@Cafe Oto

Trovandomi ancora in rotta di collisione con il nefasto pianeta "Melancholia", in questa settimana mi è stato impossibile ascoltare qualcosa che non fosse  musica da camera (nello specifico le composizioni  più deprimenti tipo "Adagio for Strings" di Barber). Per niente in linea con questo blog, e dunque riporto pari pari il resoconto del live Julia Kent- (r) ossia Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo- Cindytalk dello scorso 18 ottobre al Cafe Oto (Londra), con tanto di video allucinogeni inclusi:


Julia Kent, (r), Cindytalk – Live at Cafe Oto

Posted On: October 26, 2011

Julia Kent from Gianmarco Del Re on Vimeo.
“I am happy to be in Europe where people can understand my jokes, the trouble is I don’t have any”. In typical self-deprecatory style, Julia Kent opened Tuesday’s gig with an assured set drawing mainly from her latest album, Green and Grey, a carefully balanced meditation on the dichotomy between the urban and the natural world. Focused and controlled, Kent resisted the temptation of overlaying the loops while weaving delicate and yet piercing melodies suggesting an unresolved sense of longing. In her set she mapped out a tender and fiercely humane diagram of fleeting moments hinged on the transitory nature of life. Her lightness of touch was remarkable, even when she laid bare her vulnerabilities.
A personal highlight was the wonderful Dear Mr Twombly dedicated to the late American painter, a track that took an elegiac tone without mutating into a mournful lament. And yet, at times, I found myself secretly hoping for some slippage of some kind, just to be able to momentarily lose my bearings. That is not to say that she treaded on safe ground opting for the genteel and the achingly beautiful. Instead she injected a suitable tension in the crescendo of several tracks that only sparingly gave way to a more languorous mode. As it was, Kent’s perfectly judged performance favoured a highly polished approach, without trying to be sleek. Deceptively easy to capture, it required active concentration in order to unveil its hidden subtleties. It made for rich pickings.

(r) live at cafe OTO from Gianmarco Del Re on Vimeo.
Back in London under his (r) moniker, and joined by Daniele Pagliaro, Fabrizio Modenese Palumbo was also on top form. A member of Larsen, who gave a rough around the edges but thoroughly enjoyable performance here at Cafe OTO only 10 days ago, Fabrizio also shares the bill with Julia Kent and Paul Beauchamp, as Blind Cave Salamander. As (r) however, he is able to indulge his queerest musical tastes with gay abandon which is what his did in spades.
Rigorously dressed in pink, complete with a pink feather boa, he was joined by Daniele Pagliero who created an electronic tapestry onto which Modonese Palumbo embroidered his electric set with a calculated frenzy that never felt hurried. Singing very softly in a baritone voice, when not howling as he did on Marlene Dietrich’s cover See what the Boys in the Background Will Do, Fabrizio quickly shifted gears moving from the sepulchral to the abstract, fracturing, in the process, any plausible interpretation of a post gay reading of standards such as Tammy Wynette’s The Ways to Love a Man or Marianne Faithfull’s Sister Morphine. Clearly enjoying himself Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo let rip wrestling his guitar while shredding the tracks from his album Drama Queen to bits. All done in good fun and with a penchant for the epic, which might have benefited from a few occasional trimmings, had it not been delivered with such unadulterated gusto that was difficult to dispute.
Third act of the night was the eagerly anticipated Cindytalk. Before coming on stage, Gordon Sharp told me he had prepared a noisy set. Having recently delivered a stunning trio of albums on the Mego label, home to Fennesz and Bill Orcutt, which saw him plunging into uncharted waters to develop a radically new language for Cindytalk, it was difficult to guess how that would translate into a live setting especially one tilted towards the noisier side of the spectrum. Starting off in a suitably sombre mode, more abrasive than melancholic, Cindytalk quickly captured the stage with an assured presence, which indicated that the transgender warrior was not willing to take any prisoners. And yet there was no posturing and nothing confrontational in Cindy’s voice. On the contrary it was immediately apparent how delicate and fragile Cindytalk’s sound was even if coated in an armour of steely dissonance. Performing with his eyes firmly closed as if cocooning himself as one does when inhabiting a non-space as described by Marc Augé, and only occasionally glancing towards the audience or to the back projection onto which spilled images pertaining to the feminine, I felt like an intruder eavesdropping on a very private conversation.

Cindytalk - live at Cafe OTO from Gianmarco Del Re on Vimeo.
It made me think of a passage from a Don DeLillo novel The Body Artist. “That night she stood outside his room and listened to him whimper. The sound was a series of weak cries, half cries, dull and uniform, and it had a faint echo, a feedback, and carried a desolation that swept aside words, hers or anyone’s. She didn’t know what it meant. Of course she knew. He had no protective surface. He was alone and unable to improvise, make himself up. She went to the bed and sat there, offering touches and calming sounds, softenings of the night. He was scared. How simple and true. He was there in the howl of the world. This was the howling face, the stark, the not-as-if of things.
Granted that there is no whimpering in Cindytalk sound, it is just the primeval fear I felt creeping up on me that brought me back to this passage, the feeling of loneliness echoed by Anna Karina’s face flickering on the screen. But it might have easily just been me projecting. Whatever it was, I was left trembling until, like softenings of the night, Julia Kent and Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo joined the proceedings halfway through Cindytalk’s set tracing the contours of a possible path leading towards the light. Without holding onto the helm, Cindy let them gently steer the boat within reach of the shore but still refusing to drop the anchor. The pervasive sense of displacement so intrinsic to Cindytalk’s music remained intact. Never going for the easy option Cindy sat at the piano like someone trying to articulate in a foreign language something deeply personal.
Having prepared myself to a barrage of noise I kept loosing my footing taken aback by the sparseness of the sound enveloped by Julia Kent’s cello and Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo’s electric guitar and viola with murmurs of appeasement. It was a performance that subverted my expectations. Once again, I will borrow from Don DeLillo’s novel to voice my feelings. There is a passage where he writes about the wind, which sums up my experience “There is something about the wind. It strips you of assurances, working into you, continuous, making you feel the hidden thinness of everything around you, all the solid stuff of a hundred undertakings-the barest makeshift flimsy.”
In the end I was left with more questions than answers, and that to me is always a good sign.
- Gianmarco Del Re for Fluid Radio
Poi ho visto che ormai è stata sdoganato su qualche blog anche "Dendrophilia" di Justin Vivian Bond...magari domani sempre che l'orbita melancholica prenda un'altra via...molto più probabilmente mi soffermerò su un album splendido ma deprimente, che a Melancholia si ricollega in maniera stretta, ossia la rivisitazione di Ben Frost e Daniél Bjarnason della soundtrack del film di Andrej Tarkovskij "Solaris".

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