How new the world was. “Almost Nowhere” by Marco Momi, Kairos Records, 2019 on #neuguitars #blog
Discovering something new is a very difficult undertaking in our times. But it is even more difficult to find, see, feel something new and recognize it, understand it as such. Understand that it is new, different from anything you have always expected to find as new. The question is: if something really new existed, would we know how to listen to it? That is, would we be able to discard from our mind all the sounds that we are accustomed to associate with the expectation of something different in order to grasp the true diversity that would present itself to our ears? The problem is that our minds and ears are used to choosing and cataloging only what enters the tried and tested classifications.
These reflections came to my mind listening to the cd “Almost Nowhere” by the Italian composer Marco Momi, music performed by the Nikel ensemble (Brian Archinal, Percussion; Yaron Deutsch, Electric Guitar; Antoine Françoise, Piano; Patrick Stadler, Saxophone), produced from Kairos in 2019.
Marco Momi has a really interesting curriculum: born in Perugia in 1978, he studied piano, conducting and composition in Perugia, Strasbourg, The Hague, Rome, Darmstadt and Paris. In the period 2007-2010 he studied and worked at the IRCAM in Paris. His works have been awarded in numerous international competitions such as Gaudeamus Music Prize, Seoul International Competition, Impuls-Klangforum Wien, Reading Panel IRCAM-EIC. In 2008 he received the Kranichsteiner Music Prize from the City of Darmstadt. He was composer in residence at the Akademie der Künste Berlin and the Banna Spinola Foundation. His works are performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain, Nikel, Klangforum Wien, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, PHACE, Accroche Note, ASKO, Trio Accanto, mdi, Quartetto Prometeo, Matthias Pintscher, Bas Wiegers, Marino Formenti, Clement Power, Nicolas Hodges, Mariangela Vacatello , Matteo Cesari and others, in festivals such as Philarmonie Paris, Musica Strasbourg, ManiFeste Paris, Présences – Radio France, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Milano Musica, Warsaw Autumn, Gare du Nord Basel, Gaida Vilnius, Wiener Konzerthaus, Venice Biennale, Akademie der Künste Berlin, IRCAM, Ars Musica Bruxelles, Bang on a Can New York, Wien Modern, Tzlill Meudcan Tel Aviv, Gaudeamus Music Week, ZKM Karlsruhe.
This CD also gives me the pleasant opportunity to talk about its performers, namely the Ensemble Nikel, an Israeli chamber music quartet composed of Brian Archinal, Percussion, Yaron Deutsch, Electric Guitar; Antoine Françoise, Piano and Patrick Stadler, Saxophone. Founded in 2006, this ensemble has been a frequent guest at many of the most famous contemporary music festivals: Donaueschinger Musiktage, International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt, Wien Modern, Warsaw Autumn, Manifeste Paris, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Gaudeamus Utrecht & Impuls Graz just to name a few. Nikel play a rigorous mix of traditional and contemporary, in the music of Momi their instruments combine to create an alternative chamber music in which electric and acoustic sounds merge into a complex sound organism, where the sound is elevated to a musical vocabulary, broad and complex. Marco Momi teaches us that sound is the carbon paper that covers the world and that alters and defines its boundaries, spaces and times.
His music demonstrates its intrinsic, undeniable complexity. Momi treats sound as a physical matter, malleable, ductile and modifiable at will, but which always remains with physical, tangible, almost tactile properties. This cd show a very rare sensitivity and attention. Highly recommended.