Central to the music of Trophies is the voice or a multitude of voices. A type of voices bordering song and speech but not embracing either one of those practices completely. On November 14th at Roulette, composer and sound artist Alessandro Bosetti presented TROPHIES along with Kenta Nagai, and Ches Smith. We met up with Alessandro to talk about the project. Click on the image to watch the latest episode of ROULETTE TV (interview and performance), or read below for our standard question and answer Blog session!
WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEW / ROULETTE PERFORMANCE
ROULETTE: Tell us as about the work you’ll be doing at Roulette.
ALESSANDRO BOSETTI: Trophies is a band that deal with sung/spoken loops and repetitive song structures. We repeat and repeat and repeat. Just words over and over. All the musical material is derived from speech patterns that we “translated” so that they can be played on instruments and sung again. My old obsession for musicality of spoken language.
The band was brought together thanks to a venue in Venice one year ago. They gave us a chance to work on this repertoire for an extended period of time. This is when i decided to bring together some of my favorite musicians. My association with Kenta Nagai goes back to his berlin days in 2003. He is just pure magic and i always learn from him. We are trying to dig deeply into the sound of speech, this is our song. This project is closely related to many other works of sound and radio art I have been producing in the past decade but involves a dynamic and emotional aspect due to the live playing.
R: Are there working artists today with whose work you identify, or rather, who do you consider to be your peers?
AB: I constantly meet amazing artists from the present and the past that inspire and feed me. Not just musicians. I consider myself spoiled in that regard. I travel. Lots. And meet lots of souls. And even if I dont meet them in person, well… dont know if i can consider them my peers…. and many of them are not artists, still my thoughts go often to : Robert Ashley, Alexander Garcia Düttman, Giordano Bruno, Louise Bourgeois, Jacques Lacan, Robert Creeley, Gary Snyder, Roberto Bolaño, Kati Heck, Steve Lacy, Sven Åke Johannsson, W.G.Sebald, Leonardo da Vinci, Gesualdo da Venosa, Sophie Calle, Phil Minton, Brandon Labelle, Henry Darger, Steven Feld, Yambo Ouloguem, R.D. Laing, Werner Herzog, Dōgen, Merrit Ruhlen, Martin Kippenberger, Gregory Whitehead, Joe Mcphee, Ulla Von Brandenburg, Ella Ziegler, Andrea Neumann, Michel Doneda, Antje Vowinckel, Marina Abramovic, Christian Kesten, Keiji Haino, Janet Cardiff, Jennifer Walshe, Hellen Mirra, Giuseppe Ielasi, Ernst Karel, Suzanne Lacy, Bruce Naumann, Michael Snow, Baruch Spinoza, Caravaggio, Salvatore Sciarrino, Elliot Carter (early works), Rene Lussier, Mauricio Kagel, Claudio Monteverdi, Glenn Gould, Henry Chopin (!!!!), Alvin Lucier, Luc Ferrari, Åke Hodell….. ahah, a very subjective and improvised list that just popped out ….
R: What are some defining characteristics of the musical scene you would fit yourself into? What elements of your scene differentiate it from what has come before, or what is happening now?
AB: “Scene” is a problematic word for me. Because I travel so much and because my practice overflows from the experimental music field into radio art, electro- acoustic composition and multidisciplinary art.
I spent a lot of time in Berlin and a lot of time more recently in Baltimore but i have an hard time to fit myself into one specific scene. I like to hang out with improvisers, composers, performance and visual artists, philosophers and cooks. I had a tight association with the so called reductionist scene in berlin in the late 90′s and early 00′s , but it felt slippery very soon. I look more to individuals than to a scene since then although i treasure the community feeling when i encounter that. Ultimately i have an hard time to fit myself into a specific scene.
R: What was the last music you listened to?
AB: As for live music Joe Mcphee, Roscoe Mitchell and Paul Metzger, three evenings in a row in chicago. Awesome. As for recordings, something really bad i wont mention here. I didn’t like that.
B: Chocolate, Vanilla or Rocky Road?
AB: Fish fish and more fish. Anything that comes from the sea more than anything sweet. Also rosemary, sage, juniper, what grows on the rocky mediterranean seaside… what is Rocky Road anyway ? I am an euro kid and miss the reference, sorry…
R: What is music?
AB: You have no idea of what you are talking about. Neither do I. Or, well, maybe on the contrary we do both have a very clear idea of what that is but we don’t know how to write about it. Music seems kind of a mute thing to me. I kept being haunted by that mutism and compelled to find ways to “say” inside of it. For along time. Working on the musicality of spoken language has always appeared to me as the most practicable and interesting option. This is what i do. To be honest a lot of music seems like a wall to me. I also often find sound hurtful. Maybe its because it does not talk with me. I have a speech fetish. I probably just rub music the wrong way and she does not want to explain anything to me. But sometimes things get smoother and its really exciting then.
R: Do you consider yourself more a composer or a performer?
AB: I am definitely both. I cultivate both practices.
R: Is there an event or experience that led you to start in experimental media?
AB: Seeing Steve Lacy playing in a Neaple’s Teatri Uniti production when i was 15. This probably set it all in motion. But really, who knows… its written in hidden memories… its almost forgotten…. kid’s fantasies, reverie, world making, protection. An early mix of courage and escapism…
R: Who do you see as instrumental in your development as an artist?
AB: Probably at this point my emotional education. My emotional growth. I would say psychoanalysis if you could refer to the term in a much broader than therapeutical meaning . Something in that direction. The act of inhabiting my body every day and being alive. And self perceptive and stunned and restless. And the tentative redefinition of mortality. Day after day.