Vertigo Sound Installation: Zeynab Jahan for Blesque

I'd like to mention to you some amazing art projects that Baku is hosting these days. As many of you may or may not know- the Goethe-Institut ( an NGO promoting german language and german culture all over the world) has gained a foothold in the city of ours. Though this has happened only short time ago, it has already organized a whole Festival - Silk Road, that brings together talented singers and artists from  Germany, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. 

Since the beginning of December we have been enjoying oriental jazz by talented LEBIDERIYA quartette, an amazing performance by RAIN SULTANOV and ISFAR SARABSKI in a Chamber&Organ Music hall, also discovered a Kapellhaus in Baku together with SLAVS&TATARS at their lecture, FAIG AHMED's Installation 10(-35) and and another concert by DIVAN ACOUSTIC.  

The Installation I am bringing to your attention today, was the one that closed the Silk Road Festival, and has amazed me the most. Had you and idea about the fact that the phenomenal composer Giacomo Puccini, was inspired by great Azerbaijani poet and philosopher Nizami Ganjavi's "Seven Beauties" while writing "Turandot" opera? VERTIGO Sound Installation taking place at Shirvanshah Palace relates its visitors exactly to it. I have to confess, that I was not much familiar with it neither, until the day I met Asli who since 2015 is engaged in the popularization of creativity by Nizami. Together with 3 other "creators" of Vertigo, she made it to the the Shirvanshah Palace, a UNESCO's Wold Heritage monument, that has become a platform for a contemporary art thanks to the Administration of Historical-Architectural Reserve "Icherisheher"

So what is Vertigo about? In their collaborative project, artist Farhad Farzaliyev, poet Leyli Salayeva, musicologist Jahangir Selimkhanov and curator Asli Samadova get inspiration from classical Oriental poetry, national and European music traditions. The collective studies transformation of a part of the ‘Seven Beauties’ poem (1197) written Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209) into Giacomo Puccini’s 'Turandot' opera (1926) and imagines its further development in modern times. Multiverse of physicality of sound is also augmented by individual perception and mood – the story allows multiple interpretations being free of time and non-specific in terms of gender, ethnic and geographical affiliation.  

VERTIGO is a participatory five radio channel and open sound installation with binaural sound effect. Five radio channels together create a collective portrait of a modern woman. Channels include environmental sounds, five variations of classical music singing – vocaloid, karaoke in Azerbaijani language, sound collage of varoius female opera performers, granular sampling  and synthesized overlaying - of 'Nessun Dorma' aria of Kalaf (traditionally sang by a tenor); instrumental recordings of Saint-Saens - The Swan (Le Cygne) composition, poetry recitals and dialogues as well as interactive processed voice spoken by the exhibition visitors. In one of the radio channels an anonymous voice whispers ‘l will revolve, revolve, revolve until I disappear’ – embracing the sensation of feeling off-balance. Vertigo is a medical condition, the most common type of dizziness. It appears three times more often in women than in men. Vertigo goes away without any treatment, so does the pain from the loss of the beloved one or exult and excitement from the first-time encounter that soothes down as time passes. 


VERTIGO Sound Installation is opened till March 31st 2018, don't miss it once you are in the city of winds!