A journey to the past through the cultural history of the USSR
On Wednesday evening, in the historic eighteenth-century Teatro Bibiena, Gian Piero Piretto and Shari DeLorian took their guests on a special journey through time. A journey into the cultural history of the USSR. And how can one make culture more tangible than with film and music?
Back in the 1920s, instead of wild Charleston sounds, factory noises filled the hall. The amazement in the audience was palpable. But it was the ‘Symphony of factory sirens’, the third part of a cycle of four performances stylistically called concrete music, that really raised eyebrows. ‘Is that music?’ the professor asked his younger colleague. A question that a contemporary listener would certainly ask themselves. In a varied mix of musicology, audio-visual examples and the embedding in the historical context, the audience was led from decade to decade.
In addition, Piretto and DeLorian always had surprises in store for their audience. Suddenly Walt Disney's Mary Poppins danced across the screen with a ‘Spoonful of Sugar’. Piretto immediately connected the perfect world of Disneyland in which everyone is happy with a seemingly perfect utopia in Stalinland.
The evening ended with the rock song ‘Made in the USSR’ by Oleg Gazmanov from 2012. The song not only showed a clear parallel to Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ but made the complex combination of nostalgia and failed political systems even more visible. Piretto and DeLorian did not offer their guests a history lesson taken from a textbook, but an exciting evening that opened up new perspectives on the contemplation of the last century.