HOWARD STELZER/GIUSEPPE IELASI - BROMBRON
08: NIGHT LIFE
Korm Plastics is proud to present the eigth release in the Brombron series. Originally a co-production between Staalplaat and Extrapool, it is now hosted by co-curator Frans de Waard. In the year 2000 Frans de Waard and Extrapool started the Brombron project. Two or more musicians become artists in residence in Extrapool, an arts initiative in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with a fully equipped sound recording studio. These artists can work in a certain amount of time on a collaborative project; a project they always wished to do, but didn't have the time or the equipment to realize.
Giuseppe came to the US to promote his "Right After" album with Domenico Sciajno, and we got along immediately. We're about the same age, have a similar temperament, play a similar sort of music, are from a similar kind of background, are excited about records, we love to eat, we're both kinda nerdy... yeah, Giuseppe is my kind of guy! We had spoken about collaborating at a few points over the years, but somehow it just never happened, probably because we're so busy with our various projects and labels. So when I was offered a Brombron residency, I thought it would a perfect opportunity to spend some time hanging out and playing music with Giuseppe.
The method we chose was to first proceed to the closest coffee shop for a breakfast of cheese and meat sandwiches (me) and cookies (Giuseppe), then we'd record improvisations for a few hours until lunchtime. I primarily used cassette tapes and Giuseppe used a guitar, but we also both played synths and electronic doodads and microphones, and I made some tape recordings around the city that I brought back in to our improvisations. Our minds were open, and we experimented without deciding in advance what sort of album we might be making. We'd then take a long walk, go to the Nijmegen record shops (where Plurex records are still cheap!), have some lunch, maybe also a snack, and then start to edit out the good bits from the morning. We'd also add some effects and change some parts, use the recordings as source material in a small way. Then we'd return to the record shops to buy the records we hesitated on in the afternoon, have some dinner and relax. The next day, we'd wake up, have coffee, and do it again. Our pace of working and comfort matched quite well. For the final few days of the residency, we started to piece together our bits until they worked as compositions. Then we edited some more until the album emerged.
About the title.... we gave a duo concert at Extrapool as part of the requirements of our residency. There was an art opening happening at the same time, so the gallery was packed with people. It was a lot of fun, but it also made us both feel a bit strange; we're somewhat awkward in social situations, and didn't know anyone at the Extrapool party except for Frans and Roel Meelkop, who drove out from Rotterdam. After our set, we split to go get more fried Dutch snacks. Along the walk, we talked about how we used to go out to parties more often when we were younger, but now we aren't even so old and we generally enjoy staying at home where it's quiet, listening to records and reading. Giuseppe was reminded on the song by Arthur Russell, "Losing My Taste for the Nightlife". Maybe we are. Or, maybe that's just how we felt on that evening. It doesn't matter, really, I suppose."
- Howard Stelzer. Cambridge, MA (USA)