The Zone is a concept album written by Italian composer Daniele Del Monaco for a band of performers fom New York City who are usually affiliated with avant-jazz and free improvisation. Through the interaction of the five musicians, guided by Del Monaco’s experimental sensibility on keys and sound generators, this recording turns out a unique and ambitious combination of Fay Victor’s urban jazz vocals, Marco Cappelli’s guitar, combining elements of classical music and free improvisation, the at times extreme dynamics of Satoshi Takeishi’s performance on the drums, and the virtuosity of bassist Ken Filiano. Del Monaco’s radical approach to creating music is rooted in a slow process of working through a score with classical musicians and free improvisers, balancing meticulous compositions with the setting of parameters for free improvisation.
The Zone by The Zone, BandCamp, 2021 on #neuguitars #blog
In his lyrics, Del Monaco appropriates the words of Persian poet and mystic Farid al-Din‘Attar’s epic ‘The Conference of the Birds’ and Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ to create a narrative in which the ideas and imagery of poets and philosophers interact. Byron, Keats, Diogenes, Thoreau and Buddha all meet within the framework of ‘Attar’s journey in search of truth and the Stalker’s journey through ‘The Zone’. The search for the mythical room within is capable of granting a person their innermost desires. The result is a set of seven songs filled with allusive and symbolic imagery, exploring the relationship between beauty and possession.
The majority of the album was recorded between 2018 and 2019 by Alessandro Benedetti in Rome, Italy. Benedetti tragically passed away before the sessions were finished, at which point Martin Bisi in Brooklyn, NY took over the recording work. The album’s journey then continued on to Sheffield UK, where it was completed and mixed by producer Thomas Lebioda for Studio III Recordings in 2020.
Throughout its development, a number of guest musicians have accompanied Del Monaco for live performances of The Zone: Blixa Bargeld, Theodosii Spassov and Marco Ariano joined the LCP Percussion Quintet in October 2014 for a first performance at Centro Campania in Caserta, IT. In November 2018, Marc Ribot joined the Band for a rendition at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, IT, organised and produced by RomaEuropa festival.
released October 22, 2021
recorded by Alessandro Benedetti at Loadistrict, Rome, Italy and by Martin Bisi at BC Studio, Brooklyn, NY
mixed by Thomas Lebioda at The Laundry Rooms, Sheffield, UK
mastered by Karsten Deutschmann at Gentle Art, Hamburg, Germany
lacquers cut by Noel Summerville, London UK
cover photo by Francesco Demichelis
band photo by Paolo Soriani
artwork and sleeve design by Lauren Kelley