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  • 14 December 2020 - 12:20

    March/April 2020 - The isolation

    by Giuseppe Pisano

    These days I’ve been composing very little, my main focus has been writing and I guess I’ll end up with different texts that I might spend in different ways quite soon.
    My interests has shifted and I’ve started growing fond again of what was my primary field of studies, politics and sociology. I think the position I’m in is very privileged to observe and imagine different application of what I’ve learnt so far.
    First, I’m part of a field, the arts, that represent an exception to how the normal capitalistic society works which is very interesting, because despite it’s subversive look and the refusal of many kinds of hierarchies which are common in our world, this field endorses structures of hierarchy which are even more constrictive and intrinsically exclusive. Moreover, one that is involved in the art system is never immune by the first structure, the one of the capitalist society, resulting in a concentric matryoshka-like structure of power which confirms a system by questioning it. Exactly like Carnival, a momentary subversion of a system that shows the true nature of that system itself, only to reconfirm it. By observing and reporting the contradiction of this functioning I expect to be able to increase an awareness about the toxic influence of the market on our work as artists.
    Especially, I belong to a field of arts - electroacoustic music - which is mostly linked to the academic work and strongly dependent on technology. The pyramidal structure of the ivory tower is something that the artist has to either fully accept or refuse completely, there is very few artists who are respected in the academic environment and also know outside of it. Being able to observe its mechanisms from within is a very interesting thing to do.
    Third, I’ve had the chance to study in depth how Ambisonics work and I believe it is a very interesting technology which is being used in a way that I don’t find especially interesting. The use of ambisonics in the field of cinema and videogame is surely an option, but a very capitalistic one. The use of it in the field of acousmatic music composition is modifying some modality without really influencing the aesthetic of what it is nowadays a pretty codified and fixed music genre. I believe ambisonics can be used as a very good documentation tool, as few others have done before me. Artists and researchers doing field recordings with ambisonics sound, have mostly been investigating nature, as the best example of immersive sound environment which is disappearing. This has been done with a strong moral attitude, usually linked to the environmental crisis. But I believe that this tool can be used also to document musical practices of human groups that make of the space one if their key feature. For instance thinking of the women zirk of the Kist community in the Pankisi Valley of Georgia, the space for the performance/ritual is carefully, but subconsciously, selected and it is not at all casual. Certain space acoustics, buildings, musician placement, respond to performative necessities which are just very hard to grasp without a spatial-conservative recording technique. A study of this kind would be especially fruitful as an analysis of how space acoustics contribute to the successful performance of mystic practices and how the environment contribute to the catharsis. It could be linked to the study of the atmospheres in architecture and perception studies, with specific links to the work of Gernot Böhme and Tim Ingold and might open up for a different method in ethnography.