Luciano Maggiore & Enrico Malatesta · talabalàcco

Luciano Maggiore & Enrico Malatesta · talabalàcco

talabalàcco is the first collaboration by Luciano Maggiore and Enrico Malatesta. The pair have deliberately eschewed the process of duo improvisation, recording material independently and composing with these fragments, resulting in a refined and purposeful combination of electronic and acoustic textures. The composition unfolds episodically, appearing to deny musical structure, but maintaining an incisive impact as its chapters accumulate.


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Listening involves many questions. Some of these relate to listeners and their reactions: questions about how a piece of music makes them feel, whether they ‘like’ it or not, or how it relates to other contexts and experiences they are familiar with. Other questions seem somehow ‘internal’ to the music itself. Take the subject of rhythm, about which many questions could be asked, such as:

• What’s the smallest, quietest, or most irregular sound a rhythm can be built from?

• How long can the pause between each event last before a regular series of sounds ceases to be perceived as a rhythm?

• How long does it take for rhythm to be perceived in a series of sound events?

Luciano Maggiore and Enrico Malatesta’s new album “Talabalacco” seems to be driven more by the second category of questions than by the first. The release was composed from several unrelated recordings of synthesisers and acoustic objects, building a number of rhythmic patterns using the most minimal of means: clicks, taps, scrunches, and so on. All small sounds, but also discrete, with a clear beginning and end. Each rhythm seems designed to test the parameters of rhythm as a concept and as a phenomenon, to see how far things can be pushed before the sense of structure collapses. For the most part, this threshold is never crossed.

We could call the first category of questions subjective and the second objective, but to do so would be to miss the point entirely. What music based on the second category of questions does is push back the limits of what is accepted as possible and meaningful within a given discursive field, while at the same time undermining the apparent taken-as-givenness of that field’s dominant assumptions. In other words, it has the effect of re-calibrating perception, re-distributing thresholds of sensitivity and significance. A rhythm is a distribution of intensities in extensive space; change the distribution or the intensities, and the space — from which arises a whole topology — changes too. Through their rhythms, Maggiore and Malatesta give to loose distributions and small sound events the kinds of intensities that one would expect only tight distributions and big sound events to claim exclusive right to. This has something to do with power, as well as with feeling.

The other release by Consumer Waste is by Luciano Maggiore and Enrico Malatesta, and we read 'composed using unrelated recordings of synthesizer and acoustic objects', which is most curious description I would think. How and what, are the most common questions. The whole piece lasts nearly forty-two minutes and is divided into a bunch of sections and various gaps of silence. It's all very dryly recorded and truly fascinating stuff. It cracks and hisses, like rubbing some bit of waste plastic very close to your ear, while some electrical current produces static tones in the background. I don't think many sound effects were used here, if any at all, nor was there any computer processing. Some of these parts are quite short, twenty to thirty seconds, but they can also extent to a few minutes. Like said, I think this is quite fascinating music. Not very loud, at least not in a noise sense, but this is music that requires ones full attention. Take it or leave it, isn't an option I would think. You go in and immerse yourself in this wonderfully crackling world of electro-acoustic sound. Utterly dry but utterly fascinating stuff. The silence may take up almost a quarter of this release, but nowhere one has the idea this is very long - another odd thing about this release!

Recorded separately, using synths and objects (though the overall cast of the piece is percussive), recombined at a later date, with a very clean, clear sound and including a fair amount of silence. It's fine though I can't say it grabbed e especially. This practice is entering middle age, at least (I think my first file sharing exposure was Otomo and Carl Stone's "Amino Argot" back around the mid 90s) and I often to find it somewhat lacking barring an overarching, at least tenuously cohesive idea as was the case, for example, in MIMEO's "sight", at the behest of Keith Rowe. Any sounds can be molded after the fact, of course, and often, as here, the results are unobjectionable and even reasonably enjoyable on their own merits. That's one way to view them, to be sure, distancing oneself and regarding the activity in a Cagean way but after a while, I admit, this begins to be something of a chore. Not to particularly take this release to account, just mentioning the sort of thoughts that routinely pass through my noggin while listening. Things are kept on a generally low boil here, full of medium level knocks, taps, squeaks and scratches. The silences act to create a kind of episodic character but there's (intentionally, I assume) no discernible structural, much less narrative idea in play, just sequences of sounds, which is enough sometimes; other times, one hankers for a bit more.

Quelques mois (au plus) avant cette sortie, le label consumer waste publiait la première collaboration entre Luciano Maggiore et Enrico Malatesta. Il s'agissait de talabalàcco, une longue pièce encore plus surprenante de 40 minutes et des poussières. Cette fois, les musiciens sont crédités aux synthétiseurs et aux objets acoustiques, mais comme sur l'autre opus, les sources s'effacent toujours derrière le son en tant que tel.

Sur ce disque les phénomènes sonores, acoustiques ou synthétiques, sont utilisés de la même manière : une approche brute, directe, et minimaliste. Par certains aspects, je trouve que la musique de ce duo ressemble beaucoup à de la musique concrète ou acousmatique, de par l'utilisation de phénomènes et d'objets sonores quotidiens, mais aussi dans sa manière d'user des sons de manière brute. Mais il s'agirait d'une musique concrète hyper minimaliste. Comme si Pierre Henry réalisait une partition d'Antoine Beuger. C'est d'autant plus flagrant dans ce disque composé également sous forme de vignettes sonores qui se succèdent. Des vignettes simples et archaïques, à très bas volume, et séparées ci par de longs silences qui doivent remplir entre un quart et un tiers du disque. Ces silences informels rendent la structure très opaque et confèrent à chaque phénomène ou idée sonore une dimension épiphanique. Les sons ne sont presque rien, mais après un silence de plusieurs dizaines de secondes, ils prennent une dimension complètement autre, et c'est ce qui fait l'intérêt de ce disque. Car ici aussi, Maggiore et Malatesta utilisent des sons qui paraissent usuels, banals et quotidiens, mais au sein de ce disque, ils parviennent à offrir à ces phénomènes sonores une dimension qu'on n'aurait jamais imaginé.

Talabalacco – первая коллаборация электронщика Лучано Маджоре (Luciano Maggiore) и перкуссиониста Энрико Малатесты (Enrico Malatesta), оба из Италии. Они сознательно решили отказаться от совместной импровизации в угоду сосредоточенной работе как над своими партиями, так и с целым треком. Однако несмотря на то что это именно один трек длиною почти в сорок две минуты, в нём множество под-треков и фрагментов, как правило, не очень продолжительных. Эти музыканты в своих сольных релизах тоже были склонны к малой форме треков-этюдов, нежели к длинным полотнам. Того требует и сам характер используемых материалов: акустические и электронные звуки перкуссивного толка. Полиритмичные текстуры сложноразличимых источников прекрасно сведены воедино, а продолжительные отрезки тишины между звуками дают шанс неспешно обдумать отзвучавшее и с неподдельным любопытством ожидать последующее. Работа достаточно тихая и ненавязчивая, легко можно забыть о том, что слушаешь альбом. Одновременно, это возможность вписать звук в пространство, окружающее слушателя. Во второй половине трека звук становится более плотным и осязаемым, вновь возвращая слушателя к концентрированному прослушиванию, включающему в себя наслаждение множеством оттенков звука перкуссии Малатесты и синтезированных звуков Маджоре. Выхолощенная (в хорошем смысле слова) работа дуэта, выпущенная англичанами с лейбла Consumer Waste, порадует ценителей продукции итальянского лейбла Senufo Editions, например.