mappamondo
per voce, tuba ed ensemble (2003-2004)
35 minutes – no.35

This semi-theatrical work for voice, tuba and ensemble is part of the cycle entitled la Serenissima. By how many pieces it will be preceded is still to be determined, however mappamondo is and will be the last one in the series.

The work features the cemetery island San Michele, situated halfway between Fondamente Nuove and Murano. This is where born and bred Venetians find their final resting place. One also finds the graves of renowned artists, such as Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky, Ezra Pound, Joseph Brodsky and Luigi Nono.

Before the island became the municipal cemetery (1870), it was the home of Camaldolese monks (white Benedictines), dating back to approximately the year 1212. Among them was an important fifteenth century cartographer, called Fra Mauro. Around 1450 he created his 'mappamondo' (world map), one of the most remarkable achievements in mediaeval cartography. The original circular map, with a diameter of almost 2 metres, is kept in the Biblioteca Marciana on Piazza San Marco.

Not only does Fra Mauro map all the known countries, but also the nature of the various indigenous people who live there. The map is loaded with descriptions, adding up to some 30,000 words. What is beyond any imagination >>>