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Friday 29 November 2019 — Friday 24 January 2020

Music! Music! Music! An exhibition by Raissa Pardini

Music! Music! Music! When design listens is Raissa Pardini’s first solo exhibition. Thix exhibition has been hosted at The Social, London, now in Milan from November 29th to January 24th.

Raissa Pardini © 2021 Matteo Girola

Opening with Raissa Pardini

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Raissa Pardini (1988) is a visual designer specializing in digital typography. In recent years she has worked for bands, labels and independent music clubs in Milan, Berlin, London and Glasgow, mixing photonic colors, typographic details and retro patterns.

After graduating in Milan she moved to Berlin and then to London where she will remain for 7 years, collaborating with various studios and agencies. In 2018 she left the English capital to move to Glasgow where she opened his studio and still lives today.

Long Live Rock’n’Roll

Text by Emanuele Bonetti, editing by Caterina Vodret

On 29 September 2019 the complete work by Mogol and Battisti finally arrives on Spotify. In the same days, the Swedish giant publishes the usual quarterly report in which it communicates that the number of active users has almost reached the ceiling of 250 million. Just under half of these are premium users. A third more than in the same survey a year ago.

Every day 250 million users, mostly young, access their favorite music by tapping on that handful of pixels that reproduce the album cover. The main labels advise their artists to display the name of the album and the artist in big copy, and to avoid adding other text that could be misleading for users and for the platform.

Music a few months from 2020 is as distant from the idea of a collective ritual of the 70s as it is from the music video roulette on MTV of the 90s. It’s more like a large database, meticulously organized, constantly accessible in the noise-proof privacy granted by the latest model of headphones. A sentient organism capable of understanding, interpreting and guiding our tastes.

It is in this context that the work of Raissa Pardini manifests itself, in open contradiction. She was born in Italy in the late 80s, she had time to witness the succession of cassettes and CDs, the pirate download revolution, the return of vinyl and the triumph of streaming platforms. She moved from Tuscany to Milan, then to Berlin after graduating  and after that to London where she stayed for 7 years. In 2018 she left the British capital to move to Glasgow where she opened her own studio and still lives today. Despite her origins, Raissa’s aesthetic is inevitably influenced by the two European capitals, by their streets and clubs, by their underground music scene, by their direct and sometimes brutal graphics.

Rock’n’roll in the truest sense of the term, Raissa’s posters tell a way of understanding and experiencing music that in our country – in this particular historical moment – we seem to have forgotten. Looking closely at them, it seems to hear the high-pitched noise of amplifiers and the smell of beer poured on the floor. The great value of Raissa’s work rests precisely in being able to clearly visualize the identity of the different bands she has worked with, materializing the atmospheres, with a unique and unmistakable approach, without letting her style and personality dominate the urgency of narrating the music of the different artists. Design listens and the music manages to tell itself in a more intimate way, in the details and in the anecdotes of the tours and backstages, leaving out the invasiveness of the advertising spaces.

Coming into contact with Raissa’s work is an hypnotic experience, a constant balance between the lightness of an approach that might seem too naive to an inattentive gaze, and the precision of a meticulous and very personal typographic research. A language that manages to be fresh and contemporary without giving in to the easy temptation of fashions, which reinterprets Art Noveau – in line with the best psychedelic tradition – and combines it with the punk attitude of DIY, with some pop suggestions and the bright colors of the Risograph printing process. New meets old and they dig each other. Jamie Reid just sent a friend request to Milton Glaser.

It is almost impossible to place Raissa’s work in time, capable of reinterpreting traditional canons to project them towards the future, but it is so simple to place them in space, within the clubs of the largest European cities where they are still playing loud.

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