SIMAO COSTA // ANO PRE CAU TION PER CU SSION ON SHORT CIRCUIT
SIMÃO COSTA. Piano, Transducers speakers and objects
2. PER ludio
3. per CAUTION
4. PER meable
5. per CUTION
Portuguese composer and pianist (also a researcher of the present day connections between art, science and technology) Simão Costa is a unique kind of fetichist. The object of his desire is the piano: you listen to his playing and it’s clear that he’s in love with its inner sound and the musical grammars developed in these three last centuries for the instrument invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori. All those intersected in “π_ANO PRE·CAU·TION PER·CU·SSION ON SHORT CIRCUIT”, coming from the classical tradition, the experimental explorations of the black-and-white keyboard or the strings inside, and also jazz and improvised music.
But for him, like for any other fetichist, this is not enough: his imagination wants to bring the piano to its limits and beyond, even if this means a radical transfiguration of its nature and purposes. He uses computer electronics either for a radically different diffusion, and perception, of the sounds produced, and for their processing in real time, through granulation and synthesis. The result: sometimes simultaneously, a return to the most primal of all musical approaches, a percussive one, and the transformation of the piano into a sophisticated electro-acoustic device of the 21st century.
John Cage-like preparations and the type of fluctuating non-linear phrases we heard in some of Morton Feldman’s compositions live together with repeated rhythmic syncopations, like if Thelonious Monk and Steve Reich were the same person, and with the kind of atmospheres that we imagine Brian Eno and Alvin Lucier could make together. All this is made with a clinical ear. We imagine Simão Costa in a dissecting (torture) table, opening human organs to discover what makes them tickle, while they tickle.