13 dicembre 2013

Quando l'anno scorso si incontrarono in uno studio dell' Ontario (Stati Uniti) Robert Wheeler e Allen Ravenstine - appassionati ed esperti di sintetizzatori analogici, accomunati dall'aver fatto parte entrambi, pur in epoche diverse, del gruppo Pere Ubu - non era in programma una seduta di registrazione, ma una breve intervista per un documentario sulla musica elettronica. Invece è proprio quanto accadde: due giorni di sorprendenti sessioni musicali, documentate in due distinti cd, City Desk e Farm Report, disponibili singolarmente o in coppia: http://ubuprojex.net/wheelrave.html

In the spring of 2012, Allen Ravenstine and Robert Wheeler travelled to historic Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Ontario, to appear in I Dream of Wires, a film documentary about the role of modular synthesizers in electronic music. Canadian Filmmaker Robert Fantinatto dedicated 20 minutes to an interview with the two pioneers of industrial electronics, and their choice of the unique EML Electrocomp synthesizer as a performance instrument in Pere Ubu.
Allen Ravenstine was a composer, patron and pioneer of the burgeoning Cleveland arts scene in the early 1970's. As synthesist with Pere Ubu, playing the EML-200 and later the EML-101, he earned international acclaim for his inspired use of industrial sound before retiring from popular music in the late 1980's. His approach to live performance - rejecting the traditional tonal keyboard for an intuitive wash of modulated noise - has been much imitated but rarely equaled.
Robert Wheeler (of Home & Garden) joined Pere Ubu in 1994, playing the EML-101 and a handmade Theremin. He is a relative of Thomas Edison - a birthright that led him to take a leading role in the Edison Birthplace Museum in Milan, Ohio. In January 2010, he accepted a Grammy Award on Edison's behalf.
Ravenstine had left synthesis behind him years before but, with characteristic good humor, he agreed to patch and perform on the EML-200 for the documentary. With Wheeler joining in on his signature EML-101, two lengthy stretches of unplanned improvisation followed. The filming schedule was thrown out the window and the studio stayed open until Ravenstine was forced to catch his flight back to New York City.
Perhaps because the two had never played together before, the recordings that followed have a magical quality; a voyage of mutual discovery in a genre that they had pioneered a decade apart. "This project is the work of two friends with mutual respect and a profound shared intelligence," Wheeler said. "Electronic meditations, musique d'ameublement, imaginary landscapes; there are dozens of ways of describing the end result of this remarkable collaboration. The fact is that you have probably never heard anything quite like it."