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Libera Societ: Al m

Robert Spencer By

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Voices: speaking, singing, orating, declaiming, singing. Singly and in larger groups of varying sizes. Sometimes singing and speaking in various overlays at the same time. Sometimes approaching the edges of today's vocal avant-garde ("E.U.E.," "Solotuè samosaisa," etc.) Sometimes mimicking some of the oldest vocal forms of the Western world, as on the gorgeously moving chantlike "Iesò variò tikà."

What are they saying? What are they singing? I'm not sure, and neither are they. They claim to be speaking "Lipit," a "linguistic/vocal/improvisational procedure," containing elements of the "languages of the Mediterranean Basin with Slavic and Balkanic influences." But what does it mean? It doesn't matter. It is language as sound, and it compels the listener to approach and study the musicality of the spoken voice, of conversation, and even of the low murmurs of the edges of consciousness.

This is a wildly moving and fascinating disc of utterly original vocal music. The rhythms as well as the interplay are incredibly inventive and varied. Some of the disc meanders a bit and seems a bit less tight than the most successful pieces, but it is all well worth hearing by anyone with a deep and abiding interest in improvisation.


Title: Al m | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Leo Records

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