Largo Fra’ Paolo Bellintani, 1 – Milan
Conceived during the Covid-19 lockdown and staged for the history-laden church of San Carlo al Lazzaretto in Milan, “The Sky in a Room” sees professional singers taking turns to perform an ethereal arrangement of singer Gino Paoli’s 1960 classic “Il Cielo in una Stanza” repeatedly alongside the San Carlino church organ. Kjartansson intends for the performance to be read as a neverending lullaby for the quarantine, when we collectively dreamt of new ways to be together and fight solitude, and a tribute to those lost during previous epidemics.
“‘Il Cielo in una Stanza’ is the only song I know that deals with the fundamental nature of visual art, which is its ability to transform space,” explains Kjartansson, who was commissioned by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi. “I love how it describes the power of the imagination, put on fire by love, to transform the world around us. It’s a poem about how love and music can make a small confined space explode, letting in the sky and the trees.”