“Syzygy as musical score and as retinal work implies alignment but alignment does not imply rigidity of relationship just as conjunction does not equal synchronization nor even simultaneity. The images in Syzygy were all generated from one page of musical notation and are inextricably linked... Using a suite of processing strategies, the resultant images remain in a dynamic but oblique relationship with each other, always connected as they metamorphosize. They may be opposites, resonant bodies, or extrapolations. Syzygy defines the temporal alignment of celestial bodies within a gravitational system at one cosmic moment, but the correlation between these elements likewise holds as they follow their individual trajectories. Different scales yield differing degrees of correspondence. The straight line from a distance reveals the jagged and reticulated in magnification. Syzygy has roots in the Greek word zygon, meaning "yoke" and the derivative syzygos means "yoked together". One finds this same root in zygote, the union of two gametes. The union forms the junction, the union in time, the conjunction. The time may be aligned or displaced but the linkage remains to evolve Regarding generation, Syzygy continues with techniques developed during the creation of the graphic score Foliage, a work that was the result of translating the use of audio processing using modulation, feedback, filtering, and layering to analogous visual approaches using the graphic editing software Photoshop and Gimp operating directly on the musical notation. The output was both a direct manifestation of internal sound projection into the visual realm and visual work that reflected the rhythmic and melodic contours and varying densities of the music in a synesthetic feedback loop. To date, Syzygy exists in two radically different formats, created simultaneously. For a show at arToxin Gallery in Munich, the twelve pages of were printed on clear acetate and four groups of three were sandwiched together using magnetic spacers allowing illumination in the space to emphasize the temporal transformation within the unity. For the show at Erratum, the three pages in each group were displayed in linear form, end-to-end, displaced in time and space.” Elliott Sharp (NYC 2018)
• Track List
Disc 1 - Studio
1 - Syzygy Studio 1
2 - Syzygy Studio 2
3 - Syzygy Studio 3
4 - Syzygy Studio 4
Disc 2 - Live
1 - Syzygy Live 1
2 - Syzygy Live 2
3 - Syzygy Live 3
4 - Syzygy Live 4
All compositions by Elliott Sharp
Elliott Sharp - guitar, computer devices
Steve Piccolo - voice, el.bass, object(s)
Giancarlo Schiaffini - trombone
Walter Prati - el.cello
Francesca Gemmo - piano
Gak Sato - theremin
Sergio Armaroli - vibraphone
• Recording Data
Total time 52:11+52:05 STEREO DDD
(p) 2019 DODICILUNE (Italy)
(c) 2019 DODICILUNE (Italy)
CD DODICILUNE DISCHI Ed418
Produced by Sergio Armaroli, Elliott Sharp and Dodicilune edizioni, Italy
Label manager Maurizio Bizzochetti (www.dodicilune.it)
Studio recordings on 20th October 2018 by Piergiorgio Miotto
at Studio “Il Pollaio”, Ronco Biellese (Bi), Italy
Live recordings on 21st October 2018 at Teatro Tertulliano, Milan, Italy
Mixed November/December 2018 at Sharp Studio, New York, USA
Mastered January 2019 at Sharp Studio, New York, USA
Sound engineer Elliott Sharp
Photos by Luisa Mizzoni
Contact: www.elliottsharp.com; www.erratum.it; www.cittasonora.org
Si ringrazia l'Associazione Città Sonora, in particolare Claudio Chianura, Francesca Gemmo e Steve Piccolo, senza il cui contributo questo progetto non sarebbe nato.
Thanks to Città Sonora Association, especially to Claudio Chianura, Francesca Gemmo and Steve Piccolo, without whose contribution this project would not have been born.
Photo by ©Luisa Mizzoni
Photo by ©Luisa Mizzoni
Syzygy is the new album by Elliott Sharp - American multi-instrumentalist, composer and performer. Central figure of the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York for over 30 years, he has published more than eighty-five record projects ranging from orchestral music to blues, from jazz to noise, from no wave to techno.
The work was produced by the record label of Salento Dodicilune. The disc is divided into two sections: the first consisting of tracks recorded in the studio and the second part live (the first recorded in the studio "Il Pollaio" by Ronco Biellese and the second in a live at the Teatro Tertulliano in Milan). All compositions are by Sharp and have the same title as the album followed by a number in chronological order.
This disc perpetuates the author's experimental tradition. You will listen to so many strange and bizarre things that, perhaps, one day you will be able to hear in something, and in a different way, more accessible to ordinary mortals.
In questo doppio cd la stessa composizione, divisa in quattro parti, viene eseguita prima in studio poi dal vivo (a Milano). Il chitarrista newyorkese s'avvale di una squadra tutta italiana (label e musicisti) nel predisporre un'opera complessa, basata sulla rotazione dei pianeti, sulle scale musicali dell'antica Grecia, su una dinamica relazionale in grado di mixare tecnologie, improvvisazioni, scritture, nel solco della miglior ricerca postdodecafonica.
Guido Michelone, Alias | il manifesto
Immaculately recorded by Italian label Dodicilune, Elliott Sharp's Syzygy
continues Sharp's explorations of spontaneous and improvisatory sound. He
and his collaborators offer up studio versions of Syzygy on the first disc and live versions of the material on disc two. As much modern classical as abstract jazz, it is the musical textures and abstractions
that give the album its dream-like eeriness.
The instrumentation offers a twist as well—eschewing drums, Sharp
populates his music with computer devices, "objects," and the theremin,
an instrument comprised of two metal antennas that allows the
musician, in this case Gak Sato, to control the frequency and the
volume of the sounds emitted. The result is a music that is a bit Outer
Limits—as though one were listening in the vacuum of space.
According to Sharp, "Syzygy defines the temporal alignment of celestial
bodies within a gravitational system at one cosmic moment...." Within
this "gravitational system" the musicians contribute harmonic and
rhythmic impulses that keeps the music shifting (and at times revolving
and rolling), not unlike passing through chambers of doors that open
and close again and again. Listening to Giancarlo Schiaffini slide about
on the trombone (sounding at time like a French horn as much as a
trombone), while Walter Prati strokes and bows the cello and Sergio
Armaroli adds plinks and splashes on the vibraphone, opens the
imagination. And Francesca Gemmo's effort, whether it is repetitive
bass notes, dark piano string thumping or eerie dissonance, gives the
album a weightlessness that help sustain the atmospherics. Sharp stays
in the mix, though his guitar, like Piccolo's bass and vocals, is more
often used for effect than any straightforward playing. But that's fine—
after all, the abstract interplay of these musicians is "in the 'cosmic'
Like Dada, the music of Syzygy seems radical. Is Sharp questioning the
nature of music, its syntax, and vocabulary? Possibly. Or is it an attempt
at expressing physical notions of reality in music? Like other works of
art, the resolution to these questions lies with the listener.
By DON PHIPPS