Sunday, 4 December 2011

reviewing @ london _ resonance [pt. 7]

Wilhelm Matthies is a composer, videoartist and photographer living in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He builds and performs his original instruments - have a look at his own Kokeka, developed after years spent preparing guitars "in order to maximize the 'prepared' aspect of playing guitar".

Listening to the eight tracks composing "RiverFoot-RealityRubs" (Field Noise Records, 2011), just released four days ago, the first impression is that of a record staying at the crossroads of different streams of contemporary music. There is a noble tradition on the American side in projecting new instruments, while at the same time Matthies' Kokeka comes also from his studies on Japanese koto, Indian vina, Persian rebab and Chinese erhu.

But there are also influences from John Cage's preparations and Iannis Xenakis' dry quality of microtones. A record full of nuances revealing a richness in approaching music that is near to a state of grace. This record possibly is one of the best outputs you would be able to find out in this 2011. From the link in this post it is possible to download an mp3 version of the album, and also to buy HQ sound files of it.

Amirani Records is an Italian label whose owner is soprano player Gianni Mimmo. The first issue was in 2005, while with this "Sylvano Bussotti Brutto, Ignudo" is opening Amirani Contemporary. Sylvano Bussotti is an Italian composer, who debuted in 1958 in Germany with David Tudor playing some of his first compositions.

Attracted more by John Cage than by the structuralist wave dominating from Darmstadt the world of European composition of his time, Bussotti most peculiar aspect is his recurring relationship with theatre, and his reshaping of music according to it.

Interestingly enough, while one of his first theatre works is based on Alfred De Musset's 'Lorenzaccio' - rewritten it the same years by actor/writer Carmelo Bene, that quite often teamed with Bussotti's fellow Sandro Luporini later on, his music is an attempt to give life to a sensual approach to the sound avoiding both decadent tendencies and the disrupting eroticism that from Antonin Artaud and Jerzy Grotowski on was part of the avant-garde theatre heritage.

The four pieces for piano and clarinet collected here are performed by Gianni Lenoci and Rocco Parisi (a long time Bussotti collaborator) and interspersed with excerpts from interviews with the composer made by Gianni Mimmo himself.

Steve Dalachinsky is a poet and performer born in Brooklyn, NY, 1946. A kind and gentle descendant of Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, he performed over the years with players as diverse as pianist Matthew Shipp, guitarist Loren Mazzacane Connors, experimental musician/producer/composer Jim O' Rourke and drummer Federico Ughi.

Bambalam Records, a French label devoted to 'krautrocksamples', has released this August a collaboration between Dalachinsky and the french duo The Snobs titled "Massive Liquidity - An Unsurreal Post-Apocalyptic Anti-Opera in Two Acts". Coordinates of the music are in the lineage of Miles Davis at the height of 'On The Corner', Can's attempt to enlarge the boundaries of contemporary music with instruments and semantycs taken from the rock world, and the Brian Eno/David Byrne African/Asian movie titled 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts'.

It is difficult to approach a music clearly derivative from one of the most creative period of the seventies and that, from the end of the '90s through the middle of the last decade, was finally acknowledged and widely reissued to a larger audience of people than that following it at its creative peak; the real problem anyway is that the excellent and imaginative poetic vein of Dalachinsky suffers a little bit once boxed with a music that most of the time results as a kind of juxtaposed landscape. It remains an experiment in dealing with forms of music not related to the impro world, even if pertaining.

Steve Dalachinsky and The Snobs - Massive Liquidity (2011)

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