Here below is music I have recorded as part of ensembles (first and second music player) and as a soloist (third music player). For more information about these tracks and the music, see the notes below, furthermore clicking on the buy button of the player, you will open the page concerning the album, which is also for buying. There are many hours of music. Good listening.
Some notes on music
Many musicians write their scores on paper or via computer and occasionally discuss with colleagues by drawing lines and making signs like mathematicians or physicists do. I like it, but for me it has never been like that. In my explorations of the past I have composed music with overdubbing technics, I have written some graphic scores and recently, sometimes, I organize and program music through a literary and poetic description, but in general I have no interest in writing music or setting too braking procedures, I prefer to express my musical ideas by playing them directly, or I like to think of a specific ensemble of musicians. As an improviser I’m totally involved in this way of making music, a process that always leads to instant composition, in the precise time frame of its manifestation.
My instrument, the drum kit, have a trend, a horizontal but also a vertical reading, there are overlaps, contrasts and unison, it is in itself a tiny orchestra. I was inspired from a lot of piano music, that of Béla Bartók, Cecil Taylor, Glenn Gould, John Cage’s prepared piano. And no less by John Coltrane. But obviously there are many musicians who trained me. I don’t consider what I do an entertainment music, this generically leads to live leisure outside of ourself, instead I am interested in music that goes within ourself, that is born and addresses in our most intimate sensations, in our deepest and most unfathomable feelings. Cecil Taylor said: “Most people don’t have any idea of what improvisation is… It means the magical lifting of one’s spirits to a state of trance. It means the most heightened perception of one’s self, but one’s self in relation to others forms of life”. Research is a long, impervious path, it is made of study and knowledge and this also concerns the public that wants to discern: if the path is more important than the destination, it is because the path itself changes people, improves them. The real purpose of beauty is to improve people.
I think that all of today’s music should not be written in full, it is old (but not ancient), because the sound of a musician needs vitality and this occurs naturally if there is improvisation and for me this is a necessary act. After all, this is the reason why among other urgencies, the composers of the twentieth century opened their music to indeterminacy procedures and have started to work on aleatoric strategies and then, to improvisation, although under tight control. And jazz music began its extraordinary adventure and metamorphosis in the same century. And in fact, it was a significant injection of signifiers in Eurocentric art music, which, with the extreme harmonic evolution of Wagner and later with the serialism of the Viennese school, had somehow depleted of metaphysical significance, starting to lose meanings, in a holistic vision. So jazz did not leave indifferent some musicians like Stravinsky, Milhaud, Shostakovich etc. Instead Skrjabin, Messiaen, Satie, Cage and Stockhausen are probably among the first important musicians to look at the ancient world and its deep secrets, capable of offering meaning to sound and practice, all knowledge that was lost over the centuries.
From ancient Egypt to ancient Greece, from Africa to India, to China, we discover how sound and music were conceived and lived, so much so that even contemporary physics confirms the relevance of the explorations and beliefs of our ancient ancestors, who had knowledge such as to recognize music as the expression of the high spheres, of astronomy, of Creation. In the West, for just three centuries, classical music has devoted so much emphasis to the writing, but it was not so before, and even less so in antiquity as we know. The oldest traces of musical notation come to us from the Egyptians, from Spanish Moorish sources, but it can be affirmed in the West that musical writing was born above all as a political requirement of the Holy Roman Empire, when Charlemagne decided that the Church should express itself with a single voice, so that each dominated people did not sing with their own linguistic inflections and did not improvise with their own cultural parameters, that is, the over four thousand unwritten liturgical songs. It is already an affirmation of globalism. Thus were born the first attempts to writing that anticipate the pentagram, such as adiastematic notation, diastematic notation, and then square notation, also called Vatican notation, a way of annotating Gregorian chant. Musical improvisation is felt like a danger for the West. Yet it cannot be stopped, so it found the possibility of manifesting itself in some way, as in Baroque music, at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Definitely the complexity of the modern world needed a new declaration of intent, of misunderstandings, of paradoxes, in every field of musical and visual arts. Sure it’s a long story, but the fact remains that we have a huge body of ideas behind us. This can give anxiety to a musician (what is the new field to investigate?) but also great freedom, at the end. For example, when we play with stones in our hands to produce sounds and rhythms, we are playing the piece entitled Stones (from Prose Collection) composed by Christian Wolff in 1969! So what are we left to do today? In music nothing has been overlooked but one thing is unrepeatable: the human being or rather, each human being. What is truly unique and peculiar, remain ourselves: this is the field to investigate, it is there that are ‘our’ sounds to share, it’s a way of knowledge. Sound is a medium, it is vibration, it reaches the living but also the world of the dead, of the unfathomable, it is a ritual manifestation. The Universe is vibration, a multitude of vibrations, so the Cosmos is music and we are part of it, because all is one.
When I play the drum kit, I play drums and metallophones (cymbals) and they are much more than what a music school can teach, they are bridges into the unknown, inside and outside of us; this awareness led me at some point to devote myself exclusively to my instrument, the drum kit, and I left out my interest in other musical possibilities, some of which investigated in my old albums recorded between 1982 and 2007. The acoustics of the drums and the cymbals, their intertwining, the vibrations they arouse, have finally prevailed over everything else. I dedicated my life to music and at a certain point, I understood that only my instrument could give me the musical completeness I need, in the contexts of solo and ensemble, especially the small ones; the practice of improvisation gives me that degree of complexity that I’m looking for. (Regarding the drums, for further details see the text of the project ‘A Solo Play’, on the recent projects’ page of this site).
1. Ensembles (2015-2020)
Notes, musicians and instruments
As I wrote in the page concerning my projects, have many musical groups doesn’t mean work like a juke-box, it means focus into different situations and directions, but always close to what is the personal research and development. Each of these collaborations has allowed a sort of continuum and progression of my musical ideas and views together, they are a sort of large puzzle, where each anchor adds new elements, thanks to the specificity of the group. Also, it is very difficult to keep alive such projects that are uncompromised and, as a consequence, rather out from the music biz establishment, but I think that the duty of every artist should be to pursue with determination and devotion his/her vocation.
Track 1. Ombak Trio: Cene Resnik (tenor sax, soprano sax) Giovanni Maier (cello) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 2. Setoladimaiale Unit & Evan Parker: ‘Intro’ with gongs played by Philip Corner and Phoebe Neville, ‘First’ played by Evan Parker (soprano and tenor saxophones) Marco Colonna (Bb, C, alto and bass clarinets) Martin Mayes (horn, alphorn) Alberto Novello (analog electronics) Patrizia Oliva (voice, electronics) Giorgio Pacorig (piano) Michele Anelli (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 3. Jars: Henry Marić (bass clarinet, clarinet, prepared electric guitar) Boris Janje (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 4. Haiku: Paolo Pascolo (flute, bass flute, tenor sax and electronics) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 5. Massimo De Mattia (flutes) Giorgio Pacorig (piano) Giovanni Maier (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 6. Luciano Caruso (curved soprano sax) Ivan Pilat (bariton sax) Fred Casadei (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 7. Mahakaruna Quartet: Giorgio Pacorig (piano) Cene Resnik (tenor sax) Gabriele Cancelli (cornet) me on drums, percussion. Improvisation on Auf Unf Geht, traditional folk song, arrangement by Giorgio Pacorig.
Track 8. Roberto Del Piano (electric bass guitar) Marco Colonna (clarinets) me on drums, percussion. From the double album by Roberto Del Piano entitled “La Main qui Cherche la Lumière” (Improvising Beings IB49, 2016). Free improvisation.
Track 9. Nervidi: Michele Anelli (double bass, electric bass guitar, electronics) Dominik Gawara (electric bass guitar, electric guitar, electronics) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 10. Jean-Luc Guionnet (alto sax) Markus Krispel (alto sax) Boris Janje (double bass) Miklós Szilveszter (drums) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 11. Aghe Clope: Paolo Pascolo (flutes and alto sax) Andrea Gulli (laptop, tapes and analog synthesizer) Giorgio Pacorig (Fender Rhodes, Kork MS20, devices) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 12. Noma: Alessandra Laganà (lyrics, voice) Tommaso Marletta (electric guitar) Patrizia Oliva (voice) Boris Blace (trombone) Gabrio Bevilacqua (double bass) me on drums and percussion.
Track 13. Alessandra Laganà (voice) Tommaso Marletta (electric guitar) Dominik Gawara (electric bass guitar) me on drums and percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 14. Patrizia Oliva (voice and electronics) Roberto Del Piano (electric fretless bass guitar) me on drums and percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 15. Neu Musik Projekt: Guido Mazzon (trumpet, little instruments, toys, chimes) Marta Sacchi (A clarinet, Bb clarinet, flutes and toys) me on percussion, selected cymbals, vietnamase gongs, temple blocks and bow. Written score and direction in music by Guido Mazzon.
2. Ensembles (1998-2015)
Notes, musicians and instruments
Track 1. Transition: Nils Gerold (flute) Nicola Guazzaloca (piano) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 2. Gamra: Patrizia Oliva (vocals and electronics) Paed Conca (clarinet) Eugenio Sanna (amplified guitar and objects) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation, second album.
Track 3. Magimc: Thollem McDonas (piano) Edoardo Marraffa (tenor and sopranino sax) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 4. Being Together – Hanoi New Music Festival Ensemble: Lotte Anker (soprano and alto sax) Jakob Riis (electronics) Nguyen Thanh Thuy (dàn tranh) Ngo Trà My (dàn bau) Pham Thi Hue (ty bà, dàn dày, phàch, vocal) Sonx (percussion) Kim Ngoc (vocal) Terje Thiwång (flute) Henrik Frisk (electronics) Stefan Östersjö (dàn tỳ bà, mandolin) Patrizia Oliva (electronics, vocal) Burkhard Beins (percussion) me on percussion.
Track 5. One Lip 5: Guido Mazzon (trumpet) Alberto Mandarini (trumpet) Nicola Cattaneo (electric and acoustic guitars) Franco Cortellessa (baritone guitar and 7 strings classic guitar) Giorgio Muresu (double bass) me on drums, percussion.
Track 6. Transition: Nils Gerold (flute) Nicola Guazzaloca (piano) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation, second album.
Track 7. Crash Trio: Edoardo Marraffa (tenor and sopranino sax) Chris Iemulo (acoustic guitar) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 8. Tobias Delius (tenor sax and clarinet) Mikaele Pellegrino (electric guitar) Clayton Thomas (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 9. Magimc: Thollem McDonas (piano) Edoardo Marraffa (tenor and sopranino sax) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation, second album.
Track 10. Ipersensity: Daniele Pagliero (laptop, analogic and electronic instruments) me on electronic percussion pads, laptop editing. The way we work is the follows: Daniele sends sounds — via midi connection — to eight or more electronic pads, which are played in real-time by me, with drum sticks (or also with pedals). In this way, the choices of each musician is directly reflected on the other musician’s work. Neither know where the music will go, because it goes its own way, regardless of the performers possible intentions. In practice, the sound produced by each pad (its heights, its timbre, its volume and its attack) could change in any moment, offering a shifting base for an improvised percussive work. Sound development and rhythmic movement, two elements usually taken care of by a single musician, are the inextricable result of the two musicians. Daniele is therefore responsible for the sound choice, while my role is to play and compose the music in real time, based on constantly changing material. The album was dedicated to the memory and the work of Derek Bailey, who died in the same day of these recordings.
Track 11. The Five Roosters: Mario Arcari (curved soprano sax) Massimo Falascone (alto sax, baritone sax, iPad) Martin Mayes (french horn) Roberto Del Piano (electric bass guitar) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 12. Camusi: Patrizia Oliva (voice and electronics) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 13. Aghe Clope Ensemble: Giorgio Pacorig (piano, synth) Nicola Guazzaloca (piano, synth) Andrea Gulli (laptop, electronics) Paolo Pascolo (flute, alto sax) Gianluca Varone (tenor sax, games) Chris Iemulo (semi-acoustic guitar) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 14. Rediffusion: Andrej Bako (laptop, electronics) Karen O’Brien (laptop, electronics) Gareth Mitchell (prepared electric guitar, objects) me on electronic percussion pads. Free improvisation.
Track 15. Gianni Gebbia (alto sax) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 16. Gbur: Dominik Gawara (electric fretless bass guitar) Paolo Caleo (caleophon) Maurizio Suppo (electric guitar) Ivan Pilat (baritone sax) Daniele Pagliero (sampler, electronics) me on drums, electronic percussion pads. Free improvisation.
Track 17. Margine: Alessandro Cartolari (alto and sopranino sax, microphone) Luca Cartolari (electric fretless bass guitar) Paolo De Piaggi (laptop, electronics, mixer) me on drums, percussion, tapes, electronics, direction. The entire work of Esplendor Lunare 1+2, (here’s an extract) is divided into two long tracks and have been built in three phases: A) multi track recording of some short free improvisation by the instrumental trio; B) sampling, manipulation and handling via computer of the recordings and definition of the effects to use; C) final mix, one for each track, totally improvised on the basis of these organized elements.
Track 18. Orbitale Trio: Paolo De Piaggi (electric guitar, electronics) Ivan Pilat (bariton sax, flute) me on drums, percussion / guests Roy Paci (trumpet, flute, piano, violin, armonica) Fred Casadei (double bass, electronics, piano). Free improvisation.
3. Solo works (1982-2007)
Notes and instrumentation
Coming here to a brief description of my solo albums, the genesis has always been the same, i.e. deciding which instruments to use and leaving room for musical intuition, placing brick by brick: what I have done, and still I do, is to make connections. What I had in mind about the music to do for a given album was obviously fundamental and was related from time to time to the choice of instrumentation, a very stimulating phase that characterized the entire creative process. (We skip Mr Nattiez). This is why each of my solo albums has a different instrumentation and a different focus. Perhaps, a point of interest in these recordings, was the choice to work with relatively poor equipment, in fact I didn’t care about the latest crafty thing that the music trade had to offer.
Tracks 1. / 2. / 3. Electronic percussion pads. The whole album Musiche delle Circostanze was played, composed, improvised and recorded in autumn 1995. All the music was played with drumsticks on electronic percussion pads, without overdubs.
Track 4. Electronic percussion pads, laptop. Composed in 2007, MKUltra comes as a suite of minimal techno with twenty-eight distinct parts, all with different combinations of rhythms and sounds – using a few tens of sampled sound sources -. The original samples have been previously edited by Londoners Andrej Bako and Karen O’Brien and here there were used through electronic pads with drumsticks and no overdubs. The composition is a radical reconstruction of a free improvisation, played and recorded in a solo concert, as part of a festival held in Reggio Calabria in 2004.
Track 5. Percussions, prepared electric bass guitar, two voices. As the album’s title suggests (Pezzi Circolari, circular pieces) all the tracks – including the followings n.6, n.7 and n.8 – investigate some small repetitive rhythmic aspects and simple instrumental relationships. Experimental devotion and extended techniques are the bases of this music, as always in my procedures. The whole work was recorded between 1998 and 1999.
Track 6. Clarinet, electronic percussion pads, prepared electric guitar, electric bass guitar. (See note on ‘Track 5′).
Track 7. Two electric guitars. (See note on ‘Track 5′).
Track 8. Four acoustic guitars. (See note on ‘Track 5′).
Track 9. Cd player/recorder, turntable, tapes, electronics. The piece is taken from New Vexations, recorded on 2000.
Tracks 10. / 11. / 12. SPD8 Roland electronic percussion pads with drumsticks, Yamaha DX7 synth, Roland Digital Effects Processor DEP-3, Alesis QuadraVerb GT (a stereo effects unit that combines analog and digital electronics), Soundcraft mixer. Analog electronic music composed between 2000 and 2001. Each track of the album Linked was played entirely in real time (all the parts were overdubbed with a multitrack recorder). Sequencer, samplings and computer weren’t used and make the difference. The music, in some way, is close to the aesthetics of New York’s minimalism but you hear minimal techno, even acid house if you like the words and categories but anyway, it’s electronic with human touch.
Track 13. Stereo-set (including two tape recorders, amplifier, turntable, radio), vinyls, tapes. The album Margini di Riciclo contains thirty four tracks of tape music, divided into two long pieces (here’s an extract); the composition of the tape’s collage has been assembled both vertical and horizontal. This work was composed from 1990 to mid 1993 and it was produced by means of a creative use of a common stereo-set with a special peculiarity: exerting the same pressure simultaneously on two or more of the selection keys of the amplifier, these channels would have been activated, with the result that you could listen, through the loud speakers, both turntable and radio, for make an example; and the whole thing would have been recorded on tape from one of the two recorders connected to the system. Another curiosity was offered by cassettes with chrome or metal tapes: if re-recorded again, for a second or third time, without selecting the frets ‘chrome’ or ‘metal’ on the recorder, the new recording wouldn’t have erased the first, but only overdubbed. The ‘discovery’ of these tricks have been the basis of Margini di Riciclo, the rest is a painstaking work of cut-up technique, manipulations of contemporary and popular music, more or less altered vinyls and radio broadcasters, which enter into the music in aleatory way for most of the time. Musical instruments and computers weren’t used. At that time as a background, I was inspired by Cage’s Imaginary Landscape and WIlliams Mix (known only on books and not heard, the same for the early works by Schaeffer); some years after I have known the work of composer John Oswald and his idea of ‘plunderphonics’. Concerning the texts used through the various voices – mostly were taken from several spoken word albums of William S. Burroughs, Jello Biafra and Timothy Leary – have been chosen with great care but some times were recorded in aleatory way, directly from radio stations; the words show a precise outline, a sort of complaint to the contemporary world. I guess this work has touched – musically – some things that have been written on the book titled Mille Plateaux by Deleuze and Guattari. A similar album was recorded by me in 1989 with the name Urban Hard Beat Energy, published on Old Europa Cafe.
Track 14. Prepared electric guitars, live electronics, feedback, analogue synthesizers (Kork SM20 and Eko Ekosynth P15), block flute, tv-set, radio, objects, tapes, cut-ups. Opera was my first musical project and at that time, big influences were the ideas and the music of John Cage and the most radical side of post punk culture. Here’s a selection from three tapes published by Old Europa Cafe in the Eighties.
Last note. I add in these notes on soloist discs, a brief description of double album “Ripercuotere”, because it can be heard on the second YouTube player below. Instrumentation: drums, electronic percussion pads, prepared guitar, oscillator (VCO), keyboard and objects. All music was taken from ten hours of free improvisations, recorded in the heart of several nights in the autumn of 1994, without overdubs.
There is many other music uploaded on YouTube, taken from albums – also some full albums – and a large number of concert footage. Of course, musicians have to pay bills like everyone and sell their own records is already something, but also, it is a fact that there are innumerable albums out of print, so I decided to share a bit of my music on the most popular web platform.
Ensembles (running time circa 11 hours)
Solo works (running time circa 5 hours)
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