Trrmà is the Italian duo which include Giovanni Todisco (percussions) and Giuseppe Candiano (modular synthesizer). Their music mixes irregular rhythms, rough lines and dissonances. A very important element in their compositions is the use of the randomness of sound and rhythmic events, carried out through the use of the stochastic method (Iannis Xenakis). Through the calculation of probabilities, on the one hand they create random sounds and rhythms, and on the other hand they have full control of their ideas and the compositon.
This year they released two albums, Saùca and SSEEEEEGGGMMENNTSS FRROOOM BAAARRIIII which is a collaboration with American musician and composer Charlemagne Palestine. Check our talk with them about the new works, Stochastic method, their roots and more below.
Let’s Start from your new album “SSEEEEEGGGMMENNTSS FRROOOM BAAARRIIII”. How did you start the collaboration with Charlemagne Palestine?
We are big fans of Charlemagne Palestine, we saw that he was in the schedule of Times Zones festival like us; so we asked to the festival to get in touch with him; We just sent him an e-mail proposing a collaboration and he agreed.
How did you approach the composition of this work? What is the stochastic composition?
We started to study the probabilities calculation in music. Xenakis was the first to give life to this approach in orchestras and electronic music, calling it “stochastic music” :
The thing is to have a chart, divided by slots where the different “events” (percussions grooves and synthesizer sounds) have to be. You calculate POSITION/LENGHT/INTENSITY of each event using different theorems (Poisson’s theorem is an example) and put them inside the chart, in different and numbered slots.
When you have each event inside the slots, you can start to practice it with a stopwatch.
Of course, each musician has his own chart, with different calculation. The musicians will play together their own chart.
After this long work you can realize if the composition is good or not…
Sometimes we realized that we just lost a lot of time. 😀
In 2019, you also released your third album “Saùca”. How it was different compared your previous works?
“Sauca” keeps the same approach of our first record, mixing tribal atmosphere with futuristic synth; the difference is more in the production: rawer and wilder; we recorded in a philharmonic theater which has a crazy boat shape, working more on the sound of the room than single instruments.
You are from Bari. I’m very interested to the connection between the places we live over the years, the territorial geography of our roots and the art. How do you feel these theme connected to your music, your way to think music?
The attitude of everyone is made by the different kinds of background we have.
You can be attracted to arts by your parents, by your studies and so on.
The art you make can be inspired by something which is completely on the other side of the world, or maybe by the moon and other planets, as Sun Ra teaches.
Maybe it’s easier that your geographical position can influence your esthetic, the way you dress your art…but it’s not our case.
You started mixing “classic” afrikaans and symphonic percussion with modular synthesis. There’s a strong and powerful exploration of your sound boundaries. How much important is experimentation for your work? And what is the meaning you give to this word connected to what you do with this project?
Experimentation is just a part of our work, connected to the research of new languages in music through new form of composition and sound; the meaning of this word for us is “challenge ourselves trying to get surprised from our music”
Are you working on new music right now?
Yes. Our new record is ready, we have the title, the records and the mastering, but we don’t know yet when it will be released.
Ritual question. What are the best releases you recently appreciated?
Traxman “ Da mind of Traxman”, Karriem Riggins “Headnote Suite”, Kukangendai “Palm”,
Jung an tagen “Proxy States”.