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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Catherine Sikora and Matteo Liberatore – Build a gold house to bury the devil (self released, 2020) ****½

By Fotis Nikolakopoulos

…“Too much philosophy
too much thought forms
not enough room
not enough trees”…

It is quite thrilling and mind-blowing that still, in this polarized full of hate world, music is a way of non-verbal communication between like minded people. I strongly believe that Catherine Sikora’s music works in the aforementioned way inside me.

…“Too much Police
too much computers
too much hi fi
too much pork”…

This duo recording of Sikora on the saxophones and Liberatore on the electric guitar is loosely based (but with strong connections to) on Sikora’s thoughts on the poem Ruhr Gebiet by another soul so dearly missed, the great Allen Ginsberg. You will find parts of the poem within these lines (please avoid any comparisons with my words). The three long tracks that comprise this recording, are all ideas and sketches that evolved into the three compositions. Even though this live recording was realized during September 2019, its relation to this dreadful dystopia is one of the first things that came into my mind.

…“Too much metal
too much fat
too many jokes
not enough meditation”…

Matteo Liberatore only came to know the compositions right before this recording was realized. Having that in mind one can say that the two musicians developed a close interaction but, maybe something more important and powerful I dare say. A complete and strong communion. Easy to comment about it, very difficult and demanding to achieve it. Especially today as our societies are becoming (to quote the vulgar Thatcher) more a big sum of individuals, it is totally demanding to leave your ego behind and try to communicate, formulate a shared common ground and ideas with others. To be human rather than just a consumer.

…“Too much anger
too much sugar
too many smokestacks
not enough snow”…

Personally I challenge the notion of progress. The given fact for many that by definition this world is progressing into something better. There enough facts to support this thought, I do not want to bore you with it. The music the two musicians are making seems to evade the trajectory of time in the same way the lines of Ginsberg’s poem do. I felt a balance between aggression and sentiment in Sikora’s sax lines. Liberatore’s guitar sounds (like him I guess) quite at ease with following. Never struggling, but always going along. Their music is, most definitely, one of the most optimistic pieces of music I’ve heard during this troubled (in many ways) time. It incorporates silence; it is soothing while it brings solace through both musicians passion. The third track, Not Enough Snow, seems like the culmination of sorts for the recording. It also sounded like their approach was more fierce in way, kind of chasing the demons away. A need, a hope for a catharsis. Just like in Rurh-Gebiet’s two final lyrics

…“Build a gold house
to bury the Devil.”

The two musicians achieved that even for a brief moment.

Eric Mingus made the artwork that leaves a strong impression and Elliott Sharp mixed and mastered the recording.



Nick Metzger said...

Great piece Fotis, thank you