How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Osvaldo Coluccino is a self-confessed loner with an eclectic history as a musician, poet, and composer. As a composer, he has employed conventional acoustic instruments and/or electronics, the latter exemplified on Neuma Q (Die Schachtel, 2010). For Atto, recorded near Milan between February and May 2011, he took the role of sole creator-performer and opted to make music using neither instruments nor electronics. Instead he struck, rubbed or breathed into everyday objects to generate sounds that cannot be associated with any particular object. As Coluccino has said, "I wanted to escape completely from the limitations imposed by the cages of our cultural habits and to look for independence from existing methods."
The recorded sounds were then used to construct the piece, which consists of five parts that play together seamlessly without any jarring transitions. In its entirety, the piece lasts just under 39 minutes. Its most immediate characteristic is a sense of space and tranquility. Coluccino has not overcrowded the soundscape nor allowed any sound to linger for too long; there are no prolonged drones or barrages of sound. On occasion, two sounds are heard in parallel, but throughout, each component of the piece can be heard clearly and savored.
Coluccino was successful in producing sounds the source of which cannot be identified, thus keeping Atto fresh and cliché-free. The majority of them are covered by the term "small sounds," which includes scrapings, rattlings, tappings and breathy tones. Most were clearly recorded in a resonant space; they resound in ways that others achieve electronically rather than physically, giving the music presence and immediacy.
Altogether, Atto sits at the overlaps between ambient, EAI, improv and modern composition and should find favor with devotees of any of those musics. It is music that will stand the test of time and be richly rewarding for years to come.