Ben Neill’s Fantini Futuro

Composer/performer Ben Neill performs neo-Baroque minimalist music with countertenor, keyboards, live electronics, interactive projections, spatialization.

Fantini Futuro is an electronic opera by Ben Neill for the Mutantrumpet, his self-designed electro-acoustic instrument, countertenor, Baroque keyboards, and interactive video projections. The immersive piece is based on the music and life of early Baroque trumpeter/composer Girolamo Fantini, who was responsible for bringing the trumpet indoors from the hunt and the battlefield to the realm of art music. Using an array of interactive technologies, Fantini is depicted as a traveler through space and time by a synthesis of early music, minimalism, and digital media performance. Fantini’s translocation of the trumpet from outside to inside is mirrored and reimagined by Neill’s Mutantrumpet, which extends the acoustic instrument into the virtual realm.

Neill joins forces with NYC early music ensemble ARTEK for this production; countertenor Ryland Angel performs the vocal part, and the keyboards are played by ARTEK Director Gwendolyn Toth, who is recognized as one of America’s leading performers on early keyboard instruments. Fantini Futuro was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant in Film and New Media in 2022. A 2020 demonstration video of the Mutantrumpet V4 which made its debut in Fantini Futuro received over 800,000 views on social media and was shared thousands of times.