CLARA DE ASÍS “Sans Nom Ni Forme” C30 (Pilgrim Talk)

Spanish artist Clara De Asís is a proponent of active listening, which manifests itself on Sans Nom Ni Forme as partaking in a carefully plotted menagerie of guitar tones. For me, who’s all about that guitar tone, doesn’t matter if it’s Slash and Yngwie, I was ready for action. I’m all about active listening, and also air guitar playing! Then, De Asís threw me the curveball that you smart readers could all see coming from a mile (or sixty feet, six inches) away, and I realized I was thinking of something completely different.

Clara De Asís is incredibly deliberate in her composition. Notes are struck, but one at a time, the sound allowed to reverberate into the environment and take on ambient properties of the room. Feedback is teased and dared to become sentient. Humming drones form sonic equivalents of quiet lakes across which dinghies are rowed as storm clouds gather. No matter how much the outside world works to distract from these delicate pieces, you must never let it in – active listening demands that you devote your full attention to the Sans Nom Ni Forme. And even if it somehow does get in, how does Sans Nom Ni Forme interact with it?

That’s the curiosity. But trust me, it works better if you’re fully invested, fully focused on De Asís’s playing. It’s hypnotic in the end. Not like Dave Mustaine at all.