h.21 Auditorium San Fedele
for tabla and live electronics – world premiere
Sound engineer: Filippo Berbenni
In collaboration with the Consulate General of Switzerland in Milano and Pro Helvetia Foundation
A music festival with a triple live performance closes the INNER_SPACES 2016-2017 season, the cycle of electronic music and audiovisual art with live performances involving some of the leading exponents of electronic research.
The evening, organized in collaboration with the Consulate General of Switzerland and the Pro Helvetia Foundation for Culture, includes three interesting live performances: in the first part Stefan Keller at the tabla and Paolo Oreni at the organ while at the end of the evening Oren Ambarchi presented his work Hubris released for the Austrian label Mego.
The performance by Stefan Keller, a Swiss composer and multi-instrumentalist, is highly anticipated. He presented the reprise and adaptation of his experimental creation that develops from the performance to the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument.
Following this, the virtuoso Paolo Oreni performed an evocative improvisation on the electronic organ specially designed for the spatial dynamics offered by the Acusmonium Sator.
With Hubris, Oren Ambarchi continued the rhythmic exploration undertaken in his latest works: Sagittarian Domain (2012) and Quixotism (2014). Hubris’s long opening track seems to be inspired by the atmosphere of disco and new wave music, with a particular reference to Wang Chung’s soundtrack for William Friedkin’s “Live and Die in LA”. Starting from these references, Ambarchi weaves a dense rhythmic network with layered pulsations of muffled-sounding guitars. Individual voices emerge, rise and fall, sometimes leaving room for some Jim O’Rourke guitar synth textures. Arnold Dreyblatt collaborator Konrad Sprenger contributes to enriching the rich and lively guitar, pushing the piece towards a balanced crossroads between sparkling minimalism and rhythmic unity that develops smoothly until the entry of Mark Fell’s electronic percussion into the final section. After a short second part, in which Ambarchi, O’Rourke and Crys Cole pay homage to the harmonic dimension of Albert Marcoeur with a track built with bass guitar figures in an abstract discourse, the long final piece takes up and pushes the theme of the first piece in darker and denser regions. With the addition of the electronic rhythms of Ricardo Villalobos and the drums of Joe Talia and Will Guthrie, the layered guitars of the first song are transformed into a harsh and precipitous fusion-funk groove that recalls the sounds of the Weather Report. As this section of sidereal rhythms scrolls a single repeated chord to oblivion, a series of surprise sonic events emerge and take over: first, the random turbulence of Keith Fullerton Whitman’s synthesizers, then the slashing skronk of the guitar. by Arto Lindsay to the fuzzed-out harmonics of Ambarchi’s guitar, which lead to an ecstatic frenzy. Few artists could hope to include such an incredible variety of collaborators on the same CD and at the same time hope to achieve a single identity, but Ambarchi manages to do just that, elaborating three pieces that emerge directly from his previous work, while even pushing forward towards new dimensions.
Before the concert and during the intermission, the Consulate General of Switzerland offered the entire audience of INNER_SPACES a refreshment in the access areas of the Auditorium.