Music of Carlo Gesualdo rediscovered through improvisation
• Lost in music •

Palazzo San Severo
Late in the evening on October 16, 1590, two dead bodies were dragged out of the Palazzo San Severo in Naples by a group of servants. The corpses–a young woman and a man–were laid out onto the steps of the palazzo for everyone to see.

Behind the servants emerged the man responsible for the killings—twenty-four-year-old nobleman Carlo Gesualdo. A man who, from that moment on, was cursed to live out the remainder of his life in pain and suffering.

Carlo Gesualdo's portrait at Piazza Orazio Flacco in Venosa
For 300 years, Carlo Gesualdo was considered an amateur composer. It was thought that his innovative use of chromatic voice leading and harmony wasn't a conscious decision, but rather the result of poor education and composition technique. He was seen as a leisurely type who amused himself by writing music in his spare time.

On the contrary, Gesualdo did not care much about anything but music. Historians paint us a picture of a man "lost in music, since he talks of it and nothing else". Gesualdo was obsessed. And thoroughly unhappy. There's much to suggest that he didn't know how to be around people. That he was found to be awkward and suffocating. Indeed, Gesualdo eventually locked himself into his castle in southern Italy. Here, the composer published two books of madrigals before his death, which were kept secret and meant for his court only.

Moro, lasso, al mio duolo,

e chi può darmi vita,
ahi, che m'ancide e non vuol darmi aita!

O dolorosa sorte,

chi dar vita mi può,
ahi, mi dà morte!
I die, alas, in my suffering,

And she who could give me life, Alas, kills me and will not help me.

O sorrowful fate!

She who could give me life, Alas, gives me death.
The band
  • Alexey Zelensky
    Guitar and vocal
  • Misha Lanin
  • Viktor Kapusi
    Tenor saxophone
  • Gergely Kovács

Artwork by Oksana Devochkina
Homage to Roy Lichtenstein, covering the event, created by artist Oksana Devochkina. Her piece rethinks the legacy and sacralizes eroticism in art and her work.

Lichtenstein created a series of paintings based on scenes from love and war comic books. The Ring (the original artwork) was created at a time of emotional flux for the artist. Roy Lichtenstein was in the midst of divorcing but was also in the early throws of romance with a graduate student he lived with. This tension is evident in a painting depicts a joyful and life-changing event.

Special thanks to Gabriela Liñán.

With the support of Kunstfuck Art Residency and Hungarian Language School

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