AMN Reviews: Giacomo Salis & Paolo Sanna – Humyth [Confront Collectors Series ccs 85]

The Sardinians Giacomo Salis and Paolo Sanna are only two, but together they constitute a sonically rich, if small, percussion ensemble—one not at all limited to striking membranes with sticks.

For Salis and Sanna, much of the surrounding world—with its objects and actions, its spaces and latent sounds—is reflected in the world of percussion. They describe their work as research into the interlocking worlds of gesture, movement and listening, which they interpret through the use of natural materials as well as conventional percussion instruments. As this release shows, Salis and Sanna situate their work within a continuum with silence and noise at either end, and gradations of musical sounds in between. Their sound has its foundation in the modern classical tradition, with its emphasis on timbre and extended technique; thus the five untitled tracks set out a record of the broad universe of things that can be done with drumheads, semi-tuned metal and other materials: striking, rubbing, scraping, shaking, and more. Sometimes Salis and Sanna beat out regular rhythms on the things available at hand, and other times they suspend pulse in order to use drums as natural amplifiers for the objects that bounce, rub and skitter over them.

Daniel Barbiero