The eternal circle of “In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni” by Stefano Pilia, Die Schachtel, 2019 on #neuguitars #blog

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https://stefanopilia.bandcamp.com/album/in-girum-imus-nocte-et-consumimur-igni

https://www.soundohm.com/product/decay-music-n-2-in-girum-imus-nocte-et-consumimur-igni-lp/pid/35098/

“But nothing translated this present without a way out and without rest like the ancient phrase that returns entirely to itself, being built letter by letter like a labyrinth from which you cannot get out, so that it matches so perfectly the shape and the content of perdition: IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI. We go round in the night and we are consumed by the fire “.

So says Guy Debord in the film which is named after the Latin palindrome and which in the opening credits is recomposed, in its symmetry, starting from the outside:

IN …. NI

IN GI … IGNI

IN GIRUM …. MUR IGNI

and so on, until the meeting point between “nocte” and the conjunction “et”.

The palindrome, a race backwards, is the name that is given to the literary artifice that requires the running of the sequences in the opposite direction to the coded one: a sequence that, read on the contrary, letter by letter, is recomposed exactly. This is the case of IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI, the latest solo album made in 2019 by Stefano Pilia.

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Born in Genoa and residing in Bologna, Pilia is an Italian electroacoustic guitarist and composer who has made his stylistic signature his interest in the spatial and sculptural qualities of sound. A personal dimension that finds a surprising artistic maturity in this latest work, where the sound of his guitar undergoes a radical acoustical metamorphosis relating to space, memory and the suspension of time.

The structure of “In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni” is composed of corresponding triptychs on each of the two sides of the album, characterized by vast, hospitable expanses of color inhabited by long and fragmented tones, by fractures and rhythmic collisions, by delicate origami and iridescent sound textures. “In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni” honors its hermetic name by moving through a path of symbolic, alchemical narrations and poetic abstractions, based on symmetrical harmonies, abstract and disturbing shapes, slow and glacial ephemeral visions, where the melodies are projected in a slow motion game. I talked about of an acousmatic dimension for the guitar: it is true, Pilia uses the guitar as a sound generator, a sound that is filtered, altered, radicalized through the peculiar and abstract use of the electronics connected to it, creating a musical context that draws on minimalism, ambient and indeterminate contemporary forms.

This album also struck me for the beauty of the design, created by Bruno Stucchi / dinamomilano.com, who made an unusual half alchemical and half decadent cover and the vinyl, characterized by a high quality gray vinyl with a surprisingly marble effect. A very beautiful and refined work.

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A curiosity: in the Middle Ages, the title of this record was attributed a magical power because, if transcribed on a parchment and then burnt, it would allow to find the formula of the philosopher’s stone. But I have no intention of trying with this LP. Only 250 copies were printed.

“But nothing translated this present without a way out and without rest like the ancient phrase that returns entirely to itself, being built letter by letter like a labyrinth from which you cannot get out, so that it matches so perfectly the shape and the content of perdition: IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI. We go round in the night and we are consumed by the fire “.

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