“Seme” - an immersive exploration of Italian aesthetics, music and emergence, with performances at Salzburg Easter Festival on 28 March followed by Barbican, London 4 & 5 April 2024.

Photo credit Diogo for ØTHERS

Taking musical form in the new EP release “Seme” (or “seed”) is the latest project in the acclaimed musician, sound designer and creative Max Cooper's vast portfolio of work.

When asked to reflect his invitation by the prestigious Salzburg Easter Festival to create a new show for the opera and classical music festival:

“I feel like a bedroom DJ has smuggled themselves into high classical culture, and who knows what will happen - but I love that. I'm confident in my craft, and confident that electronic music culture is as rich with art as any other form of music.” Max Cooper

Through recent collaboration with visual artists, coders, mathematicians, architects and film makers and informed by informed by his PhD in computational biology, Max Cooper has incubated Seme’s thesis in music and visual arts, rooted in experimentation yet fully embracing the intersectional potentials that challenge the perceived barriers between art forms and performance events.

“I began thinking about the foundational ideas and aesthetics coming from Italy, and the connections to my interests which have gone into previous projects. I set on the idea of “Seme” to link foundational aesthetics in science to other areas found in Italian culture: art, religious iconography, architecture, music, etc. It's a big melting pot of ideas and form.” Max Cooper

Seme will premiere at Salzburg Easter Festival within the iconic Felsenreitschule concert hall on 28th March 2024 directed by Sir Antonio Pappano, who has set the theme of the annual festival around the spirit and passion of Italy.

Max’s intention for Seme (or “seed”) draws on Italy’s rich cultural past by combining historic Italian musical and elegant visual aesthetics with modern audio, visual and theatrical techniques.

“This project was an opportunity to try something new, and to bring a new form of human meaning and art into my work and performance. The results have been powerful.” Max Cooper

The EP leads with “Palastrina Sicut”, an esoteric palette of synths and piano whose intimate warmth is accented by the use of elegiac and profound touchstones, establishing a conversational flow between traditional and electronic musicians. .

“When I discovered Palestrina and tried integrating it into my music, I had a wow moment. It's music that was created for the church, Holy music, but it carries a lot of the same messages of reflection and meaning that I often work with.” Max Cooper

Max’s enduring transparency has unravelled the paradox of how to be both musically intentional and improvisational by embracing the unknown. With the dissonance between science and the artistically spiritual fundamentally forming Max’s signature sound; the meticulously arranged soundscapes present on “Sonata K.141” are the golden layers of the EP, each conveying a sense of place.

Musically, “Cardano Circles” is the one familiar Cooper touchpoint on the EP, as he embarks on a new sound exploration with “Fibonacci Sequence”, set to a simple geometric form unfolding a complex drum rhythm by Kwake Bass of mapping out the famous numerical sequence.

As a live experience, Seme will employ custom laser and projection software and hardware developed with Architecture Social Club to deliver a unique immersive audio-visual experience, allied with visuals by acclaimed artists including Yoshi Sodeoka, Davide Quayola, Julian Uisato and Mario Carrillo. The audience will sit amongst the ideas and aesthetics of Seme, coming to life in the space around them.

In Salzburg, Max will be joined in collaboration by Sarah Aristidou, critically acclaimed French-Cypriot soprano, and Niels Orens, Belgian cello laureate and electronic composer, and visuals by multi-disciplinary award winning design studio Architecture Social Club.

The UK debut of Seme takes place at London’s international arts and events centre Barbican across 4th and 5th of April 2024. For this show, Cooper will be joined by Kim Sheehan (soprano), Niels Orens (cello), Tom Hodge (piano).

As Max Cooper continues to cut a unique and noteworthy path with an international reputation as a leading electronic musician, his work explores the foundations of nature and society, informed by his research and expressed through a range of artistic media including sound and music, film, projection and immersive installations. While the presence of integrated thinking around releasing music has long distinguished Max Cooper, it is the notion of performance and entertainment grafted into his style which really admits Max to charge into new territory.

Max Cooper founded Mesh in 2016 as the platform to explore the intersection of music, science and art.

Salzburg Easter Festival was founded in 1967 by legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan.

Seme presented by Max Cooper will premiere at Salzburg Easter Festival 28th March and Barbican London on 4th and 5th April 2024.

'Seme' EP is released 28 February on Mesh []