Dystopic Island is an exploration of the concept of imperfection in a self-sufficient system (Dystopic: Dys=gr. ‘bad’, Topos=gr. ‘place’) and is entirely focused on original music for tenor sax and stompboxes: the sound of the acoustic instrument is treated in real time through the use of low-fi effects pedals (stompboxes) operated by the musician himself, avoiding the use of heterodox or synthesis materials.
The electronic in this case is seen in a more “organic way” and is used as an integrated part of the instrument extending, reverberating and multiplying his particular techniques; in this way the saxophone and the stompboxes chain create an unity, an organic micro-universe, self-sufficient and complex, with huge potentialities but also with astringent limits mostly because of the imperfection of the analog and low-fi pedals.
The composers are called upon to deal with the low-fi and analog conception gaining in confidence with the electronic medium. The performer is called to operate in real time all the electronic effects gaining a deep knowledge of each machine and learning how to dialogue with them during the performance generating a real “interplay” with the electronics.
Dystopic Island takes a clear position towards the evolution of electronic music, moving away from the purity of the digital sound and retrieving the warmth and depth of the analog and low definition sounds. Andrea Agostini, Marco Momi, Michele Sanna and Stevano Trevisi four Italian composers of the new generation, have taken up the challenge of composing new music with a deliberately limited material that forces them to an “ecologic” approach: save the most of the musical gestures and electronic processes. As well as new works, Dystopic Island presents severals historical pieces of different composers/pioneers who, in the ’60 and ’70 tried a similar approach. After serious research on old recordings, documents and scores, in the project there have been included works by Frank Zappa, Terry Riley, James Tenney and Steve Reich.