Boomkat Product Review:
Glorious, compelling post-classical improv and reshod folk songs by widely admired virtuosos Tarozzi & Walker - required listening for anyone smitten with Laura Cannell’s folk vision, Cucina Povera, or the duo’s recordings of work by Éliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Stephen O’Malley.
A shining new star amid Unseen Worlds’ glittering constellation, ‘Canti di guerra, di lavoro e d‘amore’ follows from Tarozzi’s 2020 solo album for the label ‘Mi Specchio E Rifletto’, and her work with Walker on Philip Corner’s ‘Extreemizms’ (2018), with a ravishingly free and joyous expo of their combined energies. Rooted in the people and landscapes of Tarozzi’s native rural Emilia, Northern Italy, the album sees them breathe new life into songs originating from working class women and the partisan resistance of WWII, notably the choral song of rice field workers, named “Mondine” or “Mondariso”. Earthed in this rich tradition, and pulled to grander heights by their shared lifetime of experience in classical, avant, and new music performance, the results are brimming with a rarely captivating vitality for the ages.
Oscillating incantations about “hard, poorly paid work, love, the hypocrisy of society, protests, war, the challenge of working far from home, the violence of oppression and the need for political awareness”, with instrumental passages, the suite flickers in a beautifully elegant form that blurs the music’s idiomatic borders. With poetic license they describe the natural world above and around them, with flighty strokes opening out ‘Country Cloud’ and contoured in slyding pitches to follow the temple-kissing vocal cadence of ‘Sentite buona genre’ at the album’s boundaries, while the main body utterly enchants with the rowdy choral swell of ‘La lega’ sequenced beside gripping experimental instrumentals such as the agitated elegance of centrepiece ‘Il bersagliere ha cento penne’ and the sublime staging of its 2nd part, into the inventive rabble of ‘Meccanica primitiva’, and simply breathtaking pastoral tableau evoked in ‘La campéna ed San Simòn - Ignoranti senza scuole’, where all their circles bleed into one.