Wednesday, 31 March 2010

matteo marchisano-adamo > a well prepared piano

quod evenit in labyrintho propenperantibus
ipsa illos velocitas implicat. *
si on lit trop vite ou trop doucement, on n'entend rien. **

the strangeness of having a cyber life is that you meet the most extraordinary people that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to, at the click of a button, a strangeness that permeates all our daily lives – mine and all – and a strangeness because you and i are in a hasty course to be here and there, everywhere. doesn’t make much sense, i confess, but this strangeness i am talking about is what it is because i am locked in my living room for the last few days typing obscure poems and listening to odd and beautiful music. this strangeness is well welcomed. i have my own cocoon, protected from the world, but i am accessing it via molecules and electricity (another kind of poetry) and i am alone. in other terms space destroys time and time sabotages space; description marks time, contradicts itself, goes round in circles - the moment (this moment) repudiates all continuity, belongs strictly to the imagination, my own imagination...

like the psychedelic and science-fiction’s travelling without moving. music has that candour and illusion, a proustian moment of transforming the boredom of life in a split second. that is the kind of strangeness i referred, the change occurring inside, and travelling along the lines of memory, history and novelty. sound travels through air coming from the computer, yet from afar. i am listening to an album that came free through the chance meeting on the interether of an artist that found me by accident and that complimented an aural work of mine ( are an artist, and your music is beautiful! chefs make the best dishes - whether for the stomach or for the ears. :) you do not need to read music in order to create wonderful sounds. one must be sensitive and tell stories through their sounds, he told me!!!!!!) now ‘works for prepared-piano’ is playing on its sixth loop, because of its familiarity, yet completely new and fascinating. this new album by matteo marchisano-adamo caught me unprepared, though i knew some of his work, and, as you already notice, i am lost for words, or more correctly, confused for words. that’s that strangeness again. cyber or not, my life is commanded by the investigation of the weird-beautiful-unsolicited art and lives of others. ‘music for prepared-piano’, allow me to be pseudo-intellectual-snob, ingratiates my curiosity and indulges my ignorance in great measure, there is experimentation, abstract-sound-touches, it is unpredictable, it is sophisticated but lyric, melodic yet not easy (you just have to listen ‘recitativo i & ii, or even better preciousness is the telluric qualities of ‘two pieces: forgotten & while sundays go) – all using a piano, in an album matteo marchisano-adamo gave away freely. i couldn’t ask for more or better. for me, ‘music for prepared-piano’ is a voyage, from beginning to end, a very personal one (and i think my personal voyage shares some of the artist, but we have to ask him): homage and love, divertimento and blues for to erik satie, understanding of a deep bela bartok (the bartok suite in the album), cage (without comments!), and i find astonishing tones and echoes of janáček’s final moments of the sonata 1.x.1905 (tod) – but then i always exacerbate and imagine things when i like something! the five ‘city miniatures’ are full of grace and intoxicated with ideas, appropriation of the city sounds transformed and brought to life on the piano, joyful and sad – the cars, the sirens, the murmur of people talking and walking, the repetitive ordeal of the machines (reminds me of metropolis, and not by chance) – the humour of ‘following the jazz ensemble’ and ‘scissor hands’ is delighted with timbres and little (imagined) bells, sweet brief dances – life, art, strangeness. a beautiful strangeness, yes, that one. that is a voyage of remembering and discovering.

i leave you, just in case your curiosity was awoken by my disorganised scribbling above, with facts about matteo marchisano-adamo. you can find him and his music, as i did, on soundcloud, facebook, etc, etc: make fair use of those molecules and electricity (yes, internet and brain!) and also a review of matteo marchisano-adamo other album (inventions i-xviii). as i say, blessed are the noisemakers, hélas, avanti, avanti! (OH! the humble scribe is benjamim silva-pereira!)

as a child matteo marchisano-adamo studied piano privately with the brazilian pianist ciao pagano. upon graduating from high school he left the us to study music at the liszt ferenc zenemuvészeti egyetem in budapest, hungary with szokolay balazs and rados ferenc. in budapest he discovered atonal, electronic and serial composition. he has been influenced by the music of kurtag gyorgy, ligeti gyorgy, karlheinz stockhausen as well as the la monte young, terry riley, steve reich and john cage. his compositions represent a collision of musical ideas, from classical to post-minimalist to atonal to jazz. at once his music is progressive yet accessible. he is not only influenced by music; he enjoys being inspired by cinema, poetry, literature, as well as visual art and dance.
matteo was born in flint, mi in 1973. leaving michigan at the age of 6, he grew up in many parts of the us, including truth or consequences, nm, frankenmuth mi, douglas and phoenix, az, among others places. he began his musical education as a dancer, performing in festivals. eventually he was granted a scholarship to study ballet in new york city, which was never pursued. his first musical instrument was the violin, however he was disenchanted with the instrument when he did not know of a rock star who played classical violin. soon he began playing the piano. he felt comfortable on the piano and had an inclination to improvise. in 1991, at the age of 18, he left for budapest, hungary to study music. he was there for 4 years. after a brief argument with a young professor at the music academy, he was expelled.
returning to the us, he no longer felt the desire to continue in music. he followed other creative expressions; creative writing and filmmaking were the two most prominent. he was mentored by sekou sundiata in poetry in new york city at the new school university. spending much of his time at the anthology film archives he was introduced to the work of maya deren and other experimental filmmakers. he was heavily into dada art and surrealism – especially the work of man ray, marcel duchamp, and bunuel. it was through the early works of bunuel that he was stirred to make his own 16mm films.
he is an alumnus of the american film institute in los angeles, ca where he received his degree in film editing. he sees his editing work in film as an extension of his music.
he was awarded best editing for the film sundust at the european independent film festival in paris, france, and the ashley amulis award from the american film institute for his editing work.

married to his muse elena-cristina marchisano, a romanian actress, they live in los angeles, ca.

inventions i-xviii (cd baby—800-buymycd)

these 18 inventions are modest but engaging pieces usually involving piano and other electronic sounds. according to mr marchisano-adamo, he performs everything here, so i assume that he uses various electronic devices that are triggered by keyboards. stylistically, these pieces cover a wide range, from the aggressive invention i to the nearly motionless invention viii; many of them suggest a clear pitch center, usually through repetition or minimal pitch material, but often the textures are so transparent that selecting one centre over another proves difficult. it’s also (agreeably) difficult to give any meaningful label to this music. my earlier remark about spare textures and minimalist-sounding pitch material doesn’t do justice to invention iii, which gives the impression of carter or ligeti in its restless virtuosity and pitch language.
elsewhere i hear the elements of jazz and popular music (for example, in invention xi), but these elements are offset by the complexity of the interacting rhythms and novel sounds. there’s also, in most of the pieces, a frankly cagean rhetoric—cagean in its severe attenuation; that’s particular clear in invention xiv, where a wandering, often dissonant piano melody complements drone-like electronic sounds and snippets of speech.
the wide palette of electronic sounds marchisano-adamo employs and the processing of acoustic sounds create a shifting, almost kaleidoscopic variety to these peculiar but compelling compositions; in particular, the complex textures of invention xv demonstrate the full measure of his imaginative use of timbre.

in sum, matteo marchisano-adamo is an artist who, faced by the bewildering number of options available in the early 21st century, manages to build a personality uniquely his own, one that always moves me because it remains connected to an ineffable humanism. (haskins)

now listen this wonder:  recitativo II

* this is waht it happens when you hurry through the labyrinth, the faster you go, the worse you get entangled (seneca)
** if one reads too fast or too slow, one understands nothing (paul de man)

 album available on cdbaby
{all images courtesy of matteo marchisano-adamo}

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