Available from Experimedia.net. Here’s a new 7″ from the ‘Bestiario’ series by Italian percussionist Enrico Malatesta. Bestiario is a series of short compositions for solo acoustic percussion, recorded live with no overdubs or editing. Using extremely dense micro-structures, broken rhythms and fast tempi on a very reduced percussion set, those pieces are meant to explore a multi-directional sonic dimension, while keeping a high level of tension. 7″ record, black vinyl (cut at dubplates & mastering, berlin), printed labels and jacket. Numbered edition of 200 copies. I have ordered Part one in the vinyl, so this review will only cover the second disc.
The music is tense, just as is suggested in the notes above. Although held with a precise hand, the music is knife edge teeth gritting stuff that strikes immediately at the heart of abjection. In a sense we are dangled between the emotions of psychosis and the strongly structured power of symbolicity. Either way we are confronted with a limit that has been imposed on the work that turns the sounds into something separate from us from within the contracted reach of the music itself through to and including logical and ideological contracts.
Have a listen to side A.
Somehow Malatesta is able to keep our experience from becoming a prison in which we find ourselves unable to escape. This speaks to the talent of the musician and the precision of the score. This is no indifferent scattering of sound objects. This is a musical sign dealing inside the grip of the drive (fear / tension) and using our hearing as a kind of sight as we (the listener) ego project ourselves onto the musician. This speaks to the heart of the musical colonization experience, the desire to escape that which the musician evokes by ego projection and a kind of emotional claiming of the musician. Malatesta won’t let us get too close, because what he builds is a tension within a micro structure that ultimately we recognise in ourselves. He is tapping into our own phobic hallucination through a kind of separation of subject / object that emerges with our severed recognition of music as well as the music already always found inside our own tensions, our own very problematic inner separation.
Here is side B
This is my best explanation as to why I was so moved by this music and why I found it soothing as well as fearful. The tension is only tension, I do not experience a real fear for my life. However I am in that knife blade as I listen and yet somehow Malatesta is able to keep me comfortable there. He has caused an almost breakdown – at the very least a challenge – to the wall between subject / object / response, so that I am redeemed by beauty among all the conflicting emotions the music evokes. He separates and unites me at the same time, and for me this is a beautiful experience.
Besides his ongoing solo projects he’s also active performing works from the soloist repertoire of the 20th Century, including graphic scores by J.Cage, M.Feldman,K. Stockhausen,E. Brown.
He frequently works with percussionists Christian Wolfarth and Seijiro Murayama and he is a founder member of the percussion ensemble “Glueck”; also works with musicians like Giuseppe Ielasi, Stefano Pilia, Robin Hayward, Lorenzo Senni, Tristan Honsinger, Philip Corner, Ingar Zach, Burkhard Beins, Urs Leimgruber, Manuel Mota, Eli Keszler, Dominique Vaccaro, Luciano Maggiore, Nikos Veliotis, Franz Hautzinger, Paul Lytton, Matija Schellander, Renato Ciunfrini, Jonas Kocher, Katsura Yamauchi, Eugene Chadbourne, Vinko Globokar among others ,and playing concerts in all over Europe and Scandinavia.
His work is released/ will be released by the Italian label Presto!? Records, second sleep, Senufo editions.
In 2007 he started working for ‘Teatro Valdoca’, a theatre company where under the direction of Cesare Ronconi, he had the chance to work with Mariangela Gualtieri, Raffaella Giordano and Danio Manfredini.
He frequently works with dancers and the visual artist Riccardo Baruzzi.
He is interested in teaching, he developed “sull’istmo” a theoretical/practical workshop on sonic detail and micro-dynamics, open to actors, musicians and dancers, set up in various locations in Italy.
He frequently organizes events and concerts with the purpose to improve the diffusion of contemporary music in his area.