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expedition history
evolution of Expedition/Dérive
The Expedition began in Milan in a very small club called Porte Aperte in 1998. Three evenings, the same script with different musicians, a story of a team of anthropologists who explore an island looking for a lost tribe. The entire ecosystem of the island turns against them, and the tribe is never found. The musicians involved included Rhys Chatham, Giulio Capiozzo, Mamadi Kaba, Giancarlo Locatelli, Filippo Monico and many others.

The leitmotiv of the text was a line I actually found in a newspaper story about an expedition of anthropologists. “The worst part of the entire journey was when the island rats attacked our camp”.

Expedition evolution


At Leoncavallo in Milan, in January, a very large production with 11 or 12 musicians on stage. Many were from the popular “new generation” of Italian “alternative” rock groups (Manuel Agnelli of Afterhours, Mimi and Egle of Massimo Volume, Luca Gemma of Rosso Maltese). A jazz trio (Steve, G. Locatelli and F. Monico) clashed on stage with the rock musicians.

This version of the Expedition was repeated in the summer at the festival Brescia MusicArte.

Steve and Luca Gemma began to rework the entire concept. The anthropologists of the story began to record the sounds of the places they went, rather than always inviting local musicians to be "the natives". This focus on soundscape documentation, arriving in a city, recording its sounds and often surprising the "natives" in the audience with familiar, perhaps subconscious associations, changed our entire approach.

The concerts in 2000 were often just duets with tapes, entitled "The Secret Diaries of Bruce Chatwin". This concert was performed in festivals in Livorno and Pisa and at Cox 18 in Milan.

In Autumn 2000 Gak Sato began working with Hilarity Workshop, and the urban sound exploration became more intense.

The concert theme changed to “Songs about Danger”, as performed at Frontiere Festival in Milan.

In November 2000 the trio began to work with the photographer Armin Linke. These were the first Expedition concerts with video. Steve combined material from the first Expedition, the Chatwin concert and the Danger concert to create a framework.

3 November 2000, CS Rivolta, Marghera “Getting Ready for the Expedition”

28 December 2000, Mercati Generali, Catania, “Getting Ready for the Expedition”


21 March 2001 - The first day of Spring at Radio Popolare in Milan
The trio performed a live set at the radio of the new Expedition/Dérive. The theme of the dérive as formulated by Guy Debord and the Situationist International was added to the show as a way of interpreting and utilizing the sound documents recorded in many different cities.

15 June: Milan Polytechnic, concert and workshop on urban sounds, Architecture Workshop for the Multiethnic City

27 June: for the exhibition “Terraferma”, Centro Culturale Cambiani, Mestre. Concert “Expedition/Dérive” with special Mestre module (and new video by Luca Pancrazzi)

4 July: Concert “Expedition/Dérive” at the festival Sesto.com, Sesto San Giovanni (Milan) with special SSG module, and the participation of the percussionist Yajima Eriko

14 July: Mercati Generali in Catania (Sicily), concert “Expedition/Dérive” with special Catania module created with the participation of local poets.

22 September: Milano Film Festival, Piccolo Teatro Studio, concert “Effetto Cinema: musica alla deriva”

13 October: Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena, sound work for the exhibition by Luca Pancrazzi “Intruso-Estruso” - the video and the sounds have become part of Expedition/Dérive

30 November: Istituto Universitario Architettura di Venezia (IUAV), concert + urban sound workshop, with special guest Elliott Sharp.


11 March: Teatro di Portaromana, Milan, for the series "Suoni e Visioni", full scale production of Expedition/Dérive with new texts, new songs and new videos (see press release)

28 May: Drifting through Milan Central Station

14 NOVEMBER 2002, Latina, Newton Festival, Municipal Theater.


Monte Carlo, Grimaldi Forum, for the SuperWarhol exhibition, 31 July 2003
Genoa, Arena del Mare, 1 August 2003 (with special guests Massimo Falascone, Etnotindi)

After the release of the Expedition CD, the Derive concept was abandoned and the concert was transformed into EXPEDITION: THE DIG

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