In a world in which the accoustic signs of the times ever more point to storm, in which we are constantly subjected to wild gesticulation and loud pounding for instant attention, together with bogus packages full of meaningless self-expression – in such times it is no small pleasure to be offered an opportunity to hold hand to ear and just listen.
«Silent Surface» – 'surface' does not carry the meaning of 'superficial' – by and with Luigi Archetti (guitar, electronics) and Jan Schlegel (base, electronics) is definitely listening music. It cannot be approached impatiently, even less by means of push and shove. This would be disastrous. One should and must wait, almost patiently lie in ambush for it. One is being tested and educated in reticence.
Not very easy, not very self-evident. But if and when, then one can discover a sound-world of great refinement – free of all false pathos – that can be elucidated. It comes across as, on the one hand, festive and magical, and on the other hand extremely sensitive, porous. And when we feel its breath on our ear, when it whispers to us its secret, which we don't want to share with anyone, we recognize, in the intimacy of the moment, simultaneously, both the expansiveness and the largesse which is to be found in this music.
Previously unheard of sounds are revealed, sounds which, like water-colors on grainy paper, bleed into cloud shapes, and also rhythmic structures, which incise themselve into our musical consciousness like sharply etched lines into copper plate. The garulous growl of the base, the chiselled chirping of the guitar (and it can even, unsurprisingly, be the other way around), expansive surfaces and minute miniatures, iridescent friction und well-meaning instrumental gestures, all this and much more expands within our auditory canal, telling slow-motion stories at the speed of light.
Faith is needed. This has to be learned. A musician cannot just come along and fake it with shiny and expensive electronics (well he could, but then…) Years of experience, years of playing together have gone into this. A good, well-developed craft can let the simplicity of perfection speak for itself. Unpretentiousness and stubbornness, wise caution and a conscious and determined stride, ostinato and crescendo: these are the poles between which they display their damned clever sounds. Magicians working without a bag of tricks, priests dedicated to the greater good, no hocus-pocus, no fakery or frippery, no baroque costumes, no obtrusive stage scenery.
Archetti's and Schlegel's music can be savored on the tongue like a well-matured wine. Patience and the sheer love of pleasure is what counts. All one needs to do is simply to stop and listen.