a cross-media project for video, electronics, amplified ensemble

John William Dunne, aeronautics engineer, soldier, philosopher, and fly-fishing lover, wrote An Experiment With Time in 1927. In Dunne’s work, the past and future, premonitory dreams and dreams that reference neither reminiscence nor anticipation coexist. Daniele Ghisi, the young Italian composer and mathematician, boards this curious time-dilating machine. How can we escape from the idea, or the illusion, of an irreversible temporal flow? Through aliases projected on screens and electronic databases, this installation accommodates several different series—a day, a year, a life—each considered as a polyrhythm.

“An Experiment with Time” is a project involving the creation of a piece for video and electronics, and culminating in a “live” version of it, for amplified ensemble, video and electronics. The piece might last about 30 minutes, and is inspired by John W. Dunne’s book of the same name.
The ensemble might be a sextet (e.g.: fl., cl, pf, perc., vln., vcl), or a slightly bigger one. All players will play with click track, without conductor. The ideal situation thus is that the piece could represent an event in itself, and not one of the pieces inside a concert schedule.



Concept, music, video and animation
Daniele Ghisi


Freely inspired by the book


"An Experiment With Time"
by John William Dunne


An Ircam/Divertimento Ensemble production


Computer design carried out at IRCAM-Centre Pompidou Studios


Storyline and script
Daniele Ghisi
Luigi Acerbi
Paolo Puggioni


Script assistant
Maryam Babaei


Video assistant
Luca Morino


Graphic advisor
Davide Bordogna


The experiment cards are drawn by Luca Nava


Photo credits
Miroslav Barták
From Old Books (
Karl Jahnke (


Copies of the Illustrated London News shown by kind permission of Illustrated London News/Mary Evans Picture Library


Audio credits (from, empraetorius, HollowRiku, lucaslara, nebulousflynn, exterminat, Omar Alvarado, RutgerMuller, Runey, SunnySideSound


Additional thanks to
Mattia Bergomi
Sylvain Cadars
Aaron Einbond
Carla Felotti
Maria Giulia Ganassini
Boris Labbé
Virgilio Maffeis and family
Yann Philippe
Andrea Rota
Christopher Trapani
Paul Slocum
Vincenzo Picariello


in collaboration with


with the support of






Ulysses network, European network for young creation, supported by the European Commission Culture program 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission