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Milo Fine: Damnatio Memoriae

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Photograph by Andrea Canter

The works (in their individual and collective breadths) are propelled by an urgency that was not always heard in Milo Fine’s pieces before and often sounds as it is one long depiction of the remorseless progress of Time and Death. Snatches of doleful melody which memorably punctuates the works exemplify the vein of plangent lyricism which increasingly tempers and enriches the work of Milo Fine. It is a work like no other and seems to seek to encompass the rather isolated history of free Jazz improvisation – and indeed the history and language of free improvisation itself. It is mythical, heroic and uniquely human and each of the three sections: music played on three sets of instruments elaborates the themes of Life, Time and Death. On paper, this sounds impenetrable; if performance does not make everything crystal clear, the music of The Only Dignity is Oblivion carries a powerful physical weight that transcends narrative clarity and is, in every sense, the work of a complex genius.

Note: this feature contains the text for Milo Fine: Everything is Music – Music is Everything published in this magazine on the 1st of March, 2017 and a review of Earlier Outbreaks of Iconoclasm from the 1st of March 2016.

¹ Translated by Paulo Henriques Britto

Website: www.milofine.com

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