I can find limitless inspiration in nature, and being at Civitella surrounded by the voluptuous spring earth, I had the chance to listen with more acute attention, my whole body awakening to subtle sensory happenings. The kind call of the bee eaters flashing their tropical colors amidst the olive groves, the glorious super moon of May illuminating the ruins of Sera Partucci, the quietness of fog rolling into the field in front my studio. During these five weeks, I took the time to learn about recording techniques and set up a 24 hour studio to explore and record acoustic improvisations on cello. This expansive amount of time allowed me to record, examine, read, write and reflect on the process of improvisation and to delve into this puzzling practice with a depth that would have been unfeasible in a regular recording studio.
I explored different spaces; inside the studio of Pizza, outside amidst the myriad bird calls and in the reverberant chapel, honing my attention to both how spaces and acoustics affect the musical material that I create and listening to the ideas and songs that arise regardless of where I am. Like playing a game of moving objects around until they have a special unlocked logic, each day I tried anew to topple the rational notion of what a cello is in order to find a hidden core to its sound. Jim O’Rourke in Arcana writes, “But I wondered how could you reclaim the sound of piano, violin, trombone, etc? How can I hear the sound again like for the first time, and not have any cultural signifiers floating around in it?” The constant destruction and reconstruction of what this instrument can be, wrestling and battling with this wooden box of strings trying to hear it for the first time again and again. . . .
…and every day after small victories and large defeats, I was re-energized by the great company of Fellow artists and spirited games of after dinner ping pong.
03/09/2022: Concerts Featuring Premieres by Jerome Kitzke and Theresa Wong