With Mike Patton’s upcoming performance of “Forgotten Songs” with Uri Caine we thought we’d take a look at Mike Patton’s history of performing at the Angelica festival.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you that Mike Patton has a long established history of performing in Italy, having lived there for many a year, being fluent in Italian, and marrying an Italian. Angelica 28 this year will mark Patton’s 5th year of involvement, dating back more than 20 years to when he began performing at the 7th Angelica in 1997.
1997 – Angelica 7
Mike Patton first performed at Angelica Number 7 in 1997 where the theme was “Sampling and the use of found sound”. He was involved with two performances, firstly with House of Discipline, and then secondly as part of a large-scale improvised and experimental show.
House of Discipline
Patton performed with Bob Ostertag and Otomo Yoshihide under the name “House of Discipline” on Saturday the 10th of May, 1997. Ostertag is an experimental sound artist and author who also lives in San Francisco. He’s performed with John Zorn and composed for the Kronos Quartet. At the same festival, Ostertag wrote a piece on “Why Computer Music Sucks”. Yoshihide is a Japanese musician and composer known for his involvement with the Japanese Noise and Avante-Garde scene. Yoshihide has also worked with Ostertag on the album Twins!! (1996).
Here’s how the Angelica described them in the programme:
House of Discipline puts three top improvisers of extremely diverse backgrounds together under the one roof. Tokyo and San Francisco. Noise meets noise. King Kong meets John Wayne. Discipline to spare. Highly unlikely and altogether improbable.
Two of the songs “The Art of Fist Fucking 1 and 2” by House of Discipline made their way onto an album of songs from the festival, originally titled AngelicA 1997.
Listen to House of Discipline perform at Angelica 1997.
Also at Angelica 7, on May the 11th 1997, Mike Patton and a large number of other artists from the festival, including Ikue Mori (part of Hemophiliac with Patton and Zorn), Bob Ostertag, and Otomo Yoshohide, combined for an improvised show. The performance was titled in the programme simply as a question mark and was followed by Otomo Yoshihide’s other band at the time “Ground-Zero” performing Plays Standard (1997).
Like his performance with House of Discipline, two songs made it onto the festival album Angelica 1997. The first is a song with Marie Goyette titled “Romance For A Choking Man/Woman”.
The second track from this performance is a bit of a mouthful, both in terms of musicians performing, and then secondly in the title. It was performed by Andrew Sharpley, Bob Ostertag, Chris Cutler, Diane Labrosse, Ikue Mori, Jean Derome, John Oswald, Marie Goyette, Martin Tétreault, Mike Patton, Mirko Sabatini, René Lussier, Tenko, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, and Otomo Yoshihide (see what we mean), and the track was titled “!Cudegokalalumosospasashatetéwaot”.
Listen to Mike Patton perform at Angelica 1997
2000 – Angelica 10
Garland of Virginal Co-ordinates – Eyvind Kang
For the 10th edition of the Angelica festival, they commissioned a work from Eyvind Kang to be performed by The Playground Ensemble, consisting of sixteen European members. Six additional members were also included in the performance.
The performance was to a written musical score and performed with subtle improvisations that led to a 73-minute work. Patton shines on the tracks “I Am the Dead”, “Innocent Eye, Crystal See”, and “Marriage of Days”.
The recordings from Angelica on the 9th and 12th of May were mixed with additional recordings in Seatle, WA and released as Eyvind Kang’s Virginal Co Ordinates.
The album was originally released in 2003 on Angelica’s own label, Dischi Di Angelica, and then later re-released under license on Patton’s Ipecac Recordings in 2004.
Patton would rejoin Kang to perform Virginal Co Ordinates at the Sacrum Profanum festival in Poland in October 2016.
Mike Patton vs The X-Ecutioners
At the same festival as Mike Patton performing with Eyvind Kang and The Playground Ensemble in Garland of Virginal Co Ordinates, he was also billed alongside The X-Ecutioners.
The X-Ecutioners are a three-piece DJ group from New York that featured Total Eclipse, Roc Raida, and Mixed Sinista who DJed whilst Patton provided electronics and his vocals.
We don’t know much about this performance, except that it was booked for Saturday the 13th of May 2000 at Link (Sala Bianca). If you have any information or recordings on the concert please let us know.
Here is a recording of Mike Patton and the X-Ecutioners from Victoriaville Festival, Canada one week later, which we imagine would be similar to the set at Angelica.
Patton would also release an album with The X-Ecutioners in 2005 titled General Patton vs The X-Ecutioners.
2006 – Angelica 16
Cantus Circæus – Eyvind Kang
In 2006 Angelica Festival and l’Altro Suono (The Other Sound) commissioned Eyvind Kang to compose music specifically for the festival. This commision would be delivered by Eyvind Kang through Cantus Circæus. Cantus Circæus included text from Giordano Bruno, John Scotus Erigena, Marbodo of Rennes, and Pietro d’Abano.
The performance of Cantus Circæus was on the 7th and 8th of May, 2006 at the Teatro Comunale, Modena. Joining Kang again was Mike Patton, providing vocals alongside Jessika Kenney.
The recording of the performance was later released on Patton’s Ipecac Recordings as Athlantis (2007) by Evyind Kang.
Watch Mike Patton perform at Angelica Festival 16
2007 – Angelica 17
Mondo Cane – Mike Patton
Patton’s performance at Angelica 17 is probably his most well known. Originally performed over three nights 24-26th of May 2007 Mondo Cane was Mike Patton’s take on 1950’s and 60’s Italian pop songs. The performance would go on to be performed around the world, and then later released in 2010 as an album of the same title.
The performance was over two years in the making and was commissioned by Angelica Festival, and co-produced by l’Altro Suono Festival (The Other Sound), Rossini Theater Foundation, and Emilia Romagna Region – Department of Culture.
The performance was arranged by both Patton and Daniele Luppi. Mondo Cane was directed by Aldo Sisillo and included Roy Paci: trumpet, Enri: Hammond organ, clavinet, synthesisers, Gege ‘Munari: drums, Vincenzo Vasi: theremin and electronics, Alessandro “Asso” Stefana: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, Riccardo Onori: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, Antonio Borghini: electric bass, double bass, Fabrizio Aiello: percussion, and the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic Orchestra.
When asked about his purpose in performing these songs, Patton replied:
… My purpose in revisiting these pieces is not to relive the past, not for nostalgia, but more to illustrate through modern and adventurous interpretation exactly how vital and important this music still is.
Watch Mike Patton Perform Mondo Cane at Angelica 17
2018 – Angelica 28
Forgotten Songs – Mike Patton and Uri Caine
Finally, we come to this year’s festival and one again Angelica festival along with l’Altro Suono (The Other Sound) have commissioned Patton to perform another show. Titled Forgotten Songs Patton and Uri Caine, an American composer and pianist, will perform 34 different songs dating back to 1890 on the 25th and 26th of May, 2018.
Listen to Mike Patton and Uri Caine’s “Forgotten Songs” – 25 May 2018
Listen to Mike Patton and Uri Caine Perform “Retrovertigo” – 26 May 2018
Listen to the new Patton/John-Claude Vannier Song “Chansons D’Amour” – 26 May 2018
We hope that the performance will be recorded and released as an album in the near future.