These are some impressions of Stefan Tcherepnin’s music performance Song of Seven Keys at this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach. Tcherpnin plays baritone guitar, vocals and Sonica, a rare, melodic synthesizer designed by the artist’s uncle, Serge Tcherepnin. Paul Sigerhall plays drums. The music is based on the faint melody that can be heard in the wind blowing from across the bay, beyond Key Largo.
Stefan Tcherepnin: Song of Seven Keys / Meredith Rosen Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach, Meridians Sector. Miami Beach, December 8, 2023.
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Meredith Rosen Gallery is pleased to present Song of Seven Keys, a site-specific installation by Stefan Tcherepnin, featuring a live performance of the eponymous composition by his musical duo, Kvantum, at Art Basel Miami Beach. Tcherepnin will perform a set of electric cartographic tracks within a transformative stage installation accompanied by a line of merch. Song of Seven Keys is a unique composition for Art Basel Miami Beach.
For Song of Seven Keys Tcherepnin activates the symbol of a key as a tool and a talisman which takes on an ephemeral facet when accessed through music. The key has an infinite quality, highly subjective to one’s relationship to what might lie beyond the other side of the lock, indicating some form of block or restricted access. The key is both an ecstatic and suffocating instrument.
Song of Seven Keys hovers in the moment of trepidation; each space between notes becomes a closing and opening door. Song of Seven Keys responds to the geography of Florida, specifically Key Largo, where Tcherepnin’s grandmother lived. Key Largo is accessible only by crossing a bridge, and once there, the landscape is a kaleidoscope of treacherous thresholds. The key motif references Saint Peter’s keys which were used to lock and open the gates of heaven.
Tcherpnin will play baritone guitar, vocals and Sonica, a rare, melodic synthesizer designed by the artist’s uncle, Serge Tcherepnin. Paul Sigerhall will play drums. The music is based on the faint melody that can be heard in the wind blowing from across the bay, beyond Key Largo. The wind’s melody is incorporated as a theme and expanded into four variations. The piece engages in a binding and loosening structure as it mirrors the surrounding environment and wanders through harmonic modal keys. Miami Beach, located across a bay from Key Largo, is itself a cultural and geographic threshold.
The composition will be performed in an immersive installation designed by Tcherepnin wherein a selection of merch will be available. For Song of Seven Keys Tcherepnin has produced a limited edition of screen printed and embroidered t-shirts with graphics emulating the shape of the Florida Keys as well as a collaborative publication with Stockholm based artist, Viktor Fordell of collages, drawings and text, made specifically for the performance.
Stefan Tcherepnin (b. in 1977, Boston) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Stefan Tcherepnin’s approach to visual art is influenced by his background in music composition and performance. His installations unfold gradually over time with a repeating series of motifs, refrains, reversals, and distortions, as a total experience that goes beyond language. In recent exhibitions, he has staged fury beings in theatrical sets and environments that point to the abstractions of US consumer culture and politics, but also to something more open-ended and utopian, drawing together potential pasts and futures.
Tcherepnin frequently collaborates with others. Alongside artist Emanuel Rossetti, Tcherepnin co-founded the platform Staged Worlds–experimental conduit for merging ideas and the exploration of unconventional functions and connections between everyday objects, space and structure.
In addition to his visual art practice, Tcherepnin is an active composer and musician. His band Afuma (alongside artist Taketo Shimada) released their first record on Blank Forms Editions in 2019. His recording of the visionary composer Maryanne Amacher’s Petra for two pianos, alongside Swiss pianist Marianne Schroeder, was released in 2019 on the same label. Currently, he regularly performs with Stockholm-based drummer Paul Sigerhall as Kvantum and has a Serge Modular based recording project with Anders Enge.