Experimental music from Italy's Stefano Pilia and New York's Corridors on Wednesday | Bleader

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Experimental music from Italy's Stefano Pilia and New York's Corridors on Wednesday

Posted By on 12.06.11 at 12:30 PM

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Stefano Pilia
  • Stefano Pilia
In September 2010 I wrote about Corridors, a project of New York sound artist Byron Westbrook, who's worked with both Phill Niblock and Rhys Chatham. He's returning to Chicago for a performance at a DIY space on Wednesday night. Corridors has just released a new cassette-only piece called Prominence (Los Discos Enfantasmes) that simplifies the multichannel setup of Westbrook's live performances into a stereo signal more conducive to at-home listening. He created the music using a Korg MS-10 synthesizer and processed recordings of harpist Shelley Burgon.

As you can hear in the excerpt of side A below, the music is full of undulating, resonant washes of sound and gentle rises and falls—it's a kind of soothing drone adorned with electronic-sounding trills, starbursts of vibrato, and what I'm guessing are flare outs of ring-modulated tones.

Corridors is on a pretty swell four-act bill that also includes terrific Chicago guitarists Mark Shippy and Michael Vallera, but for me the biggest attraction is a solo set by Italy's Stefano Pilia—perhaps known best as a member of ¾ Had Been Eliminated. On his most recent solo album, 2008's Action Silence Prayers (Die Schachtel), he presents a series of stark guitar pieces (and on "Sky," some piano) that ranges from spooky ambience to wrenchingly tender lyricism. "Sea," which you can hear below, hardly sounds guitarlike, its slow drift evoking an object afloat on ocean swells, but many of the other pieces remind me of Loren Mazzacane Connors without the blues inflections. "Water" overlaps a series of sweet phrases, while the sounds on "Question," performed on a prepared electric guitar, are harsher and more dissonant.

I'd venture to say you can expect Wednesday's entire show to provide weird, noisy sounds assembled in surprisingly meditative ways. For more info about the time and venue, e-mail chiballhall@gmail.com.

Corridors, "Prominence side A" (excerpt)

Stefano Pilia, "Sea"

Today's playlist:

Allen Eager, In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee (Uptown)
Steve Raegele, Last Century (Songlines)
Greg Davis, Regarding Wave (Install)
Karen Dalton, Green Rocky Road (Delmore)
Bobby Jackson, The Cafe Extra-Ordinaire Story (Jazzman)

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