Artist: Erika Dagnino

Date of Release: 12/01/2015

Catalogue no: SLAMCD557

Label: SLAM

Price: £10

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Track Listing









Erika Dagnino poetry, voice
Ken Filiano doublebass, effects
Satoshi Takeishi percussion

SLAM Productions is glad to present the bilingual poetry music work of the Erika Dagnino Trio: the very talented Italian poet together with two American New York City based amazing musicians, Ken Filiano and Satoshi Takeishi.

Sides was recorded on 12th July 2013 in Brooklyn, and it blends in a very powerful and beautiful connection the strong and kaleidoscopic images of Erika Dagnino’s poetry, the intense lucidity of Satoshi Takeishi’s percussion and the strength of the vision of Ken Filiano’s bass.
The booklet accompanying the CD presents a completely new collection of Dagnino’s works in English as well as their original Italian language.




17/08/2015 Bernie Koenig

There is no information given about the performers or the place and date of recording. I am quite familiar with Filiano, so I was able to deduce the other two. The Prelude is just bass and drums, as is the Intermezzo. The rest of the CD is comprised of Dagnino reading her poems, to the accompaniment of Filiano and Takeishi, who do an admirable job. She first reads Italian, and then after an instrumental break, reads the English translation. The texts are provided. I must admit that working with just voice is something I love to do on drums, so I was quite appreciative of Takeishi’s playing. And Filiano does some excellent work as well. I must admit I do not care much for the poetry, but that is largely irrelevant. I just listened to the voice and the musical accompaniment. And on that level I enjoyed the CD very much. I think I enjoyed the Italian readings more than the English ones because of how I listened to the voice as an instrument, rather than what the voice was saying. The more I listened to this CD the more I appreciated the playing of Filiano and Takeishi. I am quite familiar with Filiano and like his work a great deal, Takeishi is new to me, but I was quite impressed with his sensitivity to both Dagnino and FIliano. Bernie Koenig Cadence Oct 2015 file:///C:/Users/me/Downloads/74-120%20the%20reviews.pdf


01/05/2015 Rotcod Zzaj

Erika Dagnino Trio – SIDES: Erika’s trio (Erika on poetry/voice, Ken Filiano on doublebass/effects and Satoshi Takeishi on percussion) is a welcome addition to our huge collection of creative and improvised works; a PERFECT album to close out this issue with! Totally perceptive movements that (even though done in another language for a good part of the pieces) are completely intelligible to listeners who “dig down” into the music and let nothing escape their aural senses. I particularly enjoyed “Secondo Movimento“, with it’s combination of simple spoken-word against very presentable double bass and percussion; the fact that it clocks in at 8:31 just means that there is plenty of space for each player to shine – & shine they DO! Regular readers here will know that I listen to a lot of work from artists like this, and Erika always stands out as exceptional. I give Erika and her musical cohorts a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for listeners who thrive on improvised music, and an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. Get more information at the SLAM Records page for this release. Rotcod Zzaj


05/03/2015 George W. Harris

Vocalist Erika Dagnino delivers poetry with Ken Filiano’s bass and effects along with Satoshi Takeishi/s percussion on a fascinatingly free form collage and collision of sounds and moods. Sometimes the bass is picked as on “ Preludio” and sometimes you get bowed sounds with percolating percussion as on “Secondo Movimento” that sounds like you’re in a beatnik club in subterranean Rome. Edgy effects are on “Quarto Movimento,” and if nothing else, I was able to brush up on my Italian, while the necessity of learning numbers being recited on a song with a military beat was more quizzical than practicing a romantic language.
by George W. Harris Jazz Weekly, March 19, 2015


16/02/2015 sugar45

Words and sounds arrange themselves against any notion of centre. There is no centre here that dictates form and symmetry: this is about the core, something more dense and subtle, connected to beginning and indeed connected to care. And this core is shaped as a constellation: the concentrated act of making words and sound opens up to dissipation of making sound happen, in listening, yet all its elements are held together. No prescribing narrative or anecdotes: a repertoire of aural gestures prompts my hearing and allows it to err in and out of its permeable boundaries into words. ”Sides” is not just rhythm, not just poetry, it has no canonical function or meaning, it makes new meanings as I hear its sounds take form.
sugar45 http://www.breakaplate.com/index.php/slam-productions/


02/02/2015 Ken Chatham

Just 8 months after the recording of Signs, reviewed a year ago, the trio replaces the quartet and with only voice, double bass and percussion succeeds in producing an album, Sides, that is in no way diminished by the reduced input – if anything, it might even be considered more elegant, more motivated: more awe-inspiring. While Italian and English words are used to express the same ideas, so do the poetry and the music discuss the cultural implications of sounds upon words. There seems to be a sort of metamorphosis from the composite sounds into the new meanings of the contemplations directed towards the listener, or perhaps drawn by the listener from those deliberations.

This transmutation in turn reflects upon the notion that there may be a point to be made about musical emotion and analytical understanding – yes of course there is a difference, but is it important? Should we ignore one in favour of the other?

The words are paraded through the work with a physically powerful deliverance and ingenious cadence that lend them a seemingly incipient autonomy, taking them out of the world of ordinary meaning. This transformation is also applied almost in reverse in Track 5, where the poet recites a set of numbers as laid out in a 7x6 matrix in the booklet which accompanies the CD. This piece is reminiscent of the Number Poems of Neil Mills, written in 1969 and published in 1971 by the Arts Council of Great Britain as part of Experiments in Disintegrating Language (33 AC 1971 mono Side 1).

Neil Mills wrote in the sleeve-notes: "I believed that the meaning which emerged in the reading of poetry lay primarily in intonation and rhythm and only secondarily in semantic content, i.e. that what was important was how something was read, rather than what was said – the human voice functioning as musical instrument."

Mills also thought that "numbers provided a very limited range of spoken sound-values", but here Erika proves him wrong and it is the elegance with which she addresses the tool which is her voice that enables her unsettling annunciation.

Here is another exquisite album from the voice and pen of Erika Dagnino, the hallucinatory bass playing of Ken Filiano and clarity of expression brought by Satoshi Takeishi's Japanese percussion.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham, Jazz Views


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