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PHILLIP PIETRUSCHKA - ITINERANT LABOURS
cajid 006CD



A shambolic collection of traveller’s cheques, post-it notes and ticket stubs... Constitutes a disgruntled middle class thesis on the life and times of avant garde music and popular cinema. Features performances by David Brown, Anthea Caddy, Tim Catlin, Will Guthrie, Adam Yee and others. Click here to purchase with paypal. Scroll down for further information and reviews.

LISTEN
short excerpts:
valeria
i love co-eds
lacuna

Here is what Pietruschka has to say about Itinerant Labours:

The works presently on Itinerant Labours constitute my practical research into the tape based composition techniques of Pierre Henry and Luigi Nono, amongst others. Within each composition there is a complex tapestry of concrete, instrumental, and electronic sounds.

Specifically, each piece is a study or commentary on a particular film or films and the accompanying soundtrack. The films were chosen as provide a significant point of intersection between the cloistered world of avant garde and experimental music and the populist world of cinema. Acting as an introduction of such music for many people - the frequently horrific or phantasmagoric nature of the movies inevitably framing peoples’ experience of similar music there after. The pieces may be understood as both homage and as hypothetical 'what-ifs' to the solutions and syntheses created in these movies.

Valeria has been previously presented at the Sydney Opera House Gallery as part of the D'Art 04 festival.

I Love Coeds was used as the soundtrack to the video Vengence is Mine, directed by Cassandra Tytler. This video was first presented at Gerturde St Contemporary Art Spaces as part of the Cult Classics show during the 2004 Next Wave Festival.

Hidden Lattitudes of Truth and Non-truth was composed for the Descore project, and accompanies a video by Geoff Robinson. It was first presented in 2004 at the ACMI Cinemas as part of the Descore program.

The Evidence of Love was composed for a installation by Cassandra Tytler. The installation was first presented in 2004 at Westspace Art Gallery. The soundtrack has also appeared on the Decomposition CD published by Sound Punch, and a Retrospective CD published by Liquid Architecture to accompany an issue of The Wire magazine.

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REVIEWS

Touching Extremes - Massimo Ricci
Paris Transatlantic - Lawrence English
Vital Weekly - Frans De Waard

Touching Extremes
Massimo Ricci - June 2007

Despite his surname, Pietruschka hails from Melbourne, Australia where he's active both as a composer and improviser. His studio work is reportedly influenced by the likes of Pierre Henry, Luigi Nono and Ennio Morricone, yet there are moments in "Valeria" - first track of this release - that recall the long-string installations of artists like Paul Panhuysen and fellow Australian Alan Lamb. We can also enjoy more fractured scores like the darkish "I love coeds", which invokes spectral resonance and concrete sources to kill our eternal illusion of detached transparence; then comes "Lacuna" in which, after being fed with a clattering collection of noisy shards, we're incinerated by sudden roars and distorted electronic pourings. "The evidence of love" is a unique pot-pourri of growing tensions and pop songs (is that a T-Rex snippet or just an imitation?), while the final "Hidden lattitudes of truth and nontruth" brings us back to the curiosity of a child approaching music like a game, but with a final sinister rustle that invites us to sleep with an open eye. The composer refers to this disc as a "shambolic collection of traveller's cheques, post-it notes and ticket stubs"; I'm not sure that he really means it, as care for the tiniest detail and precise craftwork is detectable in all the pieces, which feature contributions by several local artists including David Brown, Anthea Caddy and Will Guthrie.

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Paris Transatlantic - Lawrence English May 2007

Phillip Pietruschka has been long overdue for a widely distributed release and this issue from Cajid is a welcome addition to their roster. Based in Melbourne, Pietruschka has existed somewhat off the wider radar, concerning himself with a series of projects and works that have kept his attentions close to home. Here he steps out and in doing so offers up a vivid, if scattered impression of his sonic psyche. Scattered though the sounds might be, they carry with them a sense of direction and drive which lends this record a particular potency. Pietruschka's meticulous compositional choices give the music a sense of controlled audio clutter in which various elements jostle for position (instrumental source sounds come courtesy of Andrew Barrie, Nat Bates, David Brown, Anthea Caddy, Tim Catlin, James Cecil, Gus Franklin, Will Guthrie, Arwen Johnson, Sianna Lee, Antonia Sellbach and Adam Yee); when one rises above the rest it provides a sense of resolution to the blurry focus. Dramatic shifts are thin on the ground until a third of the way through "Lucuna", where his procedures undergo a sharp redefinition as he abruptly introduces a whopping wall of distorted noise. It's the kind of radical shift that might occur in a horror film, moments of everyday life suddenly shattered as some vicious instrument of death pierces through a living body. These unexpected interruptions continue through the piece with varying success. But they pale in comparison with the pop section of "The Evidence Of Love", which sounds like a facsimile of Stereolab oddly out of place in the more refined avant company of the other pieces. Perhaps that's the point. At just under 30 minutes, Itinerant Labours raises more questions about Pietruschka than it provides answers to. We await the next dispatch with interest.

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Vital Weekly - Frans De Waard

This is certainly one of the stranger CDs I heard lately. Pietruschka studied electro-acoustic composition at RMIT (that is down under) and influenced by 'studio production techniques inspired by Pierre Henry, Luigi Nono and Ennio Morricone and playing around with improvisation musicians. That doesn't make this a strange release though. Each of the pieces 'is a study or commentary on a particular film of films and the accompanying soundtrack. The films were chosen as provide a significant point of intersection between the cloistered world of avant-garde and experimental music and the populist world of cinema'. Five pieces, and I do believe all the films are from the genre 'horror or phantasmagoric nature'. None of the titles did mean anything to me. Pietruschka found a whole bunch of people to play all sorts of instruments on this record. Many guitars, but also cello, vibraphone, percussion, trombone, oboe and accordion, mainly by people who we found on earlier Cajid releases. It's
strange music, since it links to film, perhaps but to which scene, if any at all. Or is it really merely a play with the type of sound tracks used, and are these films imaginary? (I know could investigate online, but I think I rather leave myself thinking about possibilities, than knowing for sure). The music itself is a rather nice, ranging from softly played to shrieking noise to cheesy almost poplike music in 'The Evidence Of Love'. It's in various places and that is the strange thing about it. It takes elements from soundtracks, the cliché's perhaps if you want, and they are replayed in a strict musical sense. That makes this release not just a strange one but also a fascinating one. Because it's so different and in various places, makes it quite a cinema for the ear. Great release.

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last updated 17/11/09
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