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The process of experiencing a musical composition is like decoding a puzzle. The mind registers the emotional implications within a melody, the timbre of the instrumentation, the tempo of the music, and the subject matter of lyrics. Listeners then must decipher this relatively complex code and project their own meanings and feelings to that particular pattern of sound.
As a culture, we’ve also come to ascribe connotations to formulas and clichés. These are reference points, a context, and a shorthand method of leading the listener to a certain conclusion.
Mamiffer exists with little in the way of context. The musical project, spearheaded by pianist Faith Coloccia, speaks in a new language whose roots are harder to trace. Consequently, the music is intriguingly foreign.
A patient listener shouldn’t have any difficulties rendering the deep, vibrant human pulse in the compositions, though a Rosetta stone in the form of the project’s history and operational tactics will undoubtedly help untangle Mamiffer’s cryptic dialect.
Faith Coloccia’s early work as co-founder of the avant-guerilla sound experimentalists Everlovely Lightningheart was an exercise in re-examining traditional concepts of performance. Shows took place in sewers, art galleries, desert landscapes, and, on rare occasions, scattered about the corners and floor space of rock clubs. The shows were hypnotic, transcendent, and occasionally violent.