AMN Reviews: Matteo Liberatore – “Solos” [Innova 985]

“Solos” is the first solo guitar album from guitarist Matteo Liberatore. It was mixed and mastered by guitarist-composer Elliot Sharp. The recording contains twelve pieces that explore the sonic possibilities of the solo acoustic guitar without electronics or any overdubs. Instead Liberatore employs extended techniques that includes the use of objects like metal springs, alligator clips, a bass bow and a kick drum beater. This is not just sonic novelty or gratuitous use of extended techniques; each of the pieces while largely improvised, have clarity and purpose that creates really interesting and memorable pieces of music.

The first track “Agnes” builds a texture somewhere between a hammer dulcimer and the tremolos of the classical guitar, but with very modern harmonies.

“Untitled #9” is a stark exploration of counterpoint with the contrasting colors of the prepared guitar.

“Barrea” is a striking piece that on a blind listen I doubt that most listeners could correctly identify the source instrument. It is a lyrical noise piece with extensive bowing that sounds like its coming from a cello or two.

Then there is “Causeway” which is a haunting but a somewhat more “conventional” piece that explores a “folky” melodic theme that slowly transforms with each pass.

Matteo Liberatore’s “Solos” is a wonderful record that introduces us to an interesting new voice in the world of experimental guitar. Liberatore’s music is very imaginative.  “Solos” explores textures driven by propulsive rhythms, stark counterpoint of contrasting colors, and lyrical noise, sometimes all in the same piece. Highly Recommended!

Chris DeChiara

For more information – https://www.innova.mu/albums/matteo-liberatore/solos

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