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João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga | Research Trip

Switzerland | Multi-Disciplinary

April 2023 — Multi-Disciplinary

João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga

Artist website

João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga is a Johannesburg-based artist, composer and musician. He is deeply enmeshed in the underground music and visual arts scenes of the city, which has brought him into regular contact with visiting Swiss artists over the past 12 years. In 2010 João spent time in Zurich on a residency to develop a collaboration with Swiss duo Mario Marchisella and Marianne Halter, who he had met during their residency in Johannesburg the year before. This experience and exchange had a lasting impact on João and his practice.

In the intervening years, João’s work has become increasingly focused on the nature of sound itself, how sound acts and how bodies are affected by the movement and vibration of sound. He explains, “I am currently in an exploratory phase of my practice, having shifted from a primarily music-based practice centred around guitar and handmade electronics to more interdisciplinary practice that encompasses sound art, ensemble composition, visual art (in relation to sound and music) and a touch of academia. Still very active in improvised music, my focus has shifted to modular synthesiser and more recently bass clarinet. I am working on integrating these two instruments into a meaningful and coherent whole.”

João will undertake a research trip in Lausanne from 7 – 30 April 2023 to become immersed in a new context and culture, gain fresh ideas and inspiration. João will use the trip to continue collaborations with former artists in residents Martin Perret, Nicolas Field and Christian Pahud, and use these connections as a springboard to meet new artists and expand his network in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

(c) Stella Oliver


João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga is a Peruvian Italian Brooklyn-born Johannesburg based artist, composer and maker of physical and virtual “things” that play with reality by deconstructing it, shifting expectations of standard uses or purposes of objects and processes. Through experimentation and improvisation João explores sound’s connective capacities through both its physical properties and material preconscious properties, seeking a balance between computer technology, hand-made electronics and real-world sounds like the human voice, field recordings and traditional musical instruments. João’s background as a self-taught musician is in improvised performance and composition for video art, film and theatre. His practice extends to public performance and intervention and the completion of a master’s degree in Digital Arts brought a shift towards a more spatial and physical approach to composition, where sound, vibration, space, music and audience become connected in experience.

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