From Antiquity up through the Renaissance, there are reports of people who had the ability to retain unimaginable amounts of information. These people accomplished such feats of recollection by means of a particular technique - the ars memorativa - which worked in the following way. One created a personal, imaginary building, all of the different spatial divisions of which one came to know well. In order to remember a particular subject, one would place various virtual objects in the rooms of the building. These objects would symbolically represent information. To recall something later,
one would imagine oneself walking through that particular part of the
building which housed the objects pertaining to the subject at hand and would then "decode" them.
The idea of a fictitious building which, although uninhabited, is still
'imbued,' serves as the inspiration for this piece and as a metaphor for its formal organization. The form consists of 126 sections that were derived by means of a magic square. The architectural metaphor lends itself well to the piece and its sections, in that although the physical characteristics of individual rooms may greatly differ, together the rooms form an edifice.
A second aspect in the piece is derived from architecture, in that the
acoustic characteristics of the hall in which this piece is performed play
an important musical role, as do those of the piano and the musician's body. These last two are also utilized as 'architectural' entities unto
themselves. Furthermore, artificial and remote acoustics are brought in by means of electronics and soundscapes. Tullius Rooms is a diverse musical landscape of piano sound, electronic material, singing, whistling and percussive or 'performance' actions.
Marko Ciciliani (*1970 Zagreb/Croatia) received his musical training as a composer in The Hague, New York and Hamburg. He has written for a huge variety of settings like orchestra, chamber and solo scores, with and without electronics. Ciciliani is also active as a performer and improviser and has worked in various collaborative projects in the fields of theater, dance, video and music.
Ciciliani's involvement as a performer led him in his more recent
compositions to leave a high amount of control, regarding the form of the piece and several aspects of its materials, to the interpreters. This takes place by providing flexible forms, musical materials that still have to be furnished, or compositional guidelines for sections to be worked out. All this aims at creating a multiple-authorship and giving the performer of the music the possibility of creating a personal realization of a piece.
Ciciliani has received commission from ensembles like ASKO, ensemble
Intégrales, Maarten Altena Ensemble, QO-2, Zephyr Quartet and Interzone perceptible. His music has been performed a.o. at the Bregenzer Festspiele,Zagreb Biennale, Ars Nova SWR, Das Neue Werk NDR, "Activa" Berlin and Playground Touch/Bern.
As an improvisor Marko Ciciliani has used the no-input mixer for many years, developing a virtuosic mastership on this unconventional instrument. He used it as an improviser in performances with a.o. Jaap Blonk, Cor Fuhler, Jim Fulkerson and Axel Dorner.