This is quite possibly the most bizarre disc I've ever heard. It's hardly music, as what constitutes the "songs" is just weird sound effects (and I love avant-garde!), telephones ringing, someone walking in the hallways, knocking on the door, typewriter sounds, radio excerpts, pure silence, and so on. With tracks longer than 10 minutes, some of it is just pure white noise, static and can get even annoying at times. I've tried to hard to grasp the meaning behind all of this, giving Unoccupied Areas a meaning, without success. Every once in a while, you'll hear something far back in the clattering soundscapes of the pieces, such as the nice hummed female vocals five minutes into "Dispositivo Di Superficie", but they just go on for like four seconds, before you hear several people mumbling, then a baby crying hysterically, then more static radio blurps, and then a long, drawn-out sound effect. The last two minutes are utterly discordant. There's a very industrial-tinged beat going on, except that it sounds like some tribal groove recorded in the Amazon, and then another "scary" wall of sound follows it up, till the song concludes at 10:19 minutes. It's truly astonishing to say the least. Not the "music", but the fact that someone actually decided to record it and a label (ReR in this case) liked it enough to release it internationally.
Perhaps the liner notes in the CD booklet would mean something to you:
There are activities which attract persons towards the intimate sphere, which bring them into contact with their inmost being, with the deep abysses which determine personality. As with composition, these are solitary activities which are exercised within the unoccupied areas of one's thoughts. There are also activities which drive the individual to measure himself against others, which accompany him to his encounter with diversity, to the boundary which delienates his inner self. As with improvisation, these are social activities which burgeon in the frequented spaces of communication and affection. These two aspects of our experience are absolutely necessary for the harmonious development of our individuality: one process flows into the other, one activity influences the other. But a new element has a role in this arduous task of constructing the inmost being: technology. This demolishes our cognitive and perceptive experience, and it manifests itself as an open field of experimentation and research. What has been said up to now, in my opinion, determines a form of awareness or consciousness that should permeate the creative process of art and constitute, in the case in point, the deepest sense of musical activity. This latter presents itself as an extraordinary and creative instrument of transformation and growth of our capacity to listen, this being understood as willingness to welcome and accommodate the complexity of the world as well as that of life itself, to create a new and more mature "philosopy of listening".
Well, that's it. Assuming Elio Martusciello's intent of creating a new and more mature philosophy of listening (whatever that really means), I'll give him credit, albeit I really have no idea what he's getting at. This is one of the most strikingly unusual "albums" I've ever heard. I rarely read others' reviewing before I write mine, but in this case, I tried browsing the net in hopes of understanding what this is supposed to be. Too bad I haven't found any reviews anywhere. If you do, I'd love to read them.
- Dispositivo Di Superficie
- Hommage A Pierre Schaeffer - Etude Aux Chemins De Fer