A sound collage of understated drama and almost tangible atmosphere, Mauro Sambo’s Quel mutamento era il primo di una serie infinita (“what change was the first in an infinite series”) is a perfectly symmetrical suite made up of twenty parts of two minutes and twenty-three seconds each. Sambo deftly combines and recombines a set of recurring sounds—tolling bells, bits of operatic recordings heard from a distance, hammered metallic sounds reminiscent of a foundry or factory, the low buzz of a bass clarinet—in layers suggesting extension in physical space. The recapitulation of sounds within the suite gives it the feel of an uncannily familiar dream made up of repeating and evolving soft-edged images.
Collages & Dispersions, a solo recording by Canary Islands pianist and sound artist Paco Rossique, is an atmospheric recording that presents the sonic portrait of an invented, artificially resonant space in which small metal objects are tossed about in a humming wind.
For Rossique, a soundscape is above all a work of imagination midwifed by technological means at the service of a sensitive ear. He deftly layers field recordings, prepared piano and electronic treatments into eight interconnected, timbral compositions that emphasize the contrasts between an intermittent low drone and the sharper-edged sounds of prepared piano and objects. The pieces often feature a counterpoint of electronic washes and clanging metal occasionally giving way to recognizable pitches and tone clusters. The voices of birds and humans appear sporadically, grounding this otherwise otherworldly audio landscape in the concrete sounds of the everyday as filtered through Rossique’s unique sensibility.
This is a sensibility that doesn’t limit itself to the manipulation of sound. The eight tracks are held together in a kind of anti-narrative by virtue of a series of prose poems and visual images, all by Rossique, each one of which is associated with an individual track. These verbal and pictorial tableaux, like their audio counterparts, display a dreamlike logic rooted in the juxtaposition of unlikely elements—a convulsive beauty, as the Surrealists would have it.