Postcards From Nowhere is an ART-ifact. The product of collaboration between visual artists, designers, printers, and musicians. Something made plain by the statement stamped into the front of the custom-made mailer that accompanies copies of the limited vinyl.
The music, by Italian Ambient genius Gigi Masin, and Melody As Truth`s Jonny Nash, comprises of thirty-one minutes of wistful minimalism. Duets for piano and guitar. It`s the kind of stuff that lends itself to listeners inventing narratives. I was wondering how my own imagined stories compared with those of the music’s creators. Did they match up? Where is “Nowhere”? So I asked Jonny.
How long was the residency at Studio Venezia?
The residency lasted three days.
Was the residency solely recording, or did it also involve performance?
It`s kind of a hybrid of both… The studio was set up for recording, but it becomes something like a performance because the public are able to wander in and be present during the recording process. This created a really interesting dynamic.
Were other musicians / artists involved in the residency?
During our three days it was just us. But there were a whole host of resident artists visiting over the course of the project.
The compositions on Postcards From Nowhere are improvisations, but how much prep, rehearsal was done before recording?
There was no preparation or rehearsal. We just sat down and played. We`ve had quite some time to get to know each other’s styles – after working together as Gaussian Curve alongside Marco Sterk. This has also been the way when we recorded both Gaussian Curve albums…Very little discussion about what is going to happen. Just sit down and play!
How easy is the improvisation process? How does it work, does someone take the lead?
We`re now at a stage where we are pretty comfortable playing off each other and improvising. I think our styles compliment each other. We know how and when to leave space or to take the lead. We share some sense of timing and space that makes it very comfortable, easy, to improvise.
There are six songs on the vinyl. How much music was recorded during the residency? Are there plans to release any more music from the sessions?
We recorded about three hours in total, and the six song on Postcards were our favourite sections. I think that this will be the only music from the sessions that will be released. But who knows.. never say never!
The selected pieces seem concerned with the sea, and space. Was there a concept behind the recordings? Did someone suggest a theme or feeling before each improvisation began?
The track titles were actually mostly decided a year after the recording session, and were chosen by Gigi after listening to the final mixes. There was no concept apart from to play something as directly and honestly as we could.
Gigi Masin & Jonny Nash`s Postcards From Nowhere is available now on Melody As Truth. If you’re after the vinyl, be quick. There are only two copies left.