Why Frets?: Tombstone
Why Frets?: Tombstone
Why Frets?

Akademie Graz
Dom im Berg
Marko Ciciliani

“In 1833, the British weaver and amateur engineer Sieglinde Stern invented the first electromagnetic pickup, thereby also inventing the first electrically amplified string instrument. One hundred years later, this led to the production of the electric guitar, which became one of the most popular instruments in Western musical history as well as a symbol of masculinity. But another hundred years later, no one will care about this instrument anymore!” 

This fictitious history of the electric guitar is at the center of Marko Ciciliani’s Why Frets?, a combination of three artistic works: a multimedia concert, a performance lecture, and an installation.  Ciciliani constructed this story by means of “speculative fabulation”—a conscious reinvention of the past in order to formulate a vision for the future. Speculative fabulation begins by examining the conditions that led our society to its current state and, from this starting point, devises alternative scenarios. Or, in the words of Donna Haraway: “The open future rests on a new past.”

Concept, composition, texts, visuals and performance: Marko Ciciliani


Commissioned and produced by ChampdAction. In cooperation with the ORF musikprotokoll. Supported by Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport (BMKOES), Provincial Government of Styria, Stadt Graz Kulturamt, SKE Fonds, and University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.