Elliott Sharp on The Italian Connection

March 01, 2010

Feb. 25 - "The Italian Connection" - Marco Cappelli, Andrea Centazzo, E# -White Box - Manhattan
A rare visit to NYC from Andrea Centazzo, a pioneer of free-jazz drumming whose work in the 1970's saw him recording with guitarists Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, and Henry Kaiser and saxophonists Steve Lacy and Evan Parker among many others. visit: andreacentazzo.com. ??Heavy winter storm forecasts and it turned out to be the kind of day that gets the global-warming deniers all fired up and joyful. NYC is slush central when Marco Cappelli and I arrive at this small Chinatown art space. Andrea has arrived earlier and his complex setup is complete (comprising a Drum Kat mallet controller, a laptop, sundry frame drums, noisemakers, and metallophones). I plan to go direct into the stereo P.A. and Marco will play two pieces completely acoustically as well plugging in his resonant-string "extreme guitar" direct. Soundcheck is quick once we sort out our patching into the P.A. and gives Andrea and I a chance to slog thorugh the slush to nearby Little Italy for espresso.  By start time we have a surprisingly good audience.                                                       

WhiteBox1New Yorkers used to take snowy weather as a challenge and insisted on going out—snowy gigs would be better attended than fair weather hits. Now there's internet and Netflix and whatever else and so at the first sign of inclement weather they hunker down in their shells.  But White Box has a dedicated crowd and we all have our friends and fans so what could have been a disaster turns out to be a crackling vibe. Marco opens the evening with completely acoustic versions of two virtuosic classical pieces "Drei Tentos" by Hans Werner Henze and  "Sonata op. 47" by Alberto Ginastera. He then plugs in his "extreme guitar"  for "Marked by a Hat" by Annie Gosfield  and my "Amygdala", both part of his Extreme Guitar Project CD that I produced for Mode Records: www.moderecords.com.

A version of the "Amygdala" score for standard classical guitar has also recently been published by Edition  Peters: edition-peters.com After a break mostly spent dealing with various hums caused by fluorescent lights and intermittent ground connections on the mixer, Centazzo and I take the stage for our duo.  I've brought my solidbody 8-string, a prototype Celmo "Sardine Can" optical compressor, a Zoom UltraFuzz,  Eventide TimeFactor delay with expression pedal, EBow, and sundry slides, spring bows, and plectra.  This is quite a compact setup that offers an extensive range of possible sounds. We hit the ground running.  Even though we've never played together before, our personal gestures and vocabulary mesh quickly. The music is often textural but sometimes these textures consist of micro-rhythms that grow into full-fledged grooves. Andrea switches fluidly between sampled sounds and acoustic percussion. I make use of various extended techniques as well asprocessing to render chords and melodies "other."  Our 35-minute duo is compact and energetic consisting of one longer and one shorter piece. The ending is obvious to us both. We then bring Marco up for a trio. His amplified nylon-string "extreme guitar" thickens the mix and nicely changes the geometry of our interactions (the trio being one of my favorite setups for it' s balance and trilateral symmetry.

Writings, scores, discography, other E# info: http://www.repple.se/datacide


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