recorded in topolo, italy during a residency for stazione di topolo festival - august 2013
maddalena carta (cello) | marija miorelli (flute) | antonio della marina (alto saxophone) michele spanghero (double bass) | sando carta (trumpet) | gabriella ferrari (clarinet) audience (listening) | villages (continuing) pheobe riley law (assistance, participation) | jez riley french (recording)
before the performance I spent a few days exploring specific spaces around the village, listening to how the sounds of the locale moved in and around them. I made decisions about which instrument to place in which space, discussing these choices with the musicians. Each was instructed to listen as closely as possible to their positions, playing quietly in order to 'sound' the acoustics. For the performance the audience gathered in the village's open air cinema in the early evening. Earlier I had asked one of the villagers to signal the beginning of the piece to the musicians In the seconds immediately after this signal the performance began to succeed. With one startled exception (nicely done Maria !) and some of the villagers continuing to go about their daily chores the entire audience remained focused on intense listening. The level of that commitment is palpable in the recording. I hear something shift in the sounds of birds and insects also, whether real or heightened perception. each is fabric, material.
I've been exploring this process of recording musicians in environments and from a distance for some time now - i’m drawn to the way the musical gestures both blend with and at times punctuate the wider soundscape. By asking the performers and audience to collaborate in this way, with myself and with their surroundings, when it works it can be a powerful experience that I hope is reflected in this recording.