Mar 18, 2013, 05:59AM

The Chattering Classes

Aaron Dilloway's Post Live At Coda Lunga flips the performer/audience script.

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People love to talk: to each other, around each other, over each other. In bars. At sports arenas. On street corners. And, bizarrely, during live noise sets. Post Live At Coda Lunga consists of excerpts from a pair of extremely minimal Aaron Dilloway performances, in Vittorio Veneto, Italy, that are effectively inaudible. Putting aside some strains of "Blue Velvet" on Side B, all the home listener encounters is a mass of attendee conversation. So the exercise is a bait and switch: the audience is present to witness a musical happening, but in actuality, the audience is the happening.

The experience is akin to the end of a traditional rock concert, where for 40 to 80 minutes everyone has either been respectfully quiet, or their chatter has been buried by the volume of the performer, and an empty stage and lights come up signal that it's okay, finally, to really talk: to enthuse about the show, make plans for later, try out pick-up lines, arrange to trade live bootlegs, or whatever. The difference is that in those situations there is a diminishing of volume as people file out of the venue, to cars or the subway.

The damning wonder of Coda Lunga lies not just in the sheer, unbridled, collective solipsism of the chatterers, but in the weirdness of waves upon non-contiguous waves of talking by hordes of total strangers; it's odder and less comprehensible than any unstructured noise composition, with no sense of rhyme or reason whatsoever. And since everything's in Italian, non-Italian speakers can't even pick out recognizable words or inflections. It's just this gnashing, hallucinatory din of voices, gushing and tumbling into perpetuity, a lingering glance of hell. It's among Dilloway's finest not-quite half hours, and he's barely even part of it.


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