A p/review of a giant soul.
In these times, of increasing and encroaching technology, it is important that we pay close attention to the people that are bringing technology into our lives. That we seek to identify what it is, that they represent as human beings, and how it is that they are using technology, to expand upon and communicate their ideas and therefore, what value does this technology bring to us.
A surreal adventure, every time. A morning spent with CLAUDIO a.k.a. Rachel Claudio talking about the things that are happening right now, over a piece of toast and a glass of water. Tuesday morning, sitting in the sun. For everyone who has been sleeping up til now, you seriously have to get out of bed, you don’t want to miss this bus.
Rach has been working on the good stuff, all her life. Both literally and figuratively wide eyed, Rach is a conduit of experience, a very real synapse in the network of us, within which we find both our collective and individual humanity. The heartache and joy, the work, the risk, profit and loss, the fear, love, abandon and affection, confusion and clarity that we all know, are the things that you’ll hear when you listen to CLAUDIO.
The new moniker, CLAUDIO, is an entirely appropriate reframing and representation of the state of the art, of a brave life’s work. There is an album and a live show being developed right now and it is a definitive example of what can be done when prodigious talent explores a new instrument. For CLAUDIO, that new instrument comes in the form of the textural, temporal warp-machine that is, Ableton Live.
Rach has always been a praised vocalist and keys player. Rhodes piano, Moog and Prophet Synths have always been around Rach, which is only natural, when you consider the people that she has worked with in the past. I won’t drop names, we’ll save some surprises for CLAUDIO to reveal, later.
Ableton’s software has been very powerful, for a long time. Intuitive and efficient, with native effects and instruments that rival the best out there. What is cool however, is the team’s development of a hardware instrument that allows an artist to really perform with the software. The APC was good, but the new instrument, the PUSH, takes it to another level and CLAUDIO is one of the first one’s there.
She’s timed her run excruciatingly well. Songs that are predisposed to becoming classics are presented to us from every angle and in all possible states of inside-outed-ness.
Everything that CLAUDIO is doing, is natural. No pastiche, no nostalgic homage, nor any fictionalist futurism. Songs are presented in the exact context of the present day. A fierce and independent human who has kept a true diary and made herself familiar with the harmonic series. I’m looking forward to keeping a scrapbook-list of the list of artists that reviewers are going to compare CLAUDIO with.
Ableton have noticed this too and whilst the internet is going bonkers about the technical side of what CLAUDIO is doing, Ableton have made queries about the humanity of the person who is behind the music, asking if she would speak with their people about the motivations behind making such music. Bravo Ableton, you are a fine mob.
Speaking with Rach about finding a new way to explore an old love, her response insists that I consider the undying love between my parents or the way that Jiro dreams of sushi. The idea is that the bravest and riskiest thing anyone can do, is to continue to find motivation and excitement to continue to focus on one thing. It’s a comment with a flexible blade, that slips between the gaps in my armour to make me really think. These observations come from all of us, for all of us.
Funnily, even though I typically focus on lyrics in songs, it takes me a few listens to be able to hold onto the words. There are unexpected movements in the music that make me sway and sigh and forget that I’ve got a mental note to try to remember witty observations about song structure, to blog about later. In music like this, I forget myself and find myself, again and again.
I do have a bias, of course. I’m talking about one of my oldest friends, but I’ve always been friends with musicians that I admire. Good music is a manifestation of beauty and beauty can only come from honesty and friendship too, can only come from honesty. So using the logics of loves, my friendship confirms rather than conflicts with my conclusion, that CLAUDIO is fkn onto something here.
This part of an artist’s life is a wondrous thing to be around. The electricity surrounding someone as a long-odds bet, placed some time ago, starts to show the signs of being a sure shot.. It is in conversation around this point, that you start to really get to the interesting stuff:
You see whether actions are motivated from within or from without, you begin to hear the words that someone has been telling you, and themselves, all their lives AND.. it is this point, (to dwell on a point) where we are reminded, that we are all, inextricably connected.
As the days get longer and warmer here in the southern hemisphere, let’s look to our neighbours for inspiration. There is so much beauty, right here in Perth and this summer, we’ll get a few chances to catch a CLAUDIO gig before aeroplanes and optic fibres are required to reestablish the connection.
There’s big stuff coming.. We’ll keep you posted