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Alessandro Bosetti - Exposť

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Artist: Alessandro Bosetti

Album: Exposť

Label: Die Schachtel

Review date: Jun. 20, 2007


Though heís known to many as a saxophinst, Alessandro Bosettiís musical interests lie far beyond a one-instrument approach, and perusal of the Italianís catalogue reveals Bosettiís recent oeuvre moving in a distinctly different trajectory. Conceptual work, focusing on human speech and its relationship with music, has of late been a primary focus for Bosetti. His discography, in years past heavy with collaborative improv performances and solo recordings, has been relatively spartan since 2004, though 2007 has marked a resurgence of sorts for the globe-trotting Bosetti, whoís spent the past few years traveling and recording, collecting the sounds, sights and ideas that have been the inspiration for and ingredients of his most recent work.

African Feedback, an upcoming book/CD release on the Errant Bodies imprint, collects the efforts of Bosetti during recent trips to West Africa, on which he played experimental music through headphones to a diverse cast of people he met on his travels, recording their reactions and responses. Her Name, recently issued by Crouton, finds Bosetti modifying and rearranging the vocal snippets that serve as his personal souvenirs of travel to create wholly new songforms from the spoken samples. Bosettiís newest release, Exposť, doesnít explore cross-cultural dialogue, though the disc, perhaps the artistís most conceptual work to date, certainly contains a curious appeal. The disc explores the spoken word in less contextual sense, examining the musicality of repetition and the interplay between words and sounds.

The content of Audrey Chenís spoken phrases, while interesting in its own right, seems merely a vehicle for Exposťís greater goal. Her sentences are instructions for the execution of conceptual art pieces of Bosettiís own design, short and simple directions repeated by Chen with impressive consistency of tone and melody. As each track progresses, the listenerís consideration of Bosettiís vocal blueprints drifts further and further from their literal meaning, words as sounds, sentences as patterns. Bosetti augments Chenís voice with instrumental accompaniments, painstakingly arranged in order to best follow and react to Chenís words. The sound of electric keys mimics Chenís delivery in both rhythm and pitch while plucked strings, sustained drones from the keys, and various other musical fragments pepper the remainder of the musical canvas, sometimes in reaction to the words, others as an atmospheric backdrop. Bosettiís ornamentations are at their most effective when they seem especially sparse and conscientiously placed, and when the tracks sometimes become more cluttered, such as with the introduction of sound in reverse and pre-recorded vocal spurts in ďExposť #10,Ē the more ambient of the inclusions are the more successful, with the jarring bursts of radio static and truncated voice intruding on the piece at the jeopardy of the trackís (by now) long-sustained tenor. Still, on the majority of Exposť, Bosetti remains patient, purposeful, and, perhaps most importantly, subtle in his additions to Chenís words, finding a success in quality rather than quantity.

Exposť certainly isnít a work without a certain amount of conceptual pretense and, as such, can be a difficult disc to engage. Bosetti is as demanding of the listener as he is of himself, but a dedication to the experience and a willingness to be aware of oneís own listening can make Exposť a rewarding, unique and surprisingly responsive encounter.

By Adam Strohm

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