TRAVERSA, MARTINO - Critical_Path
Martino Traversa is a very well-known Italian composer who studied at Salzburgs Mozarteum, at the CCRMA at Stanford University and with Luigi Nono from 1987 to 1989. Critical-Path presents for the first time ever a selection of his electronic music works, composed between 2000 and 2008. Besides being a prolific composer, Martino is a very active cultural promoter: he founded the Ensemble Edgard Varèse in 1990, with Luigi Nonos support; in 1991 he launched Traiettorie," a highly-reputed international festival of modern and contemporary music in Parma, where he is also Professor of Music at the University. He recently established the Casa del Suono in Parma, a place entirely devoted to new music events. The most important piece on this CD is undoubtedly "Variations Upon A Labyrinth" (2000), prompted by two of the most significant personalities of Italian avant-garde, the poet Edoardo Sanguineti and the composer Luciano Berio. The piece is in fact based on the "Laborintus" text by Edoardo Sanguineti, read by the poet himself, whose voice is electronically treated by the composer, becoming a sort of maze of sound and meaning. "NGC 253" (2007) is a sort of virtual sound sculpture realized for the outstanding "Sonic Chandelier" installed in the Casa del Suono. The Chandelier consists of 228 speakers precisely distributing sounds in the area below the installation, giving the listeners the feeling that the sound is coming from invisible sources moving just above and around their heads. This site-specific works main constituent is anything else but 253 milliseconds of noise, taken from an old vinyl recording that undergoes a subtle transformation, evolving and wandering in different time and spatial dimensions, but always following a spiral pattern, falling from the top to the bottom of the acoustic space as a sort of "quantistic rain of sounds." This is not the only composition inspired by a specific site: "Coming To The Temple Of Asclepion" was composed after a visit to the ancient temple situated on top of one of the hills of the Greek island of Kos, where the surrounding sounds are greatly evocative: waves breaking on the rocks and the shrill of cicadas in a landscape made mainly of blue sky. Taking inspiration from these sounds (and far from any New-Ageish reference), the composition is a sort of programmed crescendo that builds up to a drama: a high level of noise is followed by a sudden, immense silence. What remains is the image of the "écume des mer" that climbs up the hill, bringing with it the voices of the thousands of men and women that lived there, just to make us remember once again the fragility of the human existence. Last but not least, "Critical-Path" is a composition that once again starts from natural sounds, like wind and water, and the sound of traditional instruments like the piano, and aims to explore the intrinsic properties of the nature of each sound, in order to define a specific abstract reference model. It is realized through a sound-generation engine based on a new type of synthesis and sound models. The new sounds are multiform, almost protean, as different structures and reference models coming from different sounds co-exist within them. A great "electronic" premiere for a composer definitely worth exploring." -Die Schachtel.
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