AMN Reviews: Martina Bertoni – All the Ghosts are Gone (2020; FALK)

Berlin-based cellist Martina Bertoni offers eight new pieces on the upcoming album All the Ghosts are Gone. For this solo effort, Bertoni focuses on breathily played, multitracked cello coupled with judicious use of light beats, percussive tapping, as well as sequencing and other processing. Between her earthy, introspective playing and gritty, shimmering electronics, Bertoni creates a thoughtful and melancholy soundscape.

While most of the tracks are based around a simple, slowly-played melody, there is no shortage of drones and other more structural elements that embody an airy and spacious feel. Invisible Cracks is a particularly curious example with pulsing and sweeping static effects accompanied by subtle yet firm cello sawing. Clearly, Bertoni’s musical vocabulary includes a set of sounds that go beyond the intended use of her instrument, a terra incognita that she willfully explores. When absorbed as a whole, the album follows a rough progression from confusion and despair to a sense of at least partial clarity.

All the Ghosts Are Gone will be released on January 8, 2020, by FALK (which is a label with a very interesting acronym – go ahead and look it up).

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