Pipe organ sonata by Clay Ruby featuring liturgical medleys and elaborate funerary improvisations with accompanying electronic atmospheres by Giovanni Donadini, Nico Vascellari and Riccardo Mazza. This performance was given on the mid-eighteenth century pipe organ at Chiesa di San Nicolò di Perarolo di Cadore and recorded December 23rd, 2009 at the inauguration performance of Nico Vascellari's exhibition at Perarolo, as currated by Daniela Zangrando.
A crowd from all over Italy traveled north to join the curious villagers, all huddled together in their warmest winter clothes to witness this performance, which involved a 3 hour funeral procession and memorial within the massive, candlelit, unheated church that is the center of tiny village lost high in the frozen Dolomites of northern Italy. Two elderly natives furiously pulling ropes to pump the bellows of the ancient organ while Clay Ruby conjures decayed hymns, modal improvisations, spiraling tone clusters and utterly supernatural voices out of its sputtering pipes. This tape captures a 50+ minute excerpt of the lengthy proceedings, documenting the howling organ, the cryptic electronics and the frozen spirits singing in the pulsing and surreal environment of the centuries-old church.