Boomkat Product Review:
French electroacoustic veteran Lionel Marchetti returns to Room 40 with a special release composed in Australia and recorded telematically between three separate locations..
For his second Room 40 release following 2018's "The Last Days of Reality", Marchetti again collaborates with Aussie chamber ensemble Decibel. He worked out what he wanted to do in 2019 while visiting Australia, and devised a way of composing the piece that avoided a traditional score, instead working with conversation, listening and experimentation. After rehearsing with different instrumentation and imaginatively placed speakers, he adapted what he calls the 'partition concrète’ using his various studio techniques. But when he was due to record the final version of the piece, he was hit with a problem - Australia was in pandemic lockdown, and Marchetti was in France. So a special recording method was developed; some musicians were based in Melbourne, some in Perth, and Marchetti joined from Europe, everyone was connected via conferencing software that was adjusted to improve sound quality and latency.
Marchetti worked into the final recordings in his studio, adding the finishing touches and making sure it sounded as close to his original vision as possible. The final version clocks in at almost 37 minutes in length, and is as impressive as you'd hope from the story of its construction. Decibel's work from two different sides of Australia is at the center of the recording, but it's Marchetti's smart, restrained processes that have us coming back for more. If you're not completely concentrating you might miss it, but the small glitches and spacial effects that Marchetti provides gives the orchestral elements a distant charm. It's not completely acoustic music, and it's bending the possibilities of the sonic presentation just as Marchetti did with the recording process itself. He finishes off the album with a shorter two-minute composition recorded for Decibel's "2 Minutes from Home" project, a hand-scored piece that he wrote on crumpled paper using ink and white-out. Each member of the orchestra recorded their part separately in their own home, and the result is beguiling - otherworldly and tonally exhilarating without being overwhelming or overstaying its welcome.