Pontius Pilots

Pontius Pilots


PONTIUS PILOTS features the collaboration of pianist Victor Noriega and producer Robert Nelson (e.R.DoN). Using an array of real-instruments samples and synthesized sounds in combination with the acoustic piano, Pontius Pilots pushes the marriage of eletronic and acoustic music.


Pithy clusters of piano notes pool and quickly evaporate. A spare clatter of brushed cymbals and cracked snares hang like bone jewelry from the baby grand's lid. It all makes for a warm and woozy affair until a single insistent note pushes forth with doppler-like precision. The drums tighten form while clipped guitar tones surface and put flesh to the bone. It is an exhilarating and fleeting moment of fusion and confusion. It is also the kind of moment that Pontius Pilots conjure with ease. The Seattle-based duo of pianist Victor Noriega and producer Robert Nelson (aka eR.DoN) explore improv jazz forms imbued with inscrutable MPC-triggered samples. Lushly recorded and deftly performed, the resultant mix is a beautiful marriage of reason and caprice.

Victor Noriega has developed a distinct personal style that is both inventive and adventurous... his piano playing is crisp and articulate, and his compositions fuse Classical and Filipino folk elements with a jazz aesthetic. One moment his playing is reminiscent of the intricate contrapuntal lines in a Bach fugue, and the next the percussive dissonance of Bartok's music for piano... Listening to Noriega perform is like hearing the pieces of a puzzle come together into a satisfying whole.

e.R.DoN composes music using midi-sequences and original samples. It is electronic music, performed live using an Akai MPC 2000xl. Some of these samples are distorted and sequenced to such a degree that they sound nothing like the original and then at other times eR.DoN lets the live instruments flow purely and unhindered through his music. These ever changing juxtapositions give eR.DoN’s music an almost kinetic energy, which is filled with complexity and thoughtful nuances. The music shifts and teeters between traditional and more experimental jazz elements, but it is all seamlessly brought together by eR.DoN's skill in composing the electronic underpinnings. The result is a warmth and depth of sound that is not usually associated with this genre.


The Journal of Popular Noise Vol 1/Issue 6

Set List

60 minutes of orginal music:

Jim & Doug
Washed Opticals
Finding Done
Can't Hurt Me
Century Park