in less than 2 months, feeding them with all the classical repertoire of xenophobic/racist/populistic content that is typically posted by similar pages.

In May 20th, at the climax of the European election campaign, STOP Barconi

announced the live stream of a striking action against the refugees: the “refoulement of a boat”.
Thousands of users rushed to watch the Facebook live stream but the boat they were seeing in the video was a crude oil tanker entering the port of Trieste, one of the most important European oil ports.



2,000 users watched the live streaming and over 1.300 even shared the video on their Facebook profiles, despite the boat being a crude oil tanker and the video description clearly reading “I pranked you!”.

Facebook profile “STOP Barconi” is designed as a virtual contemporary art performance, a social audio/visual mural painted on Facebook walls.

All of its posts, comments and reactions will not be removed: the mixture of homophobic and racist expressions, and the social networksʼ dramatic superficiality, represent the times weʼre living in.

The page will remain open, constantly changing based on usersʼ reactions.

In the same year I began to collaborate with STUDIO STUDIO STUDIO for the creation of Gharfa, an experiential pavilion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Max Magaldi


Gharfa

Gharfa was a huge experiential pavillion by Edoardo Tresoldi featuring collaboration between him, Alberonero, Matteo Foschi and myself.



Iʼve created the sound environment of the installation by designing a sound de-composition: three different yet interconnected sound tracks were played in different part of the installation and allowed the visitor to hear their balanced mix only by being in the center of the structure.

Moving from that focal point, the visitors could practically create their personal audio “mix” walking through the installation, getting closer to one sound source and moving away from the others.



During the development of this de-composition Iʼve started to think about the concept of sound anamorphism, and started to understand how nature sounds are anarchically distributed through space, unlike the left/right hi-fi dictatorshipthat we are accustomed to follow in the music business.

In 2020 Iʼve released theDrama#2: Europe/YourHope, a sound mural dedicated to the astonishing Lifejackets Graveyard in Lesbos Island, Greece
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theDrama#2

theDrama#2
Europe/YourHope

Europe/YourHope is the second release of theDrama project, made in collaboration with the Italian artist Andrea Villa, and is dedicated to the Lifejacket Graveyard, an incredible place where thousands of life jackets, boats, clothes and other stuff abandoned on the Lesboʼs coasts by the migrants approaching to the Island can be found.

A couple of 3 meters tall columns, made using 60 “donuts” life jackets used by the migrants during the sea crossings, marked the borders of the two incredible lifejackets dunes, transforming the place into a true monument dedicated to the refugees and emphasizing his solemnity and dramatic force.

The place was sonorized using a TV monitor in which the speech that the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had in front of the U.N. general assembly, talking about “Democracy, individual rights and equality”, turned into a sad and barely recognizable version of Beethovenʼs Ode to Joy, the official E.U. anthem, transforming the life jacket graveyard into the European values graveyard.

Only by crossing the Pillars of Hercules of our contemporary western fear of the diversity will Europe finally became Your Hope .

During the hyper-connected period caused by Covid-19 lockdown I began to work on theVices/Devices, a series of 7 A/V installations where I explore the relationship between technology and human behavior
theVices Find out
theVices


ARE DEVICES EVOLVING THE VICES?

The reflection on how vices corrupt the human soul, depriving an human being of his freedom has always fascinated philosophers, artists, thinkers.

Despite all the historical changes, the 7 capital vices remained unchanged: Pride, Lust, Avarice, Sloth, Wrath, Gluttony and Envy have all gone through almost two millennia, unscathed.

Today, however, our social, cultural and economic habits are being changed like never before by the web and by the devices through which we seamlessly enter the cyberspace, often without even realizing it.

The multiplication of the infinite online possibilities, where can we say, show, look, listen, be, wish, hate, court and buy virtually anyone and anything radically changes the way we interpret ourselves and interact with others, influencing our habits and ultimately our temptations.

theVices/Devices is a cycle of seven sound/multimedia installations that reflect on how Capital Vices are transformed and updated by the spread of electronic devices and the social practices that these have created and stimulated .

Are devices evolving the vices?

theVices
In 2021 theVices#1: Vainglory, an experimental multimedia installation that featured a 150 digital devices orchestra, was held in Petrella theater, Italy
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VainGlory

theVices#1
VainGlory

”Where pride desires to have some excellency and majority, vainglory, not even satisfied with this, wants to manifest it and show it off, in order to acquire praise, name, honor and fame among the people".
(Jacopo Passavanti, Mirror of True Penance, 1354)

Vainglory is a big Audio/Visual sculpture that stages the obligation to stage ourselves that anybody experiences in everyday life on social networks. It took place for the first time in december 2021 , by invading and subverting the rules and perspectives of the Petrella theater, a wonderful historical Italian theater built in 1864.



We feed our social profiles with the best possible content, trying to compress our existence into a timeline that can be envied as much as we envy others'.

The democratization of artistic production pushes us to a condition in which everyone became both artist and audience of himself, transforming audiences from tendentially passive masses into a creative multitude able to compulsively produce all kinds of contents.



SOCIALITY becomes SOCIAL and produces a condition always poised between examples of random creativity, sometimes surprising, and a consistent background buzz.

In these conditions, the stage no longer exists because THE STAGE IS EVERYWHERE.

This is why the stage of the theater is empty. Instead, stalls and balconies are crowded by 150 digital devices, each transmitting a different audiovisual content.



The stage is no longer a place of performances. Having lost its ability to be a pulpit it becomes a privileged observation point, from where we can look at this perpetual creative flood which is able to enlighten us about the contemporary.

Cyclically, the background buzz generated by the overlapping contents of the 150 devices is modeled and transformed into a sound and visual sculpture; observed and listened from the stage, the crowd of devices becomes an orchestra performing shreds of an hypothetical contemporary piece, to eventually go back, after a few minutes, to the background noise of our lives.

In September 2022 Timelines, a mini video installation that reflects on the Russo-Ukrainian war through the Social Networks users' point of view, is displayed at PhEST, the International Photo and Art Festival in Monopoli, Italy.
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Timelines


Timelines

Timelines displays the trauma of war through a sudden change of images, sounds and colors that Ukrainian users started to share on their TikTok and Instagram profiles when Putin's "special military operation" began.

A musician, a teenager, an actor, a worker: for PhEST 2022 I have selected, recorded and reassembled in this mini video installation 5 real users timelines in which you can see how, in a few hours, these people faced a brutal switch from school desks to tanks, from fooling around to military propaganda, from mountain shelters to bomb shelters, from holidays to rubble.

By juxtaposing and aligning this daily Social Networks routine, Timelines shows how war suddenly transfigures our lives, without giving us the chance to scroll down and go back to the past normality.

Contacts

Instagram maxmagaldi@gmail.com