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[DS42/1] Alter Ego + Matmos - A(Round) Giacinto Scelsi,LP [Die Schachtel]



From the press-release:

Diving into the archives of Alter Ego - the experimental ensemble of Manuel Zurria, Paolo Ravaglia, Aldo Campagnari, Francesco Dillon, Oscar Pizzo, Fulvia Ricevuto, and Eugenio Vatta - Die Schachtel is thrilled to present Pranam - A(Round) Giacinto Scelsi, a never before released body of recordings interpreting the works of the legendary Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, made with Matmos (Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel) in 2005.


Resting at the outer reaches of avant-garde chamber and electronic music - moving at a glacial pace of tightly wound energy - Pranam’s two sides radically rethink the terms electroacoustic music in ways that still feel radically ahead of their time, more than 15 years after they were first laid to tape.


A modular chamber ensemble with a pointedly anti-academic approach to music, over the course of its activities - running roughly between 1990 and 2010 - Alter Ego developed a devoted following among some of the most forward thinking voices in experimental music, all the while collaborating widely with artists spanning a vast range of practices and disciplines, including Robin Rimbaud, Philip Jeck, Pan Sonic, Matmos, Gavin Bryars, Andrew Hooker, William Basinski, David Moss, Alvin Curran, Terry Riley, and near countless number of others.

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Music by Giacinto Scelsi and Matmos Matmos: Drew Daniel, Martin C. Schmidt (elettronica)

Alter Ego: Manuel Zurria (flauto), Paolo Ravaglia (clarinetto), Aldo Campagnari (violino), Francesco Dillon (violoncello), Oscar Pizzo (pianoforte/keyboard), Fulvia Ricevuto (percussioni), Eugenio Vatta (regia del suono)

Giacinto Scelsi: estratti dal Quartetto per archi n.3* (1963), Ko-Lho (1966), Riti: I Funerali di Carlo Magno A.D.814 (1976), Aitsi* (1974)

*original transcriptions by Alter Ego

Live Recording: Festival Dissonanze & Festival RomaEuropa -Teatro Palladium,

Roma 20 Maggio 2005+ Festival Aterforum, Teatro Comunale Ferrara, 21 Maggio 2005

Alter Ego’s diverse activities can be understood as interventions with the disposition toward formality within contemporary chamber music, often pairing themselves with artists working well beyond their own context as a means to develop highly original interpretations of a specific composer’s work.


In 2005, this process led them to invite Matmos, the American duo of Drew Daniel, Martin Schmidt - acclaimed for a body of visionary albums at the vanguard of electronic process and sampling - to collaborate on a series of interpretations of works by the legendary Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi.


Realized in collaboration with The Fondazione Isabella Scelsi, which holds Giacinto Scelsi’s archives, and performed at the Festival Roma Europa and the Festival Aeterforum during May of 2005, the album’s four works - Estratti dal Quartetto per archi n.3 (1963), Ko-Lho (1966), Riti: I Funerali di Carlo Magno A.D. 814 (1976), Aitsi (1974) - shift the boundaries of 20th Century chamber music toward markedly new and contemporary terms, incorporating everything from the sounds of the Revox tape machine that Scelsi used to record his own improvisations and processed electronics, to the plastic trumpets used by fans during football matches.

From intertwining, shifting lone-tones that render startling resonances and dissonances, to passages guided by a vast pallet of electronics and flurries of acoustic sounds, joined as a single ensemble, across the two sides of Pranam, Alter Ego and Matmos infuse these four works by Scelsi with humor and playfulness, while retaining all the urgency and rigour with which they were initially composed.


Delicate and meditative, while tightly wound and brooding, Pranam brings the works of Giacinto Scelsi to life in ways that almost no group ever has. Riveting and immersive from start to finish, Die Schachtel is thrilled to present these never before heard recordings from the archives of Alter Ego.


Pranam is available on black vinyl, in a limited edition of 350 copies, as well as a bundle alongside Alter Ego & Pan Sonic’s Microwaves, LP.

Released on

November 12. 2021


Format: Vinyl & digital 

Label: Die Schachtel 

Distribution: Soundohm 

Selected press


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