Review: VipCancro – Su Se Stesso (Lisca, Oct 5)

The fittingly titled “Ex Musica” rises into being with a wonderfully delicate, deliberate touch not at all unexpected in the work of VipCancro, a quartet comprised of sound artists Alberto Picchi, Andrea Borghi, Nicola Quiriconi, and David Lucchesi. Though their music is free by every meaning of the word, liberated from conventional melody and structure through instantaneous sonic interaction, the group’s philosophy doesn’t focus on the inherent impermanence of improvisational performances; instead, they chart progressions and evolutions throughout their work, make an effort to try new approaches, work toward their own musical language. Su Se Stesso, according to them, is where this “new language” has finally been achieved, one that’s “based on the search for personal solutions oriented towards characters and gestures, according to the typical methods of a concrete matrix improvisation. The mixture of electronic and acoustic instruments reflects the attention of the quartet to spaces and sound objects organized through pure instant composition.” Like many analyses of such abstract methodology, it sounds arcane at first, but these observations couldn’t be more apparent in the music itself. Though the two pieces are quite mechanical and metallic in nature, all slithering scrapes and stifled snuffles, they’re undeniably gestural as the descriptions states; each action taken by the performers has a destination in mind, like things are being set in motion rather than entirely manipulated. The quartet’s appreciation for space is also clear, and their ability to construct vivid, immersive, physical sound-worlds like the heaving, sighing cluster of clatter on “Laterale” is astounding.

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