Stefano Pilia | In Girus Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni
Die Schachtel (LP/DL)
Stefano Pilia is an Italian guitarist who has been active for many years in that gray area crossing electroacoustic experimentations, film scores and the most avantgarde outcomes of the Italian rock scene. He has collaborated with many artists in Italy and abroad, from the Revox virtuoso Valerio Tricoli to Massimo Pupillo, bassist of ZU among others, and Oren Ambarchi.
In Girus Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni is his first solo album since 2015, as time has moved on he has mostly been active with collaborations, and represents his return to the prestigious label Die Schachtel, since the release of Action Silence Prayers in 2008. But this return is absolutely unlinked to a possible return in terms of style, in fact this album takes a totally different compositional path compared to his other solo works of the past years.
Most relevant for understanding the aesthetic shift in Pilia’s solo work is the change in the use of the guitar that comes up in this new work. The guitar here is not totally abjured but its presence is made less recognizable through different signal processing techniques that deceive the listener and lures one out into a mirrored room where everything is different from what it seems. In pieces like Sirena+ and Melusina+ his treatment of the guitar blends with more recognizable materials leading into an Arvo Pärt dimension imbued with American minimalist timbres, the instrument becomes a metaphor of the world, leaving its bodily, phenomenological shape to rise into an ideal, non-material concept where sometimes parts of it are revealed just as possible but trifling examples.
Another different and definitely more majestic compositional approach is present in pieces such as Salita° where the wide guitar-scapes have the power of making us feel totally insignificant against the power of nature and the world. Here the guitar sounds appear and dissolve into gentle waves of breeze, revealing distant snowy paths that bring the menacing cry of the glaciers too close for us to withstand.
This sense of obscure, unreachable forces is part of the statement made with the title of the album itself. In Girus Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni is indeed a very famous Latin palindrome meaning “We go around at night and are consumed by fire”. Wandering at the darkest hour, to unveil the most sacred and inaccessible secrets, the heretical thirst for knowledge and apocryphal curiosity that will burn us, damned, as in the myth of Icarus that doesn’t accept his given limitations and struggles for more.