Francisco Meirino - Anthems For Unsuccessful Winners

A     P E R P E T U A L    H O S T 

CD, Misanthropic Agenda, 2024, MAR 064, 4 panel digipack, matte finish, Ltd 250


A deep dive into personal loss and the banalities of life and art, A Perpetual Host captures the raw, solitary, and often acerbic extremes that drive creation. Across four pieces, Meirino explores sonic tension and boredom, questioning the simplicity and complexity of the mundane with bursts of clarity that redefine existence itself. (label description)


Tracklist.

*Something Always Remains 15:15

**Fathers (Purgatory-Causality-Self) 13:54

***You Are Here And There Is No Cure For That 19:36

*There Is Nothing For Us Here 14:50

             

Assembled and mastered at Shiver Mobile, Lausanne, 2019-2023.6.


Francisco Meirino : synthesizers [ eurorack, serge], field recorders, microphones, computer, autoharp, shruti box, resonator guitar, voice, violin, reel-to-reel tape recorders, tap echo and homemade electronics.


*Slightly different edits previously released in 2021 as a cassette on Research Laboratory RL0147

**A piece for 8 speakers, premiered in 2022 at Supersonique, Marseille, France

*** A piece for 20 speakers, premiered in 2021 at The Centerpoint, Lausanne, Switzerland


Design. collage and layout - Francisco Meirino

Cover painting (public domain) by Arnold Böcklin

REVIEWS


In Vital Weekly


As this is Swiss composer Francisco Meirino’s fourth album on Misanthropic Agenda, I am sure I missed one or two; I probably missed a few more overall, which is sad as I continue to like his work. He started as a laptop artist under the name of Phroq, but when he began using his own name, his music became more of a thing of his own. One essential new ingredient in his work is the use of what he calls ‘the end of life of electronic devices’, which indeed calls for exciting sounds, bursting and cracking, the last breath of a machine. You could also see that as a statement, about the state of our society, about ecological matters. I don’t know if these things matter to Meirino. He also uses ” electrostatic noise, magnetic fields and the unconventional use of music hardware and sound systems”, which translates as “the modular synthesizer (Eurorack-Serge), various microphones, the computer, the field recorder, tape recorders and tape echoes, EMF detectors and various home-made electro-acoustic devices”. In his work, Meirino uses the cut-up technique, brutal cuts, to make abrupt changes to the scenery. 

Also mentioned is “Meirino explores sonic tension and boredom, questioning the simplicity and complexity of the mundane with bursts of clarity that redefine existence itself”, which seems a bit much, redefining existence itself. Still, there is certainly some weight to his music. Meirino uses ‘heavy’ sounds. In the opening piece, ‘Something Always Remains’, some Zeitkratzer-like sounds of string instruments are plucked manually and mechanically but then slowly opened, and later, sounds become sparse. There is a more acoustic treatment of acoustic sounds (drum?). 

The computer plays the all-defining role here; minor details are amplified, cut away, and reversed, and open microphones pick up sounds from speakers, adding natural spatial quality to the music. Sometimes, it almost sounds like it is played in your living room. While some of this is quite loud and abrasive, I don’t think Meirino is interested in playing the noise card. His music often sinks to barely audible, but it picks up the volume again and can quickly grow into massive, intense work. Minimalism plays a primary role, but never too long. Sometimes, his work reminded me of Dave Philips and Rudolf Eb.er, sharing a love for solid amplification of the slightest sounds but less feral and more from acoustic objects and electronic manipulations. 

These four pieces span nearly an hour’s worth of music, each about fifteen minutes long. It is long and heavy, yet there isn’t any moment of boredom in the music. It leaves you somewhat exhausted behind, but I found this ultimately rewarding experimental music. Exactly as I like them: complex, loud, engaging, quiet and created with great care and consideration. 

(FdW)