Narrative Strategies and Sound Space in Nau dos Insensatos by Conrado Silva at the XXth São Paulo Art Biennial


  • Rodolfo Coelho de Souza
  • Paulo Yassuhide Fujioka



Nau dos Insensatos is an electroacoustic composition by Conrado Silva commissioned for the XXth São Paulo Art Biennial of 1989. The analysis of the piece reveals that an intrinsic narrative content can be deduced from the sequence of materials, topics, and formal organization used in the composition. The theoretical framework used to reach these conclusions considered the music narrative theory of Byron Almén, besides the classical semiotic interpretation of C. S. Peirce. Brief accounts of the principles of these theories were provided to subsidy the interpretation. As the creation of the piece had a direct relation with the space where it should be performed, the paper also reports the problems generated by the building’s acoustics, besides some contextual information about the exhibition. Theoretical information about the relation between acoustic space and music, applied to music of three other Brazilian composers enhances the approach to Conrado Silva’s music.