by Andrea Cavallari
Three Flags II (after a work by Jasper Johns)
for ensemble, video and live electronics
Three Flags is a very famous 1958 painting by American artist Jasper Johns. Done in encaustic (wax and pigment) on canvas, the work consists of three concentric American flags, depicted in their usual red, white and blue colors, with 48 white stars in a blue canton on a field of thirteen alternating red and white stripes. The three flags exist in a tiered relationship to one another, with three canvases of decreasing size stacked on top of each other, creating a three-dimensional work. This painting has inspired Andrea Cavallari to create a similar formal structure which overlaps three different music elements (winds, strings and electronics). All elements reflect the same materials (such as for the paining the red and white strips, stars, etc) but using time (speed v slow) as integral element to define in music the different sizes of the overlapped three flags. Therefore the music structure follows step-by-step the painting using all the elements structural, formal and aesthetic.