Sandà Magna Morfina

Gross Rosen KL, Chasing roaming dogs in Bucharest, a market in Krakow, looking for traces....

“There are the so-called inert gases in the air we breathe. They bear curious Greek names of erudite derivation which means “the New” [Neon], “the Hidden” [Krypton], “the Inactive” [Argon], and “the Alien” [Xenon]. They are indeed so inert, so satisfied with their condition, that they do not combine with any other element, and for precisely this reason have gone undetected for centuries. (…) The little that I know about my ancestors presents many similarities to these gases.” (Primo Levi, The Periodic Table: 1975; 3)




- UCSD Last Friday Listening Room VI: Eidola, 04/2014 San Diego (USA)

- KZ Gross Rosen, 08/2006 Poland




Sandà Magna Morfina

11’ 06’’ [8:1 surround] (2006-14)

    This piece was inspired by a visit to KL Gross Rosen's concentration camp in Poland during summer 2006. It is a sonic exploration of the different sensations experienced when I stumbled upon the Kinder Komando Block, the children's block. The sound material used in the piece was generated from a series of field recordings carried out around the camp (doors, stones, found objects, outside/inside the different blocks) and in the city of Krakow. I also recorded Romanian stray dogs rescued by the Battersea Dog Home in London and caged birds in a shop near by; as well as different toys and metallic objects in the studio.

Sandà Magna Morfina is based upon the interaction between inner worlds, acting as defence mechanisms, and the outside world. The piece is in 3 parts:

- Gross Rosen Soundscape (outside/inside):      0' 00'' – 4' 10''
- Flying Dogs (outside/caged):                            4' 10'' – 7' 20''
- Dreidel (inside/outside):                                    7'20'' – 11' 06''

The Dreidel is a spinning top in the shape of a dice bearing four Hebrew letters corresponding to N., G., H., Sh., which, depending on the time and place, have different meanings. The title of the piece refers to Primo Levi's book: The Periodic Tables (Il Sistema Periodico; 1975). Magna Morphina (“Aunt Morphine”) was the nickname the author gave to one of his relatives as a child, a person he feared and for whom he created an imaginary world and a series of imaginary tortures. “Sandà” is one of the terms used for “baptised”, and also means “destroyed”.



Sandà Magna Morphina

Ibergekumene tsores iz gut tsu dertseylin.

Troubles overcome are good to tell.

- Yiddish proverb


[1] “Baptised Aunt Morphine”



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