If you had the chance to spend the night around a volcanic crater and create music inspired by it, would you? Fifteen musicians recently did just that.
From the New York Times:
“[Fifteen] musicians gathered at an active volcanic crater on this small island in the southern Aegean Sea for an experiment in improvisational site-specific performance. Lit by a glowing August full moon, they played for 10½ hours, asked only to take inspiration from their surroundings”.
“The musicians, mostly Greek and in their 20s and 30s, came from improvisational backgrounds, including jazz, classical, avant-garde and electronic, and many met for the first time at the sound check. Their instruments included electric guitar, piano, clarinet and synthesizer, as well as sample loops, and traditional eastern Mediterranean instruments like the oud and the kanonaki”.
The musicians were spaced around one of the largest active hydrothermal craters in the world, the Stefanos Crater. Each performer was then hooked up to a centre-facing amplifier fed into a 16-channel mixing board and powered by a generator. Musicians could hear each other and an engineered mix with in-ear monitors.
The New York Times describes the result as an “immersive layering of experimental, otherworldly soundscapes, evocative one minute of Sun Ra, the next of Aphex Twin or Autechre. Glitch and drone melded with desert-blown free jazz. Mournful loops of electrified cello overlaid throbbing synthesizer, the music constantly spinning apart and reassembling into a whole”.
It’s really quite amazing and you can listen to a clip of the resulting music on the New York Times article here.