Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stefano Pilia 13 questions

Stefano Pilia was born in Genoa in 1978… Now he lives in Bologna where he graduated at the music conservatory G.B. Martini…

Photo: Manuel Cristiano Rastaldi

His work has become progressevly concerned with the research of the sculputural dimensions of sound and it’s relations with space, memory and time suspension both through instrumental executional-experimental practices (mainly on guitar and dbass) and investigations into the recording and production process…


He's one of the founder members of 3/4HadBeenEliminated, a synthethis between improvisation, electro-acoustic composition and avant-rock sensibilties. Stefano mostly works and play solo, with Massimo Volume since 2008, with In Zaire since 2010 , with the BGP trio (project with David Grubbs and Andrea Belfi), with il Sogno del Marinaio (project with Mike Watt and Andrea Belfi), and he is guitar player for Rokia Traorè since 2012.

 David Grubbs with Andrea Belfi & Stefano Pilia at Café Oto Photo: Fabio Lugaro

Stefano frequently collaborate on the sound-tracking (both live and on CD/video) for the productions of theater, movies, reading, dance and video art (Gianluigi Toccafondo, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Zimmerfrei, Nico Vascellari, Homemovies, Wuming2, Le Luci della Centrale Elettrica, Emidio Clementi, Alessandro Berti, Cosmesi, Balletto Civile.)

 Photo: Zero

He had the pleasure to collaborate with artists and musicians such as, David Tibet and ZU, Rokia Traorè and John Parish, Phill Niblock, Marina Rosenfeld, Valerio Tricoli and Claudio Rocchetti (3/4HBE), Giuseppe Ielasi, Renato Rinaldi, Z’ev, Andrew Hooker (Blind Jesus), Jonathan Clancy, Rodrigo D’erasmo, Xabier Iriondo and Chicco Bertacchini, Enrico Gabrielli, Black Forest Black Sea, Rhys Chatam, Fear Falls Burning, Manuel Mota, Margarida Garcia, David Maranha, Manuel Giannini, Riccardo Wanke, Barry Weissblat, Enrico Malatesta, Marco Tabellini, Ootchio, Dominique Vaccaro, Luciano Maggiore, Massimo Carozzi, Oliver Mann, Margareth Kammerer, Daniela Cattivelli, Saule,Yasuhiro Morinaga…Much Respect.

Photo: Jozik Records

He published solo and group recordings with labels in Italy and abroad (Hapna, Die Schachtel, Soleilmoon, Bluechopsticks, Clenchedwrench, Allquestions, Presto?!, 8mm, Sedimental, Time-lag, LVD, Fringes, Bowindo and others..) .

“Italian guitarist Stefano Pilia is a lyrical minimalist… His playing is poised, higly articulate and emotionally generous”. Jon Dale / THE WIRE

“achingly gorgeous experimental electric guitar pieces from this italian composer/performer… Healing Memories is one of the best solo guitar records i’ve heard this year, possibly the best…outstanding”. Keith Fullerton Whitman

What do you remember about your first instrument?

It was a child keyboard Christmas present. i did not like it very much and the only way i was really enjoying it was playing loud and with the sustainer mode on and basically all the keys togheter ..a big wall!
the first instrument i pick by myself was a bass guitar. i was twelve. a yamaha red, the action was so huge like you could have flown arrows 
but i liked it and i started to really get and like the sensation of the strings instruments in your hands.
and in my mind that was a really punk rock instrument, not the keyboard damn.i was young.
actually i choose that cause that was the music i felt in love with

Tell me one impossible project do you like to realize?

It is about a huge installation sounds project.
It is a one way direction percourse through rooms.
In every room is projected and amplified the sum of the sounds captured in all the previous rooms before.
Along the way the light is decreasing till the complete darkness.
From that point you will proceed through another series of rooms now from darkness till the light again a sound drone composition would accompany this part from zero till a consistant volume it would need a big castle or some catacombs tunnel to make it efficient

Which is the main pleasure of the guitar?

That you can play her

Which work of your own are you most proud of, and why?

Ah difficult 

I am proud of most of everything i made or been part of but really never totally satisfied with.
More or less there i always feel a sense of incomplete somehow.
I would choose some of the 3/4HadBeenEliminated records cause there are a lot of perceptive informations and musical elements that i like to get when i listen to music
I would say the first part of OBLIVION or the first part of THEOLOGY.
We spent a lot of time working on these

Where are your roots? What are your influences?

Generally i feel all musics that have punk, rock and an avant garde and expérimental attitude are between my roots
i get a huge influence also through Cinema, Literature, Religions and Philosophy. Science also.
Speaking of music and artists i really like and not necessarly a direct influence, i would mention some of them:

Franco Battiato, Hendrix, T Rex, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, This Heat , Captain Beefheart, SLy Stone, Dirty Three , Blind Willy Johnson, Washington Phillips, John Fahey, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Moondog, Minutmen, The Gun Club, Daniel Johnston, a lot of Minimalism, Concrete and Electronic Music, a lot of African Music as well (Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, and Malawi mostly ) Loren Connors, Keiji Haino, Gastr Del Sol, US maple, Starfuckers, Baby Dee, Current 93, William Basinsky. I listen also a lot to Western Classical Music as well- Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Mahler more than any others but also Baroch and madrigals and contemporary academic classic like Lygeti, Messiaen, Satie, Webern, Berio, Egisto Macchi, Luciano Cilio - Actually i got a degree in classical doublebass even if i mostly play guitar nowadays

How do you experience time? How do you experiment with time?

Interesting question..
waiting to die and living maybe:)
is that what the question was about?

Music for the project light//water//city by Nino Comba. 
Written and played by Nino Comba, Gino Dal Soler and Stefano Pilia. October 2009

Depict the sound you're still looking for, or the sound you'd like to hear.

A sound which is at the same time concrete and ethereal
physical and metaphysical
 "a door of perception"

How would you define the present time in musical terms?

There is a lot of revival of the past because of the actual difficulty-if not impossibility- to imagine and create the future.
i want to make clear this is not a value judgement and is not negative, but only a description of a main large tendency.
Of course there are a lot of people-musicians-composers who does not that or feel this way
But music is not only about the people or the individuals who produce it, it is also about the audience and the fruition.
The way music become relevant somewhere, sometimes, is always a resultant of who makes it, of who listen to and when and how and why.
Western World is living a deep crisis that before being economical is deeply philosophical
there is a big changing going on and i think the music world reflects this difficulty of imaging the future
looking more at the past in this present time.

Why and how do you use extended techniques in guitar?

Because when i get through that line i get the perception that an esoteric real world wait to be discovered
and i really like that sensation
i experiment a lot with my bow on the guitar expecially around harmonics
and with the electric part of the guitar as well
-of the electric guitar i love as a principle the fact that electromagnetic world and forces are involved and revealed-

A valuable advice that someone has gifted to you in the past?

That is advisable and more easy to dress slippers rather than cover the world with carpets

What's your fetish device in the sound chain?

The volume pedal

What artist, living or dead, would you like to have collaborated with?

This answer could be with no end so i just choose three dead and three alive
Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare and Blind Willy Johnson.
Terence Malick, David Lynch and Loren Connors

What’s your latest project about?

I am mixing il Sogno del Marinaio -is a trio with Andrea Belfi on drums and Mike Watt on bass- and a new solo both on acustic and electric guitar

ParisLondonWestNile: Marina Rosenfeld, Stefano Pilia, Andrea Belfi 3.18.09


Stefano Pilia / Stands Behind The Men Behind The Wire (lp split with Paolo Spaccamonti / EFT, Brigadisco 2013)
Stefano Pilia  / Strings (cd / musica moderna 2012)
Stefano Pilia / Last Days vol I, II, III (lp 8mm 2008, 7″ presto?! 2009, cas. Tulip 2009, lp 8mm 2010)-
Stefano Pilia / Action Silence Prayers (cd Die-Schachtel 2008)
Stefano Pilia / The Suncrows Fall And Tree (cd Sedimental 2006)
Stefano Pilia /Healing Memories And Other Scattering Times (cd TheLastVisibleDog 2003/2005)
Stefano Pilia / The I Season (cdr Time-Lag 2004 )


3/4HadBeenEliminated/ Oblivion (cd 2010 Die-Schachtel)
3/4HadBeenEliminated/ Teology, The Religious Experience (cd,lp Soleilmoon 2007)
3/4HadBeenEliminated/A Year Of The Aural Gauge Operation (cd 2005 Hapna)
3/4HadBeenEliminated/s/t (cd 2004 Bowindo)


Massimo Volume / Aspettando i Barbari (cd,lp / La Tempesta, Tannen 2013)
Massimo Volume / Cattive Abitudini (cd,lp/La Tempesta 2010)
Massimo Volume / Nov 2008 (cd,lp mescal/unhip 2009)
Il Sogno Del Marinaio / La Busta Gialla (cd, Clenckwrenched 2013)
In Zaire / White Sun Black Sun (lp Tannen records / Offset records 2013)
In Zaire / s.t. (12″ one side / Holidays records 2012)


Belfi, Grubbs, Pilia / Onrushing Cloud (lp 2010 Blue Chopsticks)
Blind Jesus (S. PIlia / A. Hooker) / s/t (Allquestions/Von archives cd,lp 2009)
Glow Kids / Our trip to metropolis (cd-r 2006 Punk not Diet)
Medves (Belfi, Ielasi, Pilia, Rinaldi, Wanke)/ s/t (lp 2004 fringes)
Settlefish / Dance A While Upset (cd 2003 DeepElm )
Settlefish – Desert city soundtrack / split (cd 2004 DeepElm)



David Grubbs  / Place Where The Palace Stoods ( cd,lp / Dragcity 2013)
Rokia Traorè / Beautifull Africa (cd,lp / Nonesuch 2013)
Le Luci Della Centrale Elettrica / Per Ora Noi La Chiameremo Felicità (cd,lp / La Tempesta 2010)
Franklin Delano / Like A Smoking Gun In Front Of Me (cd 2005 Madcap-File 13)
I Giardini Di Mirò / Good Luck (cd,lp / Santeria 2012)
Claudio Rocchetti / The Carpenter (cd, lp/ Presto?!, Boring Machine 2010)
David Maranha / Antarctica (lp 2010 Roaratorio)

Oreledigneur / (Giuseppe Ielasi, Renato Rinaldi)/ s/t (cd 2004 Bowindo)
Black Forest Black Sea/ Radiant Simmetry (cd 2004 TheLastVisibleDog)
Black Forest Black Sea – Cristina Carter / s/t (cd 2004 Time-Lag)
Black Forest Black Sea,/ s/t (cd-lp 2006 )
Fear Falls Burning/ Once we all walk trough solid objects (5lp 2007 Tonefloat)
Andrea Belfi,Stefano Pilia/ Invisible Pyramid Elegy Box (6cd 2005 The LastVisibleDog)
Andrea Belfi / Wege (room40 2012)
Andrea Belfi / Between Neck And Stomach (cd Hapna 2006)

David Grubbs - Andrea Belfi - Stefano Pilia, live in Paris June 9, 2013, at Espace B