Margaret Stutt, the Milwaukee musician now based in Brooklyn that we all call Pezzettino has been nothing if not industrious, releasing a slew of CDs in just a few years.
Her most recent, "Lub Dub," was among the best records to emerge from Brew City in recent years. Her latest project, "Pedestrian Drama," is a work-intensive one and she's been hammering away at it for a while.
Now, she says, her "dark fear concept album" has reached the mixing stage and will appear soon.
"The audio recording will probably finished by November, and then (I) will start working on collaboration with a boutique art label that will release it as a limited edition collectible art package," she says, adding that she's already looking ahead toward another CD project.
"Organizing all this might take a while, but I've got all the time in the world for it to be done right. In the meantime while organizing this I'm looking ahead and starting recording process of the following record."
Stutt says the record unmasks her experimental and classical sides in a four-movement, 40-minute work that is an "expression of neurosis, anxiety, displacement and isolation" and is rooted, at least in part in Janet Zweig's public art installation of the same name.
"The skeleton of the piece is the piano melody, and I worked with producer Allen Farmelo to inform the acoustic instrument with studio manipulations to create foreign, unfamiliar and uncomfortable environment," she says.
"It's as if the piano melody is the footsteps of an individual on a solo journey, at first confident and then realizing vulnerability and limitations proceeds with a knife and candle out ... discovering and traversing a new world that is at once fascinating and terrifying. We spent several months in pre-production, and would say that the studio choices are most inspired by Ben Frost's 'Hibakusja,' Scott Walker's later works, and fantasy movies such as 'Labyrinth,' 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The NeverEnding Story'."
Pezzettino returns to Milwaukee this week to play the Cactus Club on Friday, Sept. 16 at 10 p.m. with Vitrolum Republic and Wolfgang Schaefer. I asked her if she plans to perform parts of the work at the show.
"'Pedestrian Drama' will be performed when the package is ready as an interdisciplinary event," Stutt says.
"We're going big, I'm working with a choreographer that liked to work with aerial dance and gigantic puppets. We'll see, there is a lot of work to be done! I am giving this project the patience and special care that it requires for it to be done right."
Stutt was among Zweig's Milwaukee collaborators on "Pedestrian Drama," which was recently installed on the north side of Wisconsin Avenue, near Cass Street.
"I first became involved with Janet Zweig's 'Pedestrian Drama' two years ago when there was a controversy regarding funding in the City Council. After looking into the project to see what all the fuss was about, I became engrossed in Zweig's concept and wordplay. There was a call for narrative idea submissions, and cash reward for those accepted. ... I dove into the world of 'Pedestrian Drama,' thinking about the word 'pedestrian' as both ordinary circumstances and a person walking on a sidewalk, as advised by Zweig.
"Around that time I was wrestling with antagonistic attacks from Milwaukee musicians, a failed relationship, major debt from independently releasing albums and incessant touring while finishing school and disapproving parents that I didn't marry the businessman and was choosing music over a white coat career. I felt very isolated and alone, and was depressed and desperately anxious. The words "pedestrian drama" helped put things into perspective, existential crises, debt, and strained relationships are a part of everyone's fabric."
At the Cactus Club gig, Pezzettino will perform as a duo with Stutt and her frequent collaborator, bassist Allen Cote.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.