Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Café OTO - Note by note, the making of the avant-garde

Words and photos: Gian Paolo Galasi

The Thing (Mats Gustaffson, Ingebrigt Haken Flaten,
Paal Nilssen-Love), October 3, 2011
If you're a passionate lover of experimental music and would like to hear the refined textures of saxphonist Roscoe Mitchell, the prolonged and hypnotic blues moans of Loren Mazzacane Connors, the harsh, devastating haikus of Keiji Haino, composer Charlemagne Palestine teaming up with younger avant/droner Oren Ambarchi, or dazed and surprised by younger or still not wider recognized talents such as guitarist Havard Skaset, or pleased by the genius of a rare performance by CC Hennix, Café Oto in Dalston, Ashwin Street, is the must-go if you're having a trip in London or residing in the UK's capital. 

Martin Brandlmayr, Cafe Oto, Sept. 30, 2011
Open since 2008, Cafe Oto - 'oto' meaning 'noise' in Japanese - is the ideal venue in which to enjoy the best in live avant garde music nowadays, introduced by the notes of John Coltrane's Kulu Se Mama, Moa Anbessa by The Ex featuring Getatchèw Mékurya before the beginning of the concert, or the likes. 

Spanning from AACM experimental jazz to European radical improvised music, from electro glitch to avant rock, from obscure folk heroes to weekly Eddie Prévost seminars, Cafe Oto's program is one of the most rich, in the city, full of concerts every day of the week. 

Oto's calendar is managed by CIC Otoprojects, a non-for-profit organization responsible also for special events, as last April Peter Broetzmann residency in celebration of his 70th birthday and the first Tentet's performance in London, or this year panel discussion, in collaboration with the art agency Electra, with composer Ghedalia Tazartes with Mark Harwood of Penultimate Press. Oto team is also curator of the selection for the Free Music Archives, an interactive library of high quality legal audio download.

Rogelio Sosa, Sept. 30, 2011
But Café Oto is not only the  place in which to listen to always fresh and exciting music. As in every music club worth of its value, merchandising blossoms as music, with the same attitude.

Here you'll find the CDs, vinyls, leaflets provided by the musicians themselves, often in collaboration with local graphic designers. Finally, Café Oto is opening its own label, Oto RUKU, dedicated to document, share and support Oto's activity. 

The first release, available since March 26, 2012, is the 180gr vinyl of Peter Broetzmann/John Edwards/Steve Noble ... the Worse the Better, a performance recorded at the club in January 2010, and gifted with a beautiful two color Broetzmann's silkscreened artwork printed on acid-free archival card stock. As celebration, on March 28, the three musicians will reunite for a concert, while in the meantime is still possible to preorder the vynil and, since 26 March on, the record will be available also as digital download.

Café Oto
18 22 Ashwin St
Dalston, London E8 3DL

Peter Broetzmann/John Edwards/Steve Noble '... The Worse The Better' Lp Launch
Wednesday March 28 2012 
Doors: 8pm

Monday, February 27, 2012

Massimo De Mattia / Zlatko Kaucic - Freedom through Music

Words: Gian Paolo Galasi

Music is born free. Its path is a return to freedom - Edgard Varèse

Sometimes you meet music able to lead you through the path you're still covering towards unexpected regions; sometimes, giving you hints for your further explorations. That's what happened to me when I first ran into the music of Massimo De Mattia and Zlatko Kaucic. 

My first listening occurred last year, when the Italian webzine Mescalina gave me a record issued by label Setola di Maiale dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini, George Bataille and Jean Genet. Unusual territories for an improviser, but well known to me through my exploration of literature, theatre and performance art. 

Though I never saw live De Mattia and Kaucic, I retrieved Kaucic Tolminski Punt, more or less in the same period I was interviewing Peter Brotzmann, present on the record as a guest. Even when I was in London, Massimo de Mattia was sending his new works to me via mail, and thanks to his collaborations I ran into the music of Lanfranco Malaguti. 

After reviewing Panorami for my alter blog london_resonance, I had some short but interesting dealing with the guitarist, and both his highly personal compositional methods and his opinion on Derek Bailey and other topics became an interesting balance to what I was listening in UK's capital in those days. 

That's the reason I want to start a little introduction to recent releases of two musicians that, from their own regional borders, are still diffusing some of the most intriguing compositions and sounds you'll find traveling trough Italy. 

Massimo De Mattia is born in Pordenone, on 1959. Self taught flutist and composer, he started his activity in the 1970s with Lanfranco Malaguti, Bruno Cesselli, U.T. Ghandi, Gianluigi Trovesi and Ares Tavolazzi. His debut as a leader is 1993 with the record Poésie Pour Pasolini

In his most recent years artistic director of the review Schermosonoro and founder of Zerorchestra in his homeland, De Mattia explored through music important figures of XXth Century culture as painter Egon Schiele and actor, poet, theatre writer and theorist Antonin Artaud with younger pianist and composer Giorgio Pacorig. 

With great sensitivity, and with more than 20 records only under his own name, Massimo De Mattia during his career developed and showed a personal approach to both timbre and composition comparable to the most important European and worldwide recognized musicians of his generation. His approach to literature, poetry and painting melt different, often synesthetic suggestions into a coherent canavas through nervous and oblique flows of energies, charms and balances.

Zlatko Kaucic, born in Postumia (now Slovenia, then Jugoslavia) is an accomplished drummer, percussionist, composer. In his career Kaucic toured intensely through Europe - mostly Swiss, Spain, Holland, playing with improvisers like Irene Schweizer, Tete Montoliu, Kenny Wheeler, Steve Lacy, John Lewis, Louis Moholo Moholo.

Kaucic music is the result of his journeys through different styles - his first listenings to prog rock as P.F.M., Van Der Graaf, Genesis, the Blue Notes' south african free jazz, Max Roach and Billy Higgins and his direct experience through contemporary dance, bossa nova, radical improvisation.

When Kaucic went back in Slovenia, he finally turned on to his roots, adding stories and folklore from his own country to his improvising tips, in order to give life to expressionistic constructions. He started also to teach music and increase his experiences through new collaborations - Mauro Negri, Gianluigi Trovesi, Javier Girotto. 

Zlatko Kaucic - Tolminski Punt (Splasc(H), 2007)

Taking inspiration from a rebellion ended in repression in the village of Tomlin in 1713 for excessive taxation on meat and wine, this work in seven movements for violin (Rahela Grasselli), cellos (Barbara Zorz, Eva Julija Recnik), drums (Zlatko Kaucic) and horns (Peter Brotzmann on tenor, clarinet, tarogato) is composed by a first, immaginific string dialogue mixing folkloristic atmospheres and contemporary glissandos and shiftings, counterpointed by flurries of pointillistic and concrete drawings of percussions. After the first four movement, the fifth sees Kaucic and Brotzmann involved on a 40 minutes dialogue full of tension, rage, climaxes chiseled with a clear and almost telepathic attention to the details. Not only than another occasion to measure Brotzmann - and his partner - ability to channel energy into a clear cut and intense dialogue, this second part of the record gives also life to a real narration way ahead every common cliché of free improvising. 

Massimo De Mattia - Atto di Dolore (Setola di Maiale, 2011)

The sound of Eros, a vision belongin to French philosopher Georges Bataille, but also to writer and Black Panther activist Jean Genet, and to Italian poet and director Pier Paolo Pasolini, is the point of departure for a record full of concrete, subtle, almost metaphysic energy. P P P, an accompaniment to Pasolini's La Ricotta, is texturized by De Mattia's flute, full of vibratile and ancestral tension, and Denis Biason's subtly spectral guitar. Both are conjuring to take off and tidy expressive coordinates and shapes beyond linear codification, while Bruno Cesselli on piano and Zlatko Kaucic on drums, as in Hot God, are finally chasing the matter while capturing the fine river built by the two fellows - there is also a duo release by De Mattia and Biasson on the same label. Every note is amplified by another instrument, while most of the times pauses have the value of a heal up. The zenith of those dynamics are in Mater, to Susanna Pasolini, where eardrums and strings are responsible for the opening of a meditative space where the flute draw a disquieting flux. 

Massimo de Mattia - Mikiri + 3 (Setola di Maiale, 2011)

The quartet of the previous record is here added with Luca Grizzo (voice, percussion) and Romano Tedesco (accordeon). Resulting are seven original compositions plus two oblique and subtly nervous renditions of Jimi Hendrix Who Knows and Thelonious Monk Pannonica. The dynamics involved here are wider, due also to a direct use of piano lyrical possibilities. But if the opener Senci is melancholically straight, giving an essay on the players command on nuances and subtleties, Mikiri ('Cut with the look') is a composition that, with his resolute manner and dense sound, remember the attitude of the Cecil Taylor/Bill Dixon bands without being a stylistic camouflage. Through the tracks, the listener is being constantly urged to enter in a music whose quality, more than a pure addition of density, is a complex, evocative interlacing of different colors, moods and shades. A ballad like Ave Maria shows how a folkloric tune can become a spiritual composition through subtraction, more than abstraction from the form. An interesting, not common hint on how to relate to the dynamics of sound beyond the dialectics of idiomatic and non idiomatic.

Massimo De Mattia - Giovanni Maier - Zlatko Kaucic
The Jazz Hram Suite (Palomar, 2011)

Double bassist Giovanni Maier is an old time collaborator with De Mattia and Kaucic, at least since 1993's Poésie pour Pasolini. Graduated in 1988 at "G. Tartini" conservatory in Trieste, he is developing a project for solo bass since 1994 through different releases. Active collaborator of Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, Tiziano Tononi, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Tim Berne, in this trio record, issued for his label Palomar, Maier shows a great affinity with his partners in creating on a live performance a music that lives on different levels. Possibly the less immediate of the group of record here reviewed, at a first listening the five movements of The Jazz Hram Suite can seem the most dry, sober, concise statement provided by its players but, after some close encounter, it can reveal a fascinating and capturing world of nuances and coexisting plans. A highly adviced experience.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Die Schachtel: Past and Present of Experimental Music in Italy

Words and photos: Gian Paolo Galasi

Die Schachtel (t.: "The Box") is the name of a composition by Franco Evangelisti (Rome, 1926-1980) conceived as a staged action for mimes, projections and chamber orchestra but, since 2003, is also the name of an Italian label devoted to experimental music. Founders of Die Schachtel are Fabio Carboni and Bruno Stucchi. 

Passionate records collectors in their own words even before starting their own business, their project is perfectly in line with the history of the experimental music in our Country. Since the 1950s onward, the extreme cure for graphic details is a huge part of the heritage figures like sculptor Fausto Melotti, graphic designers Giovanni Pintori, Erberto Carboni, Gianni Sassi have left to the Italian experimental music history.

Not by chance one of the most acclaimed Die Schachtel productions, the 10CD+1DVD+Booklet+Poster box Musica Improvvisa, won the Design & Art Direction prize, while the website Hard Format put the team Die Schachtel/dinamomilano between the best examples on music design. Passion and quality, love and respect for a tradition, the one related to experimental music, whose history is still far from being rigorously unveiled to the present times. 

As both Carboni and Stucchi explained in an iterview for the Italian on paper magazine Blow Up in September 2011, "if Rai were like ORTF or INA-GRM, they would been publishing by themselves the treasures of their own immense archive, making an enormous favor to our Contry". It's a matter of facts that our Phonology Studios in Milano, for quite some time directed by Luciano Berio and Bruno Maderna, are still plenty of old tapes containing astouding performances by the likes, as an example, of Nino Rota and Salvatore Sciarrino.

A 4CD+300pgs booklet box containing experimental works like Sciarrino's Inferno and other  electronic music compositions that in the past won the higlhy praised Prix Italia is scheduled for this summer, while Die Schachtel catalogue, accessible also through mail order since 2008, is full of both reissues and original works. Some names, just to give the reader an idea: Phill Niblock, Alvin Curran, Claudio Rocchi, Henri Pousseur, Aldo Clementi, Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Christina Kubisch are part of Die Schachtel catalogue. 

Waiting for the forthcoming box, here below you'll find some of the latest Die Schachtel productions, with an eye on both reissues and new productions. Readers curious about the label's catalogue, are warmly invited to skim through Die Schachtel editions and, for orders, to go to soundOhm webpage. 

Thollem McDonas / Stefano Scodanibbio On Debussy's Piano ... 
(Die Schachtel, 2010)

Since Stefano Scodanibbio sad departure right at the beginning of 2012, it can be interesting to introduce the most recent Die Schachtel releases with this beautiful record in which the instrumentalist/composer, a perfect partner for John Cage, Luciano Berio and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and many others share the bill with Thollem McDonas, a contemporary piano master and improviser whose range of collaborations spans through Nels Cline, Pauline Oliveros, Arrington DeDyoniso, Nicola Guazzaloca, Mike Watt, Marco Eneidi, Jad Fair. Introduced by some nice liner notes provided by composer Terry Riley, this record sees McDonas working towards improvised pieces aptly built for the occasion on a piano belonged to Debussy himself, loaned by the City of Brive-la-Gaillarde, with Scodannibbio pefectly in line with his widely acknowledged mastery. A perfect introduction to the world of the two musicians featured in this record.

catherine christer hennix the electric haprsicord 
(Die Schachtel, 2010)

Catherine Christer Hennix performed at the Cafe Oto in London on January. This release, with its 56 page booklet with texts by Hennix herself, LaMonte Young and Henry Flynt, is a wonderful and important document of the the so-called 'loft era'. CC Hennix is, as her close friend LaMonte Young, a composer, performer, mystic and mathematic deep cogniscenti. The Electric Harpsicord was premièred on 1976 as part of her Brouwer's Lattice program at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Inspired by the music of Pandit Pran Nath - to whom this work is openly dedicated - and by Iannis Xenakis, her heritage as daughter of an amateur Arabic scholar and of a jazz independent composer led CC Hennix to develop a music rooted in both algorithmic music theory, 'infinitary compositions' and scales inspired by Indian ragas. Performed originally on a tunable Yamaha keyboard, the piece is inspired by ethnologist and musicologist Alain Daniélou's Tableau comparatif des intervalles musicaux and described by Henry Flynt in the liner notes as - tactile, I'd hemphasize - 'hallucinatory sound environment'.

Fabio Selvafiorita / Valerio Tricoli Death by Water
(Die Schachtel 2010)

Recorded in the halm of Giudecca near Venice in 2009 and subsequently put on record in Milan in January 2010, Death by Water is made of field recordings, frequencies, effects, patterns, evoking T.S. Elliot's Waste Land through a layering and a narration through the chaining of the elements that gives life to a concrete, dense and multifaceted soundscape. I saw personally some years ago at The Lift, Attila Favarelli's studio, Valerio Tricoli (b. Palermo, 1977) performing with Robert Piotrowicz, and after in a solo exhibiton. His exploration of the sonic landscapes and their relationship with the psychic processes, is an accomplished and self conscious attempt to avoid the common clichés of electroacoustic music in order to obtain a personal and meaningful expressiveness. Fabio Selvafiorita (b. 1973) lives through Milano and Bologna, an electroacoustic and instrumental composer, computer related to music expert and musicologist; in his past worked also as movie director and editor. His interest for composition carries his cinematic attitude as a gift, clearly visible through his music. 

Philip Corner / Manuel Zurria Joy Flashings
(Die Schachtel, 2011)

Philip Corner (b. 1933) is an American composer. Disciple of Henry Cowell, Olivier Messiaen and John Cage, teacher at the NY City High School, minister at the Church of the Religious Science and active participant of Fluxus from 1961, his music carry a personal vision that passes through Korean calligraphy and popular music, Balinese gamelan, graphic scores, chance operations, minimalism, dance, visual art, Zen, baroque music. Joy Flashings is a collections of his collaborations with younger composer Manuel Zurria (b. Catania, 1962), starting with the 37 minutes of First Travels in the New Millennium (2000), the tranlation in music of the musicians first trip realized in the year 2000 and based on a textual code provided by a glissando and drone, and their emotional impact, through their most recent collaborations: Feelings for flute and drone, conceived as an 'haiku', or as a piece of 'subliminal music', Gamelan Situ, for three bass flutes and drones, built around a graphic giving order to the elements in the sound space, Stravinski Could-be, for environmental sounds and I phone, taking subtle emotions out of a mechanical combination of sequences, and Joy Flashings for toy instruments, piccolos and children choir, whose graphic score is the point of departure for a series of contrasts between stasis and movement. 

Nicola Ratti 220 tones
(Die Schachtel, 2011)

Born in Milan in 1978, member of the 'desertic sound-track band' Ronin with Bruno Dorella, close collaborator of Giuseppe Ielasi, Fatima Bianchi and Attila Favarelli and responsible of live performances side by side with Dean Roberts, Oren Ambarchi, Phill Niblock and Rhys Chatham, guitarist and electroacoustic composer/improviser Nicola Ratti gives life with his last solo effort 220 Tones to an interesting bunch of compositions for analog synthetizers, tapes, vynil records, strings, organs. Somewhere between sound art, glitch music, but gifted with an elliptical melancholic approach, Ratti gives life to structures built often upon layers of stumbling blocks of sound; the record is a reliable document of one of the possible approaches to today's experimental music. 

gruppo nps nuove proposte sonore 1965-1972
(Die Schachtel, 2011)

Teresa Rampazzi, a then 50 years old avant garde music performer (Maderna, Cage, Metzger, Bussotti, Nono, Donatoni, Castiglioni, Stockhausen) and deeply into electronic music coming out of Darmstadt, met in 1963 younger Ennio Chiggio, at that time in force to a small business company in charge to produce electronic material. After some intense meetings, they gave life, with Serenella Marega, Gianni Meiners and Memo Alfonsi, to Gruppo NPS (Nuove Proposte Sonore). Their purpose was to break down definitely with tonality and tempered system, refusing formalism, integral serialism and randomness in live performances. In order to realize the absolute and scientific control of every sound event, NPS started in Padova (IT) their own laboratory, focusing on sound ojects and the tune and density of the events. During their live shows, NPS were presenting 'sound events' instead of compositions. Squared waves, glissandos, noise stripes, the dynamics of noise under evocative titles as Ricerca, Funzione, Modulo, Interferenze, Masse is what the listener will find in this historical collection of documents that today remain highly enjoyable also for a pure listening experience.

7k Oaks Entelechy
(Die Schachtel, 2011)

Alfred 23 Heart (Cassiber, Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Quintet) on tenor sax, bass clarinet, pocket trumpet, electronics, Luca Venitucci (Zeitkratzer, Ossatura) on keyboards, Massimo Pupillo (Zu, Original Silence, Peter Brotzmann, FM Einheit, Stephen O'Malley) on bass and Fabrizio Spera (Ossatura, Blast) on drums recorded their second album at the Open Circuit Interact Festival in Hasselt (Belgium) on May 2008. Imagine the free jazz multiphonics and glossolalia mixed with the powerful blasts and higlhly experimental structures of Zu's post (brutal) math, and you'll be almost near the high temperature of this cathartically burning mass of sound. Neil Rodgers' At Leat I Am Free here is in the most struggling and lyrical dresses you will find. The music can be easily related as far as attitude and accomplishments to Brotzmann's and Laswell's Last Exit, what means an attempt to mix 'high' and 'low' without hesitations and compromises. 

Emin Yagci - Tulum A Sound from the Black Sea (Felmay, 2011)

Words: Gian Paolo Galasi

Going a little over the charm for a music that is fresh and beautiful in its melancholic cry and that results fresh and rich even after many spins, one thinks about how much it is difficult in 2012 to give a proper context and meaning to a record of ethnic music, even if the purposes of people directly involved - in this case Emin Yagci, one of the finest Anatolia tulum players, Francesco Martinelli, music journalist, record producer, committed in music teaching in Pisa (Italy) and Ankara (Turkey), and musicologist and musician Cenk Guray - is indisputably beyond suspicions. 

We all have passed through Peter Gabriel producing and presenting to the world the marvels of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, we all are aware of his controversial productions for musicians like E' Zezi/Spaccanapoli, we all have passed through the post-modern attitude thanks to whom even an object as Les Baxter's The Ritual of the Savages, beyond the projections of desire, show himself as a fascinating, but obiquitous, construction. 

In more recent times, bands like the Masters Musicians of Bukakke showed with a subtly provocative attitude that philology isn't necessary the way to presentify the past obtaining, as only reaction, the kind of sufficiency that betrays a paternalism - said that I'm coming back from a six-months residency in London, and one thing I can tell for sure is that colonial mentality is still alive and well, and it is something you can cut with a knife through the air even at a Seun Kuti concert, if you are aware of how people lives near East Ham - perfectly pertaining to the music business. 

Francesco Martinelli during a seminar dedicated to Django Reinhardt
Not by chance I think, Francesco Martinelli himself told me, via mail last October, a short and fun local story about how it is difficult to really understand an 'outer world' without the correct, personal I would underline, approach - yes, it is a matter of study, method, seriousness, soul, I would add. Someone would say 'attitude', and we get near, but attitude is also a label, and business use it, don't forget about it. Moreover, digging the past is an activity fatally related to memory, identity, desire. Selection. 

That said, Tulum A Sound from the Black Sea (Felmay, 2011) is a record of wonderful music, whose realisation costed two years of hard work to the subjects involved in the project. Said that Turkish folk music, as Turkis culture in general, is the result of continuous and fertile cross pollinations, but that is difficult nowadays to reach the music of the past - but the present is nonetheless rich, it would be really fascinating to have the possibility to ask directly to the protagonists of this beautiful adventure to tell directly their own story. 

For the curious listener, the music in this record was mainly conceived at the tulum, a bagpipe appeared for the first time in Istanbul in the XVI century, in the notes of a French traveler, whose animal skin is used as a continuous air supply. Tulum's double reed is crossed on this record with kemence, a bowed instrument with three strings popular through the central-western part of the region (Trabzon, Rize, Giresun, Ordu). 

The music coming from western Anatolia is mostly a group dance, for duo, for women or man only, for the two genders, but the region is also rich in music with a free rhythmic character. A praise is due to this fullfulment, since music coming from the eastern part of the Mediterranean area is still far from being rediscovered in the Western world in all its richness, values and history. 

Marco Cappelli Acoustic Trio - Les Nuages En France (Mode, 2011)

Words and photos: Gian Paolo Galasi

Marco Cappelli with Marc Ribot, Pavia, Apr. 6 2011
Marco Cappelli is a composer and improviser. One of the rare figures that you can find in an international contemporary music festival and, not that much later, in a small record shop playing one set on solo guitar before small and young experimental combos. 

While I strongly advice the reader to take time and reflect on practices that are related both to today's business ethics, so to speak, and to a musician's personal approach, I'd like to start my review of his Acoustic Trio's Les Nuages En France (Mode Records, 2011) with some biographical hints. 

Born in Naples in 1965, Cappelli took his degree at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome in 1989. After studying chamber music in Basilea, and performing the music of Schonberg, Boulez, Kurtag and Scelsi, Cappelli became one of the co-founder of Dissonanzen, an association based in his home town whose goal is promoting and diffusing contemporary music, while at the same time he began to perform improvised music with the likes of Han Bennink, Anthony Coleman and Marc Ribot. 

His most internationally acclaimed personal project is EGP (Extreme Guitar Project), dedicated to the radical exploration of compositions kindly provided by downtown NY composers Elliott Sharp - a musicians with whom Cappelli has a great affinity, Anthony Coleman, Ikue Mori, Otomo Yoshihide and David Shea, performed with a guitar projected by Cappelli himself and provided with eight resonance strings. Issued on record by Mode, a label devoted to composers like Iannis Xenakis and Edgard Varèse, and chattered by The Wire, the project was premiered both in Naples by the Association Alessandro Scarlatti in 2003 and then in 2004 at the Issue Project Room in NY. 

For Les Nuages en France, inspired by Barbara Raggi's poems based on Fred Vargas' novels, Cappelli uses an acoustic guitar provided by Alessandro Marseglia, a luthier residing in Pozzuoli. With his Acoustic Trio, featuring Ken Filiano (Michael Moore, Roswell Rudd, Joelle Léandre, Warne Marsh, Jason Kao Hwang) on double bass and Satoshi Takeishi (Eliane Elias, Ray Barretto, Dave Liebman, Anthony Braxton, Eric Friedlander) on percussions. 

Nocturne melodies gifted with a clustering crescendo, with arcoed bass and small percussions swirling all around, drums vamps shifting into the bass, reminiscent of the modus operandi typical of Sam Rivers - especially on some ole Blue Note records, guitar and bass on mood shifting, an elegant and melancholic sense of grooving is what gives life to a music that is 'cinematic' - and deeply rooted 'downtown', even if the relaxed - but intimately stretched - mood of the record tells so much about an era in which music can be also used as a vehicle to take time to ponder.

Not by chance in the liner notes Cappelli talks about the liaison between Fred Vargas stories, his father, and his music. It would be of worth to dedicate some time to Syntax Error (Marco Cappelli guitar, Daniele Ledda keyboards and live electronics, Roberto Pellegrini drums and percussions) project dedicated to Art Spiegelman's 'In the Shadow of No Towers', now on DVD, and featuring actor John Turturro. Both the projects seems to go in a direction that gives more power to captions than to a multilayered flow of energies aptly captured into structures created ad hoc. But this is most of the half of what sorts out of the Big Apple scenario since some years, possibly for complex reasons a trip to New York in the future maybe will give me time to deepen.