And on to day 2 of this year’s edition of Original Cultures. Check the video above for a little additional insight into what happened.

With the soundcard fixed the musicians hit the ground running with the rehearsals today, running through the tracks to tighten up arrangements and structures and giving Sam Architeq time to learn the music and see where he best fits in with his dubbing work.

We also had the pleasure of a rather surreal visit by two old men today who started demanding money for using the venue as apparently the owners pay them for rent and the place isn’t paid for from June to August. One of those conversations where no matter how you try and explain the situation you’re confronted with the same sentences time after time until somehow you’ve managed to make the person go away. Lucky they weren’t serious gangsters I guess.

The tracks the musicians are running through today are quite different from yesterday’s more dubby, improvised jams though there is already one track that is very loose and almost crying for improvisation.

As the day carried on and I listened and looked at what Sam was doing something occured to me that by virtue of his work and the tools he uses as dubmaster the show on Saturday will be different to any of the rehearsals so far, and still to come. It’s dub, and by its very nature it can never be repeated in exactly the same fashion. I discussed it over dinner with Sam, and he was saying that the rehearsals are good for getting used to the tracks, the music and the important parts where he’ll need to do something specific but that yes ultimately it’ll never be exactly the same once especially as with this show there are so many different musical elements and they all go through his desk – he’s not just dubbing, but also engineering the show.

B.Kun’s musical vision is starting to come together as well after yesterday’s sound card mishap and the musicians are pitching in with ideas for how to finalise the arrangements and bring the whole thing together in a coherent live sound. Being that he is one of the youngest in the group it’s been interesting to see him come forward today to try and direct the musicians along the tracks and structures he’s written for the show. Sam stays quiet, partly due to the language barrier, dubbing his way through the tracks.

The more they rehearse the first track with a ‘dubstep’ part in it if you will, the more I’m reminded of the sound of Jazzsteppa when they first appeared 3/4 years ago – a raw, organic take on the now ubiquitous wobble sound. Check the video above for an idea of what I’m talking about.

Also I really miss Gelatauro – Bologna’s finest ice cream parlor, located in front of the Teatro San Vitale where we were supposed to be rehearsing. I think tomorrow I’m gonna go buy a whole stack of ice cream for the day. I need my fix, and Original Cultures without Gelatauro just isn’t the same.

Getting to see the visual elements of the show for the first time today. Or maybe not as they’re running late.

So 6 or so hours later, we’ve finished for the day and the picture is clearer in a sense.

The musicians managed to get through 4 of the show’s 8 tracks today which should leave them with tomorrow to do the other 4 before hopefully starting to rehearse the entire show from start to finish thursday and friday, solidifying the entire performance.

This became all the more needed after Pietro Babina – who acts as director for this year’s edition – joined us at the end of the day to discuss how the visual artists and musicians will interact on the last day. As I said before we’ve always relied on a degree of improvisation when it came to putting together the music and the visuals on the last day in previous editions, and so with Pietro on board this year it’s interesting for two reasons: firstlly in a way we all have to work within his vision of the show – which has been key in putting together the founding blocks of the show so far – and secondly we have someone else to do what we’ve all done arbitrarily in the previous shows as we worked alongside the artists to prepare the final show.

We also did get to see the first solid elements of the visual work if you will as we left the venue for the day. MEAT Collective have started preparing what I’ve understood is going to be the core of their work and I’m intrigued to see how it will fit inside Babina’s, and our, vision.

Right gotta go and pick up the artists for day 3. More later.

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Full programme details for the week are here.

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