"What type of music can represent the contemporary world? Doubtless it would be modern music, the type of music that has its roots in the reality of daily life, that reports on social upheavals and the fact that the majority of the public couldn't care less about music. At the same time there would have to be — as is true of any truth — something sensational about it and to this aim it would suffice for it not to be false, as is the type of music that is going around the cultural world at the moment and that imposes false feelings and relationships on the public, as well as constituting a perpetual obstacle between Man and his time." Fred K. Prieberg, Musica Ex Machina, Berlin, 1960
Setola di Maiale is a radical label of independent musicians, improvisers and composers. It was set up in January 1993 by musicians Stefano Giust and, in the early, Paolo De Piaggi, with the clear intent to highlight creative music. The main purpose of Setola di Maiale is to compensate a widespread need in the community of adventurous musicians, ie to give body and continuity to creative musics, providing a further opportunity that can document, at least in part, the path of a non-commercial musical project. Setola di Maiale is founded on direct participation and by the distinctive creativity of all musicians involved. From this way of working, many forms of collaborations were born along with meetings, friendships, three festivals, the performances at the 48th Venice Biennale or at Radio Resonance of the London Musicians' Collective or even, the presence at Angelica Festival Internazionale Di Musica (Bologna), at the Hanoi New Music Festival in Vietnam, at the Axes Beuk Festival/TAC-Temporary Art Center (Eindhoven). In parallel, extensive in-depth articles have appeared on magazines such as Musica Jazz and The New York City Jazz Record, as well as many music blogs like Percorsi Musicali and Il Giornale Della Musica by EDT.
The catalog presented here – once printed on paper and since 2005 online, thanks to the collaboration of the musician and computer scientist Daniele Pagliero – in its 30th anniversary (1993-2023) there are almost 500 productions, with about 1000 names divided among musicians and ensembles from all over the world. It documents both the music and the experiences of this body of work. It offers official albums of soloists and groups, in the fields of so-called avant-garde, such as free improvisation, free jazz, electroacoustic, modern composition, acousmatic, electronic, experimental music and all those difficult music to catalog, unconventional. Contemporary music in its wider form of expression. The works are produced in limited editions with Cd support or high quality Cdr, very accurate and professional. The albums are always produced in full agreement with the musicians.
Setola di Maiale is not exactly a commercial label for profit or even an association: it is rather a laboratory/archive of free artistic coagulation that operates in total creative and managerial freedom, whose sole purpose is to document and disseminate the music of our time. The polemical Prieberg's words, the exergue above, has always been used since the very beginning of the label. Note that nothing is changed in more than fifty years. Diy attitude is inevitably the only way for certain type of music – that we call Art Music – to exist, without the help of public or private subsidies and in a market that either is clearly not there, or is stereotyped. Setola di Maiale could be thought as a pure commercial utopia.
"What is clearly perceived is the coherence of intentions and the refusal of any compromise, elements which at a certain point are also supported by a progressive growth in popularity: what at the beginning was a radical and minute expression is today transformed into programmatic emphasis, a laboratory of products and musicians that invest any sub-sector of music and keeps the banner of the quality of the publications high thanks to a preventive listening work that Giust carries out with great acumen. Stefano does not like talking nonsense or intellectual buzz, he is a man who hides a concrete thought behind a measured shyness, something that can win or demean any opposing position." (Ettore Garzia for Percorsi Musicali, published on February 14, 2023 entitled "30 Years of Setola di Maiale").