Emiliano Romanelli :: Tabulatura (Terziruolo)

Though little of Tabulatura may strike the outside ear as new, the inner will likely not have heard it so before—with indeterminacy’s agency laying the grain of the voice open for fuller listener occupation.

Emiliano Romanelli :: Tabulatura (Terziruolo)

Indeterminacy is a bit of an odd one. The use of computers to make music is familiar, as is its motivation in the desire of musicians for complete and precise control over their creations; such determinacy drove pioneers like Schaeffer and Stockhausen to commune with electronic oscillators and reel-to-reel tape recorders in the ’50s. Less familiar, though, is the use of technology to hand over authorial control, to ride tandem with the random; indeterminacy, recondite though it may be, has had its moments. A particular Mozart composition, for example, let the dice decide which of a number of possible one-measure fragments would follow for each measure. More obviously, experimental composers of the ’50s/60s developed a music of chance in which random decisions played key roles in almost every compositional decision (e.g. Cage’s Williams Mix (1953)).

Such an aesthetic underlies the work of Emiliano Romanelli, co-founder of multimedia duo, Tu m’ (1998-2011), with releases on LINE (Moonochromes Vol.1), Headz (Fragile Touch Of The Coincidence), and Dekorder (Just One Night). He deals in installations and live performance, his currency generative systems and perceptual relations between sound, light and space. The mode of his work’s release—in volumes with prosaic numbered track titles (“Pattern #25,” “000148 of 110889”)—implies open generative processes that might recur infinitely, as if each were a set of snapshots of an ever-changing system. Tabulatura (Volume 1) is seven such shots of an indeterminate composition for 16 pre-recorded guitar parts and computer with software conceived as a system to generate different electro-acoustic patterns. Recorded live–direct to drive, 2-track, sans DSP or overdub, at Palazzo Castagna, Città Sant’Angelo (ABR), the surface simplicity of its pieces belies a world of subtle detail, revealed on closer listen: of tone and spatial aperture, gentle pulse and rumble, liminal rise-fall swell-relent cadences. Quiet and subdued, with low attention demands and no prescribed listening mode, those of a single undulation elicit focused scrutiny, others little more than a bask in their radiant glow.

Though little of Tabulatura may strike the outside ear as new, the inner will likely not have heard it so before—with indeterminacy’s agency laying the grain of the voice open for fuller listener occupation.

Tabulatura is available on Terziruolo (digital) and Cassauna (cassette).

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