Spectral arrows Venice final for site color

Marco Fusinato ‘SPECTRAL ARROWS: Venice’ (above: back/front cover)
Bocian Records, bcMAF2, LP, 2017

 

Spectral Arrows is an ongoing series of long-duration performances for guitar and electronics. In Spectral Arrows, Fusinato arrives at the venue when it opens for business, sets up his equipment facing a wall and proceeds to play for the whole day until the end of business hours. Fusinato presents himself here in the guise of a worker, clocking on and unceremoniously clocking off at the end of the working day, refusing to allow the behind-the-scenes mystery of rehearsals and preparations to lend an aura to the performance, and affirming the deskilled ethos of his work. For the audience, the length of the performance frustrates the expectation of a manageable form, forcing all but the hardiest audience members to content themselves with only a fragment of the whole. Even for those who stick it out, the extended duration, like in the late works of Morton Feldman, destroys the listener’s ability to retain and assess the structure of the performance. Breaking with both the traditional form of the musical performance and, through Fusinato’s resolutely anti-social position facing away from the audience, the standard affective relationship between audience and performer, the sound of Spectral Arrows becomes a monumental aural sculpture, filling the space, not with steel or concrete, but with vibrations travelling through air.

 

Spectral Arrows: Venice was recorded during Fusinato’s participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale. Where Spectral Arrows: Rotterdam (De Player, 2013) and Spectral Arrows: Sydney (Planam, 2014) presented heavily edited highlight reels, here we get five longer excerpts from the 8-hour performance. The longer sections accentuate the sculptural aspect of the work, as extended passages of nearly static sound-mass direct the listener’s attention to micro-details of textural variation. This sense of monumentality is intensified by the rich acoustics of the theatre in which the performance was recorded (Teatro Piccolo), a converted 15 th century tannery in Venice’s historic Arsenale industrial complex.
Previous performances sometimes pushed the use of electronics to the point where the guitar was annihilated. Fusinato here scales back his set-up, emphasizing the guitar as sound-source. Even in the thickest passages (which recall the density of early 90s Merzbow), the sound of fingers sliding up and down the fret-board is made evident, and at times the waves of noise part to reveal a substructure of primitivist post-Bailey skronk. Spectral Arrows: Venice is a raw and invigorating mess/mass of searing feedback, mauled strings, and stuttering repetitions.

Available from https://bocian.bandcamp.com/album/spectral-arrows-venice

 

singapore

Marco Fusinato ‘SPECTRAL ARROWS: Singapore’ (above: back/front cover)
Ujikaji Records, UJI-004, LP, 2017

 

Spectral Arrows is an ongoing series of long-duration performances for guitar and electronics. In Spectral Arrows, Fusinato arrives at the venue when it opens for business, sets up his equipment facing a wall and proceeds to play for the whole day until the end of business hours. Fusinato presents himself here in the guise of a worker, clocking on and unceremoniously clocking off at the end of the working day, refusing to allow the behind-the-scenes mystery of rehearsals and preparations to lend an aura to the performance, and affirming the deskilled ethos of his work. For the audience, the length of the performance frustrates the expectation of a manageable form, forcing all but the hardiest audience members to content themselves with only a fragment of the whole. Even for those who stick it out, the extended duration, like in the late works of Morton Feldman, destroys the listener’s ability to retain and assess the structure of the performance. Breaking with both the traditional form of the musical performance and, through Fusinato’s resolutely anti-social position facing away from the audience, the standard affective relationship between audience and performer, the sound of Spectral Arrows becomes a monumental aural sculpture, filling the space, not with steel or concrete, but with vibrations travelling through air.

 

In Singapore, the year 2015 will for evermore be remembered as “SG50” – the state-led yearlong celebrations of Singapore’s 50th year of independence, marked by scores of heritage projects, commemorative merchandise (SG50 fish cakes, anyone?), festivals and more. 2015 was also a big year for Marco Fusinato. The sound and visual artist was selected to exhibit at the prestigious Venice Biennale’s headline international art exhibition, All the World’s Futures. Right smack in the middle of his Venice stint, Fusinato’s path intersected with that of Singapore’s, as the Australian artist installed his first major solo exhibition, Constellations, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICAS). This also brought Fusinato’s by-now legendary Spectral Arrows series of performances to the city-state, which saw the artist in an improvised durational performance using guitar and electronics. This LP-length documentation captures the immense energy and emotions of the 8-hour performance, marked by passages of eviscerating
noise, abrupt shifts of tact, and tension-filled silence. Recorded live at the ICAS in the same month of Singapore’s national day and the culmination of SG50 festivities, Fusinato’s performance mirrored, and yet shattered, the relentless noise of the city-state’s yearlong golden jubilee celebrations. Locked grooves on both sides of this vinyl release mean that the audio can repeat ad infinitum.

Available from https://ujikaji.bandcamp.com/album/spectral-arrows-singapore

 

SPECTRALARROWSSYDNEYLPCOVER

Marco Fusinato ‘SPECTRAL ARROWS: Sydney’ (above: back/front cover)
Planam, P031, LP, 2014

 

Spectral Arrows is an ongoing series of long-duration performances for guitar and electronics. In Spectral Arrows, Fusinato arrives at the venue when it opens for business, sets up his equipment facing a wall and proceeds to play for the whole day until the end of business hours. Fusinato presents himself here in the guise of a worker, clocking on and unceremoniously clocking off at the end of the working day, refusing to allow the behind-the-scenes mystery of rehearsals and preparations to lend an aura to the performance, and affirming the deskilled ethos of his work. For the audience, the length of the performance frustrates the expectation of a manageable form, forcing all but the hardiest audience members to content themselves with only a fragment of the whole. Even for those who stick it out, the extended duration, like in the late works of Morton Feldman, destroys the listener’s ability to retain and assess the structure of the performance. Breaking with both the traditional form of the musical performance and, through Fusinato’s resolutely anti-social position facing away from the audience, the standard affective relationship between audience and performer, the sound of Spectral Arrows becomes a monumental aural sculpture, filling the space, not with steel or concrete, but with vibrations travelling through air.

 

Spectral Arrows: Sydney was recorded at Artspace Sydney in 2012 during The Color of the Sky Has Melted, a survey exhibition of Fusinato’s recent projects. Fusinato performed facing a large, purpose-built wall that bisected the exhibition space and displayed his Double Infinitives series (large-scale works that appropriate from the print media the archetypal image of the riot: the masked protagonist who brandishes a rock against a backdrop of fire). Fusinato’s sculpture Aetheric Plexus, which unleashes 13,00 watts of white light and a 105db blast of white noise when triggered by the audience, was active in the space during the performance and provides an aleatoric counterpoint throughout the recording. The crushing volume and harshness of the performance is intensified throughout by the reverberant gallery space, which creates a swirling, almost psychedelic effect as Fusinato’s sounds bounce from wall to wall. Spectral Arrows: Sydney condenses a six-hour performance into under forty minutes. Compared to the rapid-fire cut-ups of Spectral Arrows: Rotterdam (De Player, 2013), the pacing here is more measured. Disorientating explorations of asynchronous stereo fields fade into periods of minimal drone, broken by the distant eruption of Aetheric Plexus; bottom- heavy oscillations give way to pointillist chatter; continuous streams of hum and crackle grow steadily until they form monumental aural sculptures.

Available from all good record stores

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spectral-arrows-rotterdam-v3

Marco Fusinato ‘SPECTRAL ARROWS: Rotterdam’ (above: back/front cover)
DE PLAYER 2013 / DOB 065 LP – Live recording. Programmed and produced by DE PLAYER 18 May 2013 at
Groothandelsgebouw, Rotterdam, The Netherlands – recorded by Gerben Kokmeijer – supported by Mondriaan Fund & WORM

 

Spectral Arrows is an ongoing series of long-duration performances for guitar and electronics. In Spectral Arrows, Fusinato arrives at the venue when it opens for business, sets up his equipment facing a wall and proceeds to play for the whole day until the end of business hours. Fusinato presents himself here in the guise of a worker, clocking on and unceremoniously clocking off at the end of the working day, refusing to allow the behind-the-scenes mystery of rehearsals and preparations to lend an aura to the performance, and affirming the deskilled ethos of his work. For the audience, the length of the performance frustrates the expectation of a manageable form, forcing all but the hardiest audience members to content themselves with only a fragment of the whole. Even for those who stick it out, the extended duration, like in the late works of Morton Feldman, destroys the listener’s ability to retain and assess the structure of the performance. Breaking with both the traditional form of the musical performance and, through Fusinato’s resolutely anti-social position facing away from the audience, the standard affective relationship between audience and performer, the sound of Spectral Arrows becomes a monumental aural sculpture, filling the space, not with steel or concrete, but with vibrations travelling through air.

 

SPECTRAL ARROWS: Rotterdam presents a rapidly edited sequence of events from a performance in May 2013: stuttering live concret, wailing feedback, Xenakis-esque swarms of descending glissandi, abusive guitar wrangling, walls of harsh static.

Available from http://deplayer.nl/ and all good record stores

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tema

Marco Fusinato ‘L’Origine/TEMA’ (above: back/front cover)
Bocian Records, bcMAF, LP, 2013

 

Drawing inspiration from the “Action Direct” expanded guitar performances of Masayuki Takayanagi, Fusinato places the guitar at the centre of his work. A few crudely played strings provide the impetus for a long chain of electronics which obliterate the original signal and leaves us with a hyper-kinetic wall of full frequency spectrum noise. Like the piano in David Tudor early 1960’s performances of Cage’s Variations II, in Fusinato’s work, the guitar is the object of a dialectic of simultaneous adulation and annihilation.

 

This LP presents 5 pieces demonstrating various possibilities of Fusinato’s current interface between the guitar and electronics, from rapid-fire cut-ups that mimic the dynamics of classic musique concrète, to slowly building mass projections, in which layers of sound gradually rise to the surface, tussling for space at the top until they reach a near unbearable density. Presented mostly in crisp and detailed fidelity, one piece exploits the recording potential of the iPhone to achieve a harsh room-tone reminiscent of the works of Fusinato’s comrade Bruce Russell. L’Origine/TEMA is Fusinato’s most advanced work to date, moving beyond the startling juxtapositions of sound and silence found on his Spring Press LP to reach new dynamic complexities, new ambiguities between indeterminacy and intention, new relations between instrumental performance and its effacement.

 

Continuing the design scheme of his previous LPs, which commandeer art historical images as cover art and mass print media grabs on the reverse, the cover artwork for L’Origine/TEMA is composed of Gustave Courbet’s infamous 1866 painting L’Origine du monde.

 

(–) Francis Plagne

Available from http://bocianrecords.com/releases.html and all good record stores

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07

Marco Fusinato ‘Ambianxe’ LP (above: back/front cover)
The Spring Press, Sydney/NYC The Spring Press #9
2010

 

“Live recordings of incendiary guitar crash. Two sets over two nights at SuperDeluxe Tokyo, 2010. Limited edition of 250 copies on 180 gram virgin black vinyl”.

 

Available from http://www.thespringpress.com/ and all good record stores

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08

Marco Fusinato ‘Ripping Skies’ LP (above: back/front cover)
No Fun Productions USA NFP#42
2009

 

“From the bowels of the southern hemisphere, guitar/electronics noise signor Marco Fusinato gives us the full F/A-18 squadron attack. One side, an inferno of mangled guitar spit, relentlessly speeding and colliding with all in its path. The flipside features a giant monochord stuck in the overload. Cover artwork by Australian colonial convict/forgerer/artist Joseph Lycett- everything’s wrong. Limited Edition”.

 

Available from http://www.nofunproductions.com and all good record stores.

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