Something of a Soprano Summit for the non-idiomatic avant-garde, Places dans l'air
is a single lengthy improvisation created by Alessandro Bosetti (best known, perhaps, for his participation in the group Phosphor), Michel Doneda and Bhob Rainey, the latter two being among the more extreme exponents of the instrument. There is a fourth key member, however: Pierre-Olivier Boulant, credited for "subjective stereophonic recording". Given Doneda's previous penchant for recording sessions done outdoors, on mountainsides or in cavernous, vacant factories, I'm guessing that Boulant's contribution involved moving the microphone(s) during the performance so that a given musician's sound would subtly rise and fall in the mix. The room ambience is quite apparent in the first few seconds and remains a presence throughout. For added enjoyment, the interior of the CD booklet is a stereoscopic photo of the room (one presumes), which, if you know how to properly cross your eyes and focus, provides a very nice effect.
The music produced is a bit more problematic. Not surprisingly, there is an immensely wide range of techniques employed by the trio, from breathy flutters through wrenching screeches through the quiet tapping of keys. At times, the pure sound achieved is impressive, even breathtaking. What's lacking is a sense of concept, of wholeness. They too quickly jump from one point to another, generally refusing to pause and listen, to more deeply investigate a given sound area. There are exceptions to this, to be sure. In the fourth track (tracks are delineated despite its being a single performance), the musicians remain very subdued for the most part, finding common ground in breath tones and weaving a substantial, solid and organic quilt, even as they discreetly create complex overblown squalls that mingle enticingly with the ambient rumbles of a passing motor engine. Indeed, from that point on, the disc grows increasingly cohesive; perhaps it simpl y took some time for the musicians to gauge each other. When, toward the end, the players create sounds that are almost indistinguishable from wind whistling through fissures in the warehouse walls, it attains the beautiful aspect one had hoped to hear throughout. It's an interesting, sometimes compelling recording, maybe more for the potentialities glimpsed than the final result but still well worth a listen. It's rare enough that these sorts of problems are even considered, much less tackled.
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