The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Sakamoto, Fripp, Czukay et al.

Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby kitaj on Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:25 am

cheers Sven-from-the-Dutch-mountains (I remember you back from the days of the glorious Sylvian mailing list along with Danuser et al),
good idea. as a matter of fact, the venue has been announced on the MITO Festival's concert page - Alcatraz is the name. it's a rock club with, as far as I remember, standing places for the audience, which means the seatings (well, standings) will not be numbered, but on a first-come-first-snatched basis. the venue also has an inhouse cafe, which might turn out handy. here's the link to it:
http://www.alcatrazmilano.it/
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby svendutchmountains on Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:21 am

kitaj wrote:cheers Sven-from-the-Dutch-mountains (I remember you back from the days of the glorious Sylvian mailing list along with Danuser et al),/


Wow! That takes me back a bit! I still fondly remember the arastar mailing list... Steve Danuser - another great name from the past! Back then the only real source of Sylvian information! I remember the heated discussions when bits of Little Girl with 99 Lives first surfaced, the frustrations around the short Ride fragment...

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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby Chad on Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:37 pm

That punkt thing looks interesting. good place for david to do some networking. I'd love to see him connect with Tigran Hamyasan. Thats a perfect fit if you ask me.
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby svendutchmountains on Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:57 am

Just booked my hotel and flights. Bought my festival pass... Arriving Friday afternoon, leaving Monday noontime...

Hands up those who are going to Punkt this year?
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby silentwings on Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:02 am

I will be there - couldn't miss it after having such an amazing time in 2011. All booked up also...
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” att to Jack Kerouac
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby Blemished on Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:31 pm

Postby banyan on Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:29 pm

A couple of youtube clips from the Torino show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7y0XCCVlSs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VB00274b58

Postby inkinthewell on Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:13 pm

Thanks for the links banyan.
I was there :D and I'm sure there's more to come. I saw quite a few videocameras and smartphones (regardless of their owners) taking no heed of the warning that "it was not permitted" to take pictures or film the show.

Postby baht habit on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:18 pm

Thanks banyan.
Being that these are relatively brief excerpts, I wouldn't feel informed enough to judge.
For those who've attended or will attend the shows, I'm interested in finding this out : do you feel that the recitation added to or detracted from the musical content?

Postby inkinthewell on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:47 pm

Some videos have now been put up on youtube, so I probably won't spoil anything. But if you haven't seen them, don't read or I'm going to spoil it all for you.

The venue: a hangar for repairing trains built at the end of the XIX Century recently transformed into a site for concerts and exhibitions. It is huge. There are about 600 grey seats (Ä 23) in front of the stage, and about 100 blue seats (Ä 18) right at the back. The last time I looked three quarters of the grey seats had been taken up, and quite a lot of people were in the blue ones.

The stage: 3 screens, in front of which are 3 tables. On the table at the far left is what looks like a radio from the '70s, what could be either a lamp or an old phone from the 1920s, and some other unspecified objects (a coat hanger, maybe?). The table in the middle has a laptop, a mixer, and at least 2 guitars are standing behind it. The table on the right has 2 laptops and a mixer, and a grand piano beside it. There probably is other stuff, but it isn't visible.

The Kilowatt Hour: enter Stephan Mathieu, Christian Fennesz and David Sylvian. A bow, applause, and they take their seats as the light go down: Mathieu at the table on the left, Fennesz at the middle one, and Sylvian on the right. I won't be so detailed from now on, but the beginning is quite impressive, with some atmospheric music surging and DS playing some notes on the piano. At times Mathieu seems to use the radio's aerial like a theremin, and at some moments there is a sound like a phone ringing which I think comes from his table, although form my seat he is the least visible, lost in the dark; Fennesz uses two guitars to great effect, tweaking the sounds on his laptop; David moves from piano to laptops, looking like the busiest of the three. Then there are Franz Wright's poems read by the author, and some of them are spine-chilling. After 70 minutes, it comes to an end. The lights go out. Exeunt Sylvian, Fennesz and Mathieu, never to be seen again, notwithstanding the continuos applause which continues, with ups and downs, until the lights come back on.

Visuals & Lights: the whole performance is accompanied by a video, in my opinion good for most of the time (except the section playing with the phases of the moon, which got quite boring), and some light effects shot up on the ceiling which are quite effective and combine well with the music.

The audience: it still amazes me how, at this moment in time, with the internet and its incredible amount of information available for everyone at any moment at a fingers touch, there can still be people who go to see The Kilowatt Hour expecting to see a David Sylvian-song-based-show! I was glad and surprised to see the place almost full, there were people in their fifties and some in their early twenties, there were a couple of teenagers and what looked like a 2 year old kid (I don't know if to bless or gosh golly jee whiz his parents), and I thought to myself: "Wow, I would have never thought there would be so many forward thinking people tonight." It turned out I was wrong :twisted: . Some were sensible enough to leave as soon as they understood there was no compatibility between them and what they were listening to (I counted 7). Others stayed there, deadening the shock giggling, making stupid remarks, fiddling with their smartphones or showing their holidays pictures around. All the rest took in what was a good, intense, demanding show as best they could. There were some boring bits, some bits were truly beautiful, and some less easy to interpret. I can't say I understood the whole structure of this work, and I certainly would have enjoyed it more if I had had the chance to get acquainted with it before hand, but I did enjoy it.
My wife, who does not care much for David Sylvian in particular and for music in general, knew quite well what to expect ("It's gonna be plink plink plink, whoooooshhhh" she had said :-D ), so she was ready to suffer, but, as we got back to our hotel, she told me that she was surprised how fast the first 40 minutes went by. It was not her cup of tea, she found the last half hour quite tiresome and was glad when it finished, but, after all, it wasn't too hard to swallow.

*************************************************************************************************************************************************

Top 5 things overheard at The Kilowatt Hour's Torino performance.

5. "It's his first tour in 15 years."
4. "Erm... David Sylvian is the one behind which laptop?"
3. "I've been following him since 'Girls On Film'."
2. "What? He is NOT singing?"
1. "David WHO?"

Postby inkinthewell on Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:02 pm

baht habit wrote:
For those who've attended or will attend the shows, I'm interested in finding this out : do you feel that the recitation added to or detracted from the musical content?

My opinion is that at least 3 of the recitations added to the music, meaning that they blended extremely well together, producing a bigger effect. On one occasion it got annoying, but it wasn't 'because of' the poem (that was during the 'moon' section I spoke of above, the part I liked the least). As far as I can judge now, all the rest didn't really add anything to the music.
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby banyan on Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:41 pm

Thanks for the review of the Torino show.
It's very much appreciated

Some images from the Alcatraz, Milano show
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=david+sylvian&s=rec

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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby inkinthewell on Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:24 am

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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby karnsculpture on Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:43 pm

The recitation takes this to another level for me. I don't think that the music is particularly interesting or new on its own but from the clips I've seen the combination really works. I realise they've said the sound will develop and change from performance to performance, but how much?

I feel however that the recitation may have had more impact for many in the audience if elements in local languages could have been added (such as Sakamoto did with a live version of "War & Peace" in Japan). For some non-English speakers the recitation may have not meant much at all, although the voice has an interesting quality, the true impact is felt listening to and understanding the words.
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby Chad on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:00 pm

kind of boring dont you think? fennesz couldn't even fix this. :)

and based on some of crowd commentary from blemish, nobody really knows what to do with this. a resounding shrug.

and whats with all the dead poet stuff anyways? its very similar to sakamoto's fixation with cage & burroughs 20 years ago. it didnt work for him either. at least he had the sense to use it sparingly.
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby inkinthewell on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:08 pm

Chad wrote:kind of boring dont you think?

No. :-D
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby inkinthewell on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:11 pm

Chad wrote:and whats with all the dead poet stuff anyways?

Franz Wright is still alive.
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby Chad on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:24 pm

inkinthewell wrote:
Chad wrote:and whats with all the dead poet stuff anyways?

Franz Wright is still alive.


oh man... sorry about that franz. :)

... nevermind
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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby inkinthewell on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:37 pm

I forgot all about the programme that was given at Turin. Here's the translation (bear in mind it's the translation of a translation - of a translation?) and scans.

Sylvian says: “I feel very lucky to be supported by two musicians I respect, whose generosity and company have enriched both my private and working life. We’re going on this journey together, to see how far we can go. With no indulgence, nor short-cuts. We’ll try to create something unique and exciting for ourselves hoping to offer a new experience to those who will come to the shows.”
The relationship between Mathieu and Sylvian began in January with the release of Wandermüde, although they did not actually collaborate: Mathieu “built” the album using material from Sylvian’s 2003 masterpiece Blemish, remixing and reinterpreting it using his live processing abilities, with a cameo appearance by Fennesz who played solo guitar in the last track Deceleration. Like a heart captured right in the middle of a beat, this ambient work has a stability that is never stale, and warmth that never totally enshrouds you. Although it highlights their sensibilities, the three musicians say this is just the first stop in the journey they’ve undertaken: they met in Vienna in July to work on new material, and many ideas resulted. “An important factor in our performance is the idea of a ‘non-event’,” says Mathieu. “At this time we are trying to create a composition that has its own structure but leaves sufficient margin to remodel it live.” “I’d love to find suggestions through improvisation,” says Fennesz. “It is certainly a risky project, but it’s this that makes it exciting. It’s like diving in freezing water.” The Kilowatt Hour is the first collaboration between Fennesz and Mathieu although they’ve known each other since the Nineties. The Austrian guitarist and the German electroacoustic musician both move in the vast spaces of electronic music and improvisation. Fennesz, better known for works of sparkling pop like Endless Summer, has also taken part in free session improvisations with illustrious peers such as Keith Rowe and Toshimaru Nakamura. Stephan Mathieu, who began his career as a drummer, is a sound artist that works in two areas: live manipulation of digital sources and in projects based on acoustic sources like ancient instruments and mechanical gramophones. Among his works are the acclaimed 2008 album, Radioland, and The Falling Rocket. David Sylvian has worked with both in the past ten years, and the trio will mark a return to the ambient experiments he undertook in the Eighties, beginning with Plight And Premonition and Flux And Mutability, his albums with Holger Czukay from Can. “The works composed with Holger developed very naturally with no appeal to the standard notion of “performance”. What was captured was the attempt, the uncertainty of the path, the meandering development of an idea before it set in the mind, its being subject to the process of auto-correction, practice and performance of something learned by heart and repeated with emotional emphasis. We abandoned the performative element every time it threatened to creep into the improvisations. If there’s something that I carry along with me from my past projects, maybe it’s this experience.”
For Sylvian, this new project involves taking risks: he’ll leave aside his most familiar instrument – his voice – and will walk back on a stage for the first time since his 2007 tour. “What will actually happen once we gather in a room will probably be based on these initial developments or it could be that from them and/or from the chemistry between us can result something else,” says Sylvian. “Both Stephan and Christian have operative systems with which they are very familiar. In that respect I’m a sort of outsider because I’ve tried to avoid working with specific structures for most of my life. Every new project requires a learning curve, a process that implies beginning all over again. I’m curious to see what my reaction will be to Christian and Stephan’s agility with their set-ups. Honestly, I’d be very disappointed if I wouldn’t find a new language to work with.” With no rules to limit them and without further plans other than these shows, The Kilowatt Hour venture out with nothing more than their intuition and fancy to guide them. The performances will be an adventure for both the audience and the artists.

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Re: The Kilowatt Hour - Premiere for Festival MITO SettembreMusi

Postby banyan on Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:04 pm

Live in Rome 22.9.2013

https://soundcloud.com/#srdjan-mitrovic ... 13/s-3S4BI

It's great to hear the whole performance rather than little snippets

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