Monday, May 28, 2012

Sub Rosa - 'Fuck You'

'Fuck you' is a superinteresting doc by the great people of Sub Rosa about the electronic underground in China. It raised a lot of questions when I watched it. How can noise - even devoid of any meaning - ever be apolitical? Can a government forbid young people to make abstract noise? If so, is it a political gesture after all? Even if what they do is just copycatting Western and Japanese acts and if they use noise as a means to escape the very harsh reality for young musicians in China. Subversive 'nihilism' as an act of revolt maybe? Most of the footage was shot with a hidden camera. I was very impressed by the interview with the poet Sun Meng Jin in some restaurant or cafeteria. He is an opposing voice and he took a great risk by saying some surprisingly shocking things about politics that if known could easily land him into a Chinese prison. On the other hand you have an interview with the interesting young Chinese experimental artist Wang Changcun denying by all means that his art has any political implications. It is a frightening vision of a society that controls its citizens with a strong iron fist. Three cheers for Zbigniew and what he does for Chinese musicians! The doc revolved mainly around him. he is an extraordinary man. Admirable effort! See also my article about the Chinese electronic underground from some years ago:

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Francisco López - untitled #284

I don't agree with people who maintain that Francisco López has been doing the same thing all over for years. It even seems to me that he has been seeking a slightly different direction lately. His collaboration with the Dutch MAE Ensemble on 'untitled #275" and some pieces on 'untitled (2009)' even tend to the 'classical' as I may say so. Although for a noise artist it sounds preposterous to make 'classical music', for López it looks like a completely natural evolution. It looks like his looking for a more organic sound while using computers anyway. His new composition 'untitled #284' is a commisioned piece for the Teatro Municipal Maria Matos in Lisbon. The composition features treated environmental sounds that sometimes sound like a spectral orchestra in complete overdrive. I especially love the first 5 minutes that sound like an orchestral drone pounding one spectacular note at a time. Truly impressive piece of work!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

ECCE HOMO - Portrait of Célestin Deliège, the Last Master of the Modernists

I just finished watching this DVD that I received a couple of days ago from the good people of Sub Rosa about the enigmatic Belgian music theoretician Célestin Deliège, the Antonin Artaud of Belgian musicology. In the beginning he declares quite frankly that 'democracy is bad for music' and that music is in 'decline since the end of the fifties'. But isn't all art? The film is a very moving portrait of Deliège being interviewed by several composers like Pascal Decroupet, Fred Lerdahl, Ictus Ensemble, and others... The part about 'Index of metals' by Fausto Romuletti is revealing to say the least. Although very sick and already at the end of his life during the interviews he retained a keen memory and a fighting spirit. The interviews range from rightly polemic to didactic and truly amiable. Overall, it is an homage to a man that i've really start to admire very much who is maybe not well known to the general public but who certainly deserves a little bit more attention.;jsessionid=408F71012E8D266FE79B8E63FE8DBB9C