h.21 Concert, Auditorium San Fedele
Sound engineer: Filippo Berbenni
For the first appointment of 2019, the English sound artist Philip Jeck, born in 1952, forerunner of experimental turntable music and historical name of the English label Touch, returned to Milan. His poetry is based on the use of old vinyl records, mixed together to create original compositions with a melancholy and elegiac tone. Struggling with the Acusmonium Sator, the spatialized audio system of San Fedele, the English veteran proposed a performance, as usual in his career, transversal and suitable for numerous interpretations, from the exquisitely sound to others that intersect technical paths, historical and philosophical. Philip Jeck’s almost entirely analog instrument equipment consists of two small 1960s turntables, a low sampling rate Casio SK1 keyboard, a minidisc player, a mixer and two first generation Sony effects pedals.
Visionary musician, video artist in love with sound, unpredictable experimenter able to search and find music in any sound source, Philip Jeck is one of the historic pioneers of the art of sound. After years spent exploring audio recorders and electronic devices, the first phase of his career is largely devoted to the dialogue between music and visual arts, in the form of soundtracks, library music and, above all compositions for experimental theater, for companies such as Anatomy Performance Co., Yolande Snaith Theater-dance, Movie’n’Opera. His best known performance dates back to 1993, Vinyl Requiem, developed alongside Lol Sargent and leader of his famous works for turntables, which allowed him to win the Time Out Performance Award for the best performance of the year, the first of a long series of awards that will be recognized in the years to come. Here opens the second phase of his career, largely linked to the Touch record brand, for which he signed a series of albums with varied and unpredictable stylistic tastes: Surf (1999), Stoke (2002), Sand (2008) and An Arc For The Listener (2010), all released on Jon Wozencroft’s label, are the most effective demonstrations of his specifically musical research, which also includes collaborations with sound artists such as Jakob Kirkegaard and Janek Schaefer. At the same time, Jeck continued to increase his reputation as a performer, thanks above all to the Vinyl Coda series, an evolution of Vinyl Requiem with which today he is ready to fascinate the Italian public again. In several interviews, Philip Jeck affirmed the importance that Tarkovsky’s film Solaris had in the elaboration of its sound universe.
Opened the duo Ozmotic (Simone Bosco and Riccardo Giovinetto), the first Italian project to be part of the main Touch catalog. The recent album Elusive Balance explores possible contaminations between glitches, minimal-techno and contemporary jazz, summarized in a refined and dreamlike sound design with a fragile balance. The attempt of the two sound artists is to reconcile the opposites – typically, acoustic and electronic sources -, almost forcing them into a compositional structure designed and prepared for them. But where some would seek a violent and knowingly irremediable contrast, Ozmotic operates a cautious and interstitial juxtaposition, based on a limited sample of elements placed alternately in dialogue with each other. Between soft electronic textures, echoes of Renaissance and new age polyphonies, pervasive digital pulsations and fragments of chamber jazz reminiscent of the ECM brand, the duo gives shape and substance to an “elegant universe” where micro and macro are ideally brought back to the same material essence, finding themselves complementary and indissoluble against all expectations.