I'm quite familiar with the recorded work of "improvising group"
Ossatura, of which Martusciello is a member (check their two CDs released
on ReR), this is the first time I've listened to Elio Martusciello as a solo
artist, and I'm quite glad I can say that Unoccupied Areas was for me a very
pleasant surprise. The five electroacoustic compositions featured here are
so clearly thought-out (and so assuredly performed) as to make this CD required
listening for... well, almost anybody - provided, that is, that their concept
of what "music" is entails the notion of "organised sound".
tracks are quite varied (their source being listed on the CD booklet), but
all share an attitude that could maybe be defined as working on a wide canvas
with just the right amount of elements - just check what can be achieved by
using only the "almost white noise" with panning that appears at
about 3' 15" on Ibidem. I assume Martusciello's influences will be apparent
to those familiar with the history of this particular language - as an obvious
example, check Hommage A Pierre Schaeffer - Etude Aux Chemins De Fer, the
track that closes the album. But I also seemed to detect a pinch of Frank
Zappa circa Lumpy Gravy, especially on the tracks Dispositivo Di Superficie
and Ibidem (and let's not forget the subtle use of humour that one can find
on some of the tracks).
developments, creative use of timbres, a very good ear for rhythm... All tracks
have quite a lot to offer. The first track was the one I liked the least,
but here I have to confess I have a problem with vocal sounds used as source
material. The track changes and develops a whole lot, however, eventually
getting to a point that's impossible to foresee. The same is also true of
Proiezioni, which uses mostly sounds of projectors and the like as raw materials
(I hope I'm not being too anthropomorphic if I say that the sound that appears
at the end of the track - an empty spool? - to me sounded like applause).
And most of the time the music has no problem in transcending the most easily
recognizable materials (is it really Lux Aeterna at about 3' 35" on Dispositivo
I'd like to add that Unoccupied Areas could easily work as an antidote against
a lot of stuff that nowadays poses as "modern electronic music".
© Beppe Colli 2005
CloudsandClocks.net | April 12, 2005