Plunge is a project born in September 2015 and the result of the desire to bring in Milan and in the country some of the most interesting artistic proposals related to sound research and contemporary art. The project aims to build and promote cultural events (concerts, performances, lectures, workshops) with the centrality of the listening experience.
Next date is set for February 16 at Masada (Milan). Rafael Anton Irisarri and Nicola Di Croce will be the special guests of the event. We talked with Michele Palozzo, one of the minds of Plunge.
Plunge is a wondeful project. How did you develop this idea?
Well, thank you! I think Plunge started as an effort in imagining what an independent music event in Milan should be like nowadays, always considering what the city already offers to the public and what, unfortunately, is still considered an underground culture, while in fact it is the very essence of a cosmopolitan (eclectic and chaotic, if you want) context such as Milan. It’s the place we’ve known for years and we’d like to become a part of its cultural discourse with a personal, curatorial take on the artists we’re presenting.
Sound research and contemporary art are the basis of this project. What’s the best definition of these two concepts and how important are they in the contemporary music scenario?
Many musicians among those we are interested into cannot be confined to the music field alone: the work of Lawrence English and lots of others – not least many Italian composers – are constantly taking forward the very idea of music and sound, be it natural or digital or both. This is what we call ‘sound research’ and this is what we’re pursuing as Plunge: we love to surround ourselves with artists and listeners like us, people who don’t sit on their convictions and enjoy pushing forward their musical boundaries, embracing the unexpected through an event programme where the sound and the physical space it inhabits are always at the core of the experience.
Will the project’s events concentrate only in Milan or will you go on “exploring” other cities/countries?
The project is and probably will remain based in Milan: there’s a lot to do here and we’re working hard to build and be part of the urban culture we imagined. Nonetheless, we already started some close collaborations with other Italian projects such as En Avant in Turin and Spazio Aereo in Venice, who will both present Rafael Anton Irisarri along with us on the Italian tour we planned. That’s to say, the relationship and the dialogue with Milan are primary but not exclusive.
Your approach reminds a lot of the “systemic” one of Denovali Records. Could there be a possible evolution in that direction (Festival, Label, Booking management)?
I think everyone should look at Denovali as a reference for its one-of-a-kind roster and its overall activity as a label. Anyway at the moment we don’t see that as a priority, since we’re focusing on giving shape to our own identity as a curatorial group, getting in touch with artists we admire but most of all which we think the public may want to discover, and combining them with a specific venue that somehow reflects or “completes” their sound.
What is the complexity in the organization of this kind of events?
Apart from an ocean of bureaucratic and financial struggles to get things done in the best possible way – or at least the way we imagined them in the first place –, a recurring obstacle is to emerge from the background noise, to stick your head out and get people interested in your proposals; ultimately, conveying your own ideas and make others envision what you’re trying to express with a particular artistic choice. I think Plunge has a huge potential in terms of audience, still it’s quite hard to reach the right listeners and invite them to follow each step in our path of “immersions”, as we often call them.
You started with Lawrence English, Matteo Uggeri, Saffronkeira, Av-K. What acts will perform in your next live events?
After our second international host, Rafael Anton Irisarri – we can’t wait to see his live set! – we’ll have two more Italian experimental composers, Giovanni Lami and Enrico Coniglio, both back from important artistic residencies on field recording and electroacoustic research. In March we’ll also be co-producing the Milanese venue for post-minimal master pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, whom we’ll be more than honoured to meet again and whose meditative performance we’ll deeply enjoy for sure.