Die Schachtel

DI SCIPIO/JOHN CAGE, AGOSTINO - Musical Sculptures and Other Devices

A sonic journey into John Cage and surroundings by renowned Italian composer Agostino di Scipio and his talented students. On December 9th, 2012, upon invitation from the Associazione Scarlatti, Agostino di Scipio and his students at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory gave a performance of a very rare piece -- John Cages Sculptures Musicales. The performance was planned out by Dario Sanfilippo, based on the few annotations left by Cage (which in turn followed an idea Cage took from Marcel Duchamp): the "musical sculptures" are sound blocks shaped by either electronic or acoustic instruments, sound blocks that should stay flat and stable in longer or shorter spans of time -- "constant sounds in a single envelope" -- as Cage wrote. The idea for this particular performance was to build prolonged sound textures separated by silent pauses, of duration roughly proportional to the loudness of the textures. The means to achieve that, however, were rather unstable and precarious in their sonic behavior: they included a self-built analog synth (Stefano Silvestri), a set of recycled mechanical objects and electronic circuits making up a kind of hybrid feedback network (Salvatore Carannante), an intricate computer patch of largely unpredictable -- but not random -- behavior (Dario Sanfilippo) and a "prepared cello" (Chiara Mallozzi). The sounds made with these means, as the piece was performed, are connoted by a tension due to the continuing attempt of the four performers to keep the sound level constant: not an easy task, given the idiosyncrasiescratic sound generation technologies involved, all of which remain critically sensitive to slight internal imperfections (e.g. Stefanos synth) or to the events in the surrounding environment (e.g. Salvatores recycled feedback devices), and given that the four performers were sitting far from one another, at the four angles of a large cave (at the St. Elmo castle, in Naples). What is peculiar, upon listening, is this uncertain stasis, this insecure and dynamic balance among components, a local instability contrasting with the larger framework consisting of few monolithic elements. Its always the case, with Cages work, that what seems to suggest a rather contemplative and ecstatic perspective, in actuality requires an incessant struggle, a demanding commitment and an enduring care for actions pursued in the moment. Also features other compositions from Stefano Silvestri and Salvatore Carannante, as well as a piece from Dario Sanfilippo.

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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