On the first of March I flew to Italy. I had only a few days to rehearse before the concerts I had planned with my duo DASPO. Sure we knew that Italy was having problems with Covid-19 but the situation seemed pretty regular at that time, we were completely unaware of what would have happened just a few days later.
At the time of my flight the tour looked like this:
5. March - Bellizzi (SA)
6. March - Napoli
7. March - Bologna
10. March - Siena
11. March - Rome
We were supposed to play our first gig on the 5th of March in Bellizzi (SA), the club we were playing at was a really small one, but we needed that concert as a dressed rehearsal for the concerts to come. Jaromir Mulders, a multimedia artist from the Netherlands that we met when we lived in Utrecht was also joining for the release concert in Napoli at L’Asilo, a big venue in my hometown that we knew we would fill up, and the concert in Bologna that was planned in a contemporary art space called Gallleriapiù.
Of course nothing went as planned, new anti-Covid regulations were introduced day after day and our concerts were either cancelled or reconsidered. The one in Napoli became the occasion to perform an audiovisual performance without audience to use afterwards, the one in Bologna became a radio show. I realized the situation was pretty bad and I was lucky enough to manage to leave Italy just before the lockdown, but it took me two extra flight bookings. Since I came back I’ve been in full isolation, as prescribed by the government.
This situation is making me think a lot and heavily pulling over the feelings that were already hanging on me earlier. I love what I do, I love it enormously, but the market and the music environment disgust me to a point that make me feel extremely depressed. In the past three years I must say that I’ve become much better at knowing what I had to do and when in order to gain what I wanted. I can say that I’ve become better at my work… but I don’t really know if I’ve become a better musician.
At the moment I feel completely blocked. I can write about music, I can write about society and the market, I can talk and read and write about what's happening around me and talk about my role in it, but I can't see the relevance of my work. The idea of making music in the same way I did before repels me.
As I said earlier, February has been a very active month. Other than the trip to Tbilisi and the concert with Trevor Wishart I also played two more concerts.
On the 12 of February I played at SERENDIP festival in a completely new ensemble featuring me on synth, Simen Wie on electric bass and Jormar Jeppsson Søvik on drums. We had few rehearsals before and our sets turned out to be very gestural noise beasts of roaring power that I enjoyed a lot. The concert was 45 minutes of absolute mayhem which was surprisingly very well received. It was recorded and I will mix it to turn it into a demo we can use to book more concerts and do more. It's pretty rare that I'm satisfied with a concert to this extent and that I want to keep playing in newly established formations but this time I was and I wish we will be able to do more in the future.
On the 29th instead I presented a new piece of mine at the first acousmatic concert organized by the NyMusikk Komponistgruppe.
The piece I presented is called "Albēdo - ti porto sempre con me anche se non te lo dico mai" and it was the one I started composing at EMS a few months earlier. I can't say much about this piece, it was truly an emotional outpouring of feelings that have been haunting me in the past months. I spent a lot of time asking myself whether the choices i did were the right ones and if I was following a satisfying path. I am doing great, my career is going well and I think that I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do in the best possible way, yet... This all idea of art production and the schemes, the networking, the environments, the market, it all really kills me.
Maybe I'm emotionally not ready, maybe I had expectations about this field which were a bit too idealistic, maybe I am just too idealistic. But I have maybe given up too much of the simple things which I will have to recover to feel grounded and happy.
It's funny that what I'm writing comes to my mind in the moment when I have known that Albēdo and Strade fatte a memoria were selected for two very prestigious festivals of acousmatic music: Kling Gut in Hamburg, one of the leading events in Europe for 3D immersive music and BEAST Feast, where I got the chance to finally perform my music on that amazing sound theatre. Also at Latimpe in Vienna they chose a presentation I submitted which illustrated the work we did in Tbilisi, but to that one we have agreed on sending Mike.