Boomkat Product Review:
Having appeared and sold out in a flash earlier this year, we’ve finally got a decent haul of Lea Bertucci’s stunning 'A Visible Length of Light’ suite for bass clarinet, alto sax, manipulated tape, organ, flute and field recordings, released via her own Cibachrome Editions. It’s an immersive and multi-layered rendering of allegorical americana/drone landscapes that comes very highly recommended if yr into Mary Jane Leach's Flute pieces, Neil Young’s ‘Dead Man’ OST or Bendik Giske’s whirling/humid sax treatments.
‘A Visible Length of Light’ follows the remarkable, lonngform 'Acoustic Shadows’ - for our money one of last year’s standout albums - with a more concise and traditional structure spirited with ephemeral inspiration from folk, bluegrass, jazz, and gospel. Recorded at home in New York City and during a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, with additional field recordings made in Rio de Janeiro, the Cali coast, and Dead Horse Bay, Brooklyn; the results speak to a mind pulled between torpor and the natural urge to explore - refining and sounding out her feelings with an expressive quality and compositional concision that’s unusually direct compared with the elusive nature of her previous works.
Intended as a contemplative salve for the collective experience of the past year, the 11-part album feels poignant and mindful, deploying alto saxophone and bass clarinet fed through FX matrices to describe fleeting impressions of emptied streets, ancient liminal spaces, and the sprawl of the US Midwest, vacillating parts of cathartic, extended melodic thought and soothing harmonic richness with a series of more haunted ‘refrain’ pieces and textural abstractions such as ‘Threshes’ that help create a holistic sort of ecology for a topographical reading of her homelands. The scope of Lea’s music is timeless in a manner that reminds that the world is ever the same, forever changing.