Cantabile non troppo

Music / Theatre Performance


Miriam Palma, born November 20, 1964, in the village of San Stefano Quisquina near Agrigento, Sicily, has been expressing her personal vision of the world for nearly two decades. Although a political philosopher by training, she is active in both film (as a musician, singer and silent-movie accompanist) and music. As for her music, she might best be described as a rare disciple of modern improvised music, a minority field "per se" , for she creates actual music and not merely background sound. Those brave people from the world of improvisation, after all, like to take risks and avoid cliché whenever possible. Miriam Palma possesses special vocal abilities, which are apparent not only in her extensive vocal range but also, and mainly, in her ability to vocalize two- or even three-voiced sounds in a single breath. In addition, she is distinguished by her wide variety of interests. Primarily, she explores voice and breathing effects, experiments with sound and works as a teacher, but she also excels as a singer of harmony and a performer of the classical Sicilian repertoire. She exploits to the fullest her unique combination of gifts in many bands, sometimes-international ones, but most notably in the superb island "export" trio Terra Arsa, which also includes Gianni Gebbia on woodwinds and percussionist Vittorio Villa. In this trio, Palma supplements her vocal play with small percussion instruments. The trio was once the main vehicle for creative commotion in Palermo, a city of extreme cultural whims: when Gebbia held the post as city councillor for culture under the leftist government in the mid-nineties, he promoted (with the help of his friends) the development of schools, workshops for young people and the influential music festival Curva Minore. Sadly, this festival was later demolished, along with many other things (including an enormous cultural centre), by right-wing city authorities linked to the Mafia.
In Ljubljana, Miriam Palma will perform her solo project Cantabile non troppo, which includes voice, percussion, precise direction and movement. She will be accompanied by written electro-acoustic music conceived by herself and Domenico Sciajno. In a work that textually relies on the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann, Elsa Morante and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Palma questions again and again the relationship between what is written and what is sung. As theatre, this approximately hour-long performance stretches from extremely intimate and archaic vocal tones to a dichotomy of explosive/implosive effects and the poignantly vocalised question of what is happening with megalomania and modesty in today's world. Cantabile non troppo is a wonderful, rich work, a superb example of the theatrical approach to voice and the vocalist's stage presence. It presents the full spectrum of singing: chilling silence, lamentation, whisper, screaming, melodies, lyricism, abstraction, and lushness. The electrifying relationship between intensity and alleviation in regard to the audience makes this an especially charismatic work.
Miha Zadnikar

Organisation: City of Women
In co-operation with: Klub Gromka
With the support of: Italian Cultural Institute



Date and time of event: 
Oct 15th 23:00
Place of event: 
Klub Gromka, Metelkova mesto