Monday, February 16, 2015

Joel Gilardini Tune Hear

Welcome to Tune Hear!
This is a weekly series to be hosted by Prepared Guitar. It is my hope that the following information would not only highlight the artist, their techniques, and their musical endeavors, but also cause others to reach for their own goals in a realistic way. It is my hope that this will be an international site where guitarists worldwide would not only have the opportunity to listen but also be motivated and inspired to follow their dreams. With that being said, let’s begin!
Let me introduce 

Joel Gilardini is an experimental guitarist, based in Zurich, Switzerland, involved in various projects, touching diverse musical aspects and attitudes, ranging from ritual jazzcore/post-metal to groovy ambient loops and up to high driven crossover-avantgarde or even full industrial-noise 

Current projects/bands:
~ The Land Of The Snow (experimental/jazzcore/metal)
~ Lost In The Snow (ambient/dub/doom, based on free-improvised guitars and electronics)
~ Solo live-ambient-sets (groovy soundscapes, improvised treated guitars)
~ Mulo Muto (experimental/noise/doom, Zurich, Switzerland)


Some rumors about:
“Joel is a wonderful guitar player” Eraldo Bernocchi (Sigillum S, Ashes, Somma, Obake, Metallic Taste Of Blood)
“Such a ambient sound is cool” Nik Bärtsch
“The Land Of The Snow is cool” Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree)
“The 2013 title “Belonging To Nowhere” is bloody good” TheSirenSound (underground music blog)
“Fascinates with his projects from jazz to dub-stoner fans and up to old school metalheads”
“His ambient-doom-sets sounds like Scorn, but in a gentle way” Micheal Ho (TuningSpork, NiceTry Records, None Of Them)
“There is a strange quality in his music that sounds improvised and at the same time math ruled” Metalsoundscapes (metal blog/fanzine about The Land Of The Snow)
“The Land Of The Snow mixes atmospheric jazzed parts with metal passages in a really natural way” Voice Of The Sun (metal blog)
“With a taste for icy metaphors and extended range guitars, Joel works a distorted ambient matter, where fantastic and tormented morphogenesis emerge” Paris Loop Jubilee 2014  

What led you to choose the guitar for your own musical expression?
I think, it was more a matter of chaos and random choices. As a child I first took some piano lessons but after 2 weeks I got fed up. Then years after I wanted to play the trumpet, so I started going at the philharmonic orchestra of the village I used to live, but after months spent only on solfeggio (without never touching an instrument) I quitted that too. Eventually when I was 13, my parents brought me my first guitar, and from then on I slowly got addicted to the instrument.
Was there a particular guitarist, other musician, movie, art, sound, life event that caused you to hear music differently?
I could list many of them... When I started playing guitar my main heros where Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. Then I went into new/alternative metal stuff like Deftones and Soulfly, but also alternative rock and some first hints of electronic music. With 19, I moved to Zurich, and by then I started to expand my musical knowledge. I went to a lot of concerts in squats, where you could listen to any kind of bands ranging from punk, metal, noise, but also indie and stuff like electronic and dub, sometimes rap too.

Bands and musicians like David Sylvian, Japan, Killing Joke, Sigillum S, Eraldo Bernocchi, Bill Laswell, Nik Bärtsch's Ronin, Crisis, Ephel Duath, Isis, Eivind Aarset, Markus Reuter and Einsturzenden Neubauten are some of which pushed me to listen, play and think differently about music.
Sometimes I tend more to appreciate and listen to musicians who don't play guitar, like for example trumpet players like Toshinori Kondo or Nils Petter Molvaer or looking/listening how drummers play their kits, in a way to me it is more inspiring to listen to a different kind of instrument and its own voice.

What specifically about that appealed to you?
They showed me that different ways of playing and experimenting with music are possible and that there aren't any limits to one own creativity. And that the main point about music is trying to move people emotions, it is a continuous path, which brings you to new places and discoveries in terms of sounds and inner feelings too.

As you were trying to find your way, were there particular sounds or gear that helped you toachieve your sound?
A main “problem” I have to deal with is that I'm lefthanded. So, since it is quite difficult to find lefthanded guitars, at some point I started to concentrate more on guitar effects, pedals, and experimenting with sounds. Which resulted in this way and attitude to work with sounds and textures. I always like when my guitar starts to sound no more like a guitar. Sometimes you might think it's a synth, but the main sound generator in my chain is a guitar, which I treat using different stompboxes and effects. That's how I see sometimes guitars: sound generators, like, lets say, a synth's VCO or LFO.

I use extended range guitars, especially 7 strings and/or baritones. With the time I started to love down-tunings and got addicted to the low frequencies side. When I switched to the 7 strings I liked how the added string gave me a new perspective to work on the instrument too. You can play more on a vertical way and achieve these “extended voicings”, which sometimes reminds the range of a chord played on a piano.

Four years ago I started to experiment with live-looping and loopers. This has also become one of the many ways I use to created music. My live-looping sets are fully improvised. I love to play this way, because you know where you start, but you can't predict which directions things will take. The only thing I prepare for these sets is the setup I'll use, so that depending on the situation I have to play or on the mood, I use selected sounds.
Time to time, I like also to use other instruments like mini/toy synths (Monotrons, Volca, Nebulophone, etc...) or also this Dronin, which is a kind of “archaic” instrument built by Massimo Olla (of Noisedelik). It has 3 strings, 2 springs and a piezo pickup, pretty limited you might think, but you can use it in many many ways, and treated with effects it's wonderful!

Can you give an example of your work where it (pedal or technique) is being utilized?

This is an example of a live-looping set using treated guitars and the dronin.


How have you been able to build upon those early experiences to what you’re doing now?

A constant will to experiment, try new ways und push the limits. Sometimes things also happens by them self alone, unexpectedly! Of course you need a lot of passion, never give up and stay on the ball.

Music has this human aspect which is really important, too. Thru music I was able to meet and knew people and musicians, I would never have the opportunity to without it. And this also pushes me to go on. 

Let’s take a moment to highlight some of your current work.
At the moment I have 3 projects running in parallel. The first is The Land Of the Snow, which is a one-man-band and a state of mind, it's based on treated guitars and drum programming. Basically it is a kind of experimental jazzcore metal that I'm playing on this project, with post-rock and doom metal shades too, but since TLTOS it's myself, it's open to every kind of experimentations. With this project I'm working a lot on odds structures and metrics, and also on feelings and emotions. With the time TLTOS to me became not only a medium to explore music, but it's also a medium to seek and develop one's inner-self. In 2012 I started a collaboration with visual artist Petulia Mattioli, which resulted in 2 peculiar music videos.

In 2013 I released my first EP “Belonging To Nowhere”, which features 3 songs and also both Petulia's video. Its artwork was created by Karyn Crisis (former Crisis and Ephel Duath singer), and its was mixed and mastered by Andi Pupato (Nik Bärtsch's Ronin, Colin Edwin's Twinscapes, Mich Berger). So at end this EP turned out to be a kind of artistic collective!
For 2015 I have in plan 2 new releases for TLTOS, these are 2 collaborations with friends from Italy, the first will be a noise/drone album with Sshe Retina Stimulants and the second an ambient album with Mingle.
Second we have Mulo Muto a noise/industrial/doom project: MM is a 2 headed monster created and (un)directed by myself (treated guitars, loops, noises) and Attila Folklor (synths, noises, loops, percussions). MM is a ritual trip inside your worst nightmares and an unpredictable mix of doomed noises! We started this project in May 2013. At the beginning Attila was playing drums, so it was more doom metal oriented music with grafts of ambient and noise. Everything was (and still is) fully improvised, as we want to keep things always fresh and unpredictable. 

After one year we decided to leave the metal-driven part to concentrate only on the noise/industrial side, so that now MM music is based only on treated guitars, synths and loops. Which is a big plus because now everything is more unpredictable than ever, and also more dynamic.

At the end of December we released a new split tape with BETA on Old Bicycles Records, and now we are looking and planning new releases and live shows.
I play also ambient sets, based on treated guitars and loops. With this setup I play since 3 years on a regular basis in Zurich clubs as an opening act for Nik Bärtsch's Ronin, who are playing gigs in Zurich clubs every Monday, since 10 years now! 

Actually I always found important to have so many different projects, because it gives me the opportunity to experiment and develop my playing stile on a broader palette of genres.  


Is there a sound you’re still trying to achieve or are you satisfied with where you are now sonically?
At the moment I think I'm really satisfied with my sonic/noisy tools. Actually lately I sold a lot of stuff which was superfluous or I barely no more used, so that I've kept only the main core pedals. I keep always my setup really flexible, adapting it to the situation and the sounds I need. Lately I started to minimize my live setups, the less you have at your feet the more you can concentrate on the sounds and playing dynamics.
What can we expect to hear from you in the future?
For 2015 I have 2 The Land Of the Snow releases to come out. Both are collaborations. The first will be together with Sshe Retina Stimulants (aka Paolo Bandera of Sigillum S) and will come out soon on the american label BloodLust Records.

The second collaboration is with Andrea Gastaldello aka Mingle. But the schedule for this work is still open, I suppose during the second half this year.
With Mulo Muto, as I already said, we are also planning some new releases and splits. Otherwise, if you happen to be in Zurich on a Monday evening, you should find me playing at the Exil Club.

If readers are interested in checking out your work further, where can we direct them?
I have a few links to redirect you to my works. On the main base, you'll find infos about all my projects, concert schedules, discography, and so on...
Soundcloud is also a good link to follow me, since normally I upload new sounds almost every week (i.e. parts from the live-looping sets I play on Mondays and parts from Mulo Muto's sessions).
For the videos you'll find an account on YouTube too.Follow these links if you want to know/listen more about The Land Of The Snow and Mulo Muto.
Of course you can follow everything on Facebook too.

Thank you very much for your time and participation in Tune Hear.
In closing, one final fun question:
If you had an opportunity to ask any guitar player a question, who would it be and what would you ask?
Nice difficult question! Mh... let me think... Maybe I'll ask Geordie Walker of Killing Joke if he wants to take a coffee and talk about the weather... eheheh ;) I don't know, actually I was thinking more about musicians who don't play guitar! It would be cool to have a chat with Bill Laswell, he is just brilliant and all his work is just impressive, in terms of quality and numbers too! Or to go back to a guitar player (but not only): Teho Teardo. He is a brilliant Italian musician.

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