Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Nico, Yoko Ono, Debora Petrina, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Alvin Lucier

“I hate zoos” (Laurie Anderson)

Petrina in concert


October 8th 2023

SANTERIA TOSCANA 31, Viale Toscana 31 Milan

8.45 p.m.

Debora Petrina, piano, guitar, voice



Female Downtown Music in New York has had among its most important exponents several great artists, from Meredith Monk to Laurie Anderson, to Nico, who – with their creativity – have literally revolutionized the performance scene worldwide, with their being unconventional artists and certainly not “labelable” as animals in a zoo (“I hate zoos!” says Laurie Anderson).

Born in a family of singers and dancers, Meredith Monk immediately moved with ease in a New York teeming with artistic ferment, expressing herself with surprising naturalness blending voice and dance.

“Creating an art that breaks down the boundaries between the disciplines, an art that purifies the senses, that offers intuition, feeling, magic. A transversal and complex art, therefore, which has its roots in Greek tragedy and oriental arts”. Meredith focuses her study on her own voice, ranging between the most disparate genres (from opera to the songs of Euro-Asian tribal traditions) to the most daring techniques.

Laurie Anderson is by her own definition, “a storyteller.” One of the main animators of the New York avant-garde scene, her works goes from music to multimedia performances through theater, museum installations and spoken poetry. Moreover she has collaborated with many musicians including: Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass , Jean-Michel Jarre, Lou Reed and John Zorne.

A true icon of Downtown Music, Nico collaborates as a singer with the Velvet Underground in the famous album “The Velvet Underground & Nico”, known for the cover with Andy Warhol’s banana and creates two solo albums with the production of John Cale (coming from the Theater of Ethernal Music of La Monte Young and founder with Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground). Andy Warhol himself produces a film with Nico entitled “Chelsea Girls” and Nico’s first solo album entitled “Chelsea Girl”.

Since emerging on the international art scene in the early 1960s, Yoko Ono has made profound contributions to visual art, performance, film and music. She is among the first members of Fluxus, a free association of avant-garde artists and is among the first to explore conceptual art and performance art. In the musical field her collaborations range from John Cage to John Lennon, moving between pop, rock, punk and experimental music.


I love Petrina singing: her voice is beautifully suited to the music she makes and really draws the listener in. Her fresh sounding landscape is full of gems. [Terry Riley]

For this event, the ideal protagonist is Debora Petrina, aka Petrina, singer-songwriter, pianist, composer and performer.

An eclectic artist, she is able to range from pop to avant-garde music with equal dexterity, just think that:

  • According to Paolo Fresu, she is “one of the most original artists to emerge in the last decade. Multiple and capable of multiplying art”.
  • Composer, songwriter, singer, pianist, keyboard player and also performer and writer, she has six albums of songs/compositions with David Byrne, John Parish, Elliott Sharp and Jherek Bischoff among the guests, and four albums as a performer of contemporary music ( OgreOgress and Stradivarius), with world premieres by Morton Feldman and Sylvano Bussotti.
  • Winner of the Ciampi Prize in 2007 and the only Italian singer-songwriter (other than Carmen Consoli) whose songs David Byrne has published in his favorite radio playlists, Petrina has recomposed a song by John Cage, the score of which is now published worldwide by Edition Peters (NYC) – publishers of John Cage as well as much of the classical and contemporary repertoire – under the double name Cage/Petrina.
  • Paolo Fresu chose her to inaugurate his label dedicated to voices with an album, Roses of the Day. Petrina’s interpretation of Only, a piece for solo voice by Morton Feldman contained in this album, was included by Chris Villars in his Morton Feldman Page, a worldwide reference point for everything relating to the work of the American composer.
  • Together with her own music she has played world premieres by Nino Rota, Bruno Maderna, Camillo Togni, Sylvano Bussotti, John Cage, Eunice Katunda and Morton Feldman.
  • Her last two albums, both released at the end of 2022, are L’ETA’ DEL DISORDINE, an album of songs defined by Rockit as one of the best releases of the year, and the NUOVOMONDO SYMPHONIES, a dreamlike album, composed together with Giovanni Mancuso, who as the theme of travel and which aroused the enthusiasm of Terry Riley, published by zOaR Records.
  • She has performed in the United States, Cuba, Turkey, Ethiopia and Japan, as well as in Europe, and will be a guest at the Women Jazz Festival in Sydney in November.