Human Plots - Six Extraordinary Acts and a City
Label: GleAM Records
The Librarian of Timbuktu; Road Builder; The Choice; This Heavy Handbag; 323; Sarajevo Taxi Driver; Silent Eyes
Human Plots is born from the idea of telling the strength of an action through music. Actions that, in the impelling need to be accomplished, in their urgency, as well as in their power, find their fulfillment. Stories that take place in different contexts, in places far from each other, in different periods but linked by an irrepressible inner urge. Extraordinary actions far from any rhetoric about heroism, made by men and women who give us back a concept of humanity that is still noble. The album opens with The Librarian of Timbuktu, a song dedicated to Abdel Kader Haidara, the Malian librarian who with the help of relatives, Archivists and tour guides saved 350,000 precious manuscripts from the Timbuktu Library, transporting them in a daring way to the capital of Mali, Bamako, outside the control of the Al Qaeda militia. The tune is based on an Ashanti rhythm from Ghana called Adowa and it’s introduced by the bassist’s improvisation. The theme describes the tireless work of rescue with a theme that, in small steps, develops and then dissolves and rebuild in improvisations and in the final theme. It follows The Road Builder, a song starring John Metcalf, the adventurous blind builder of roads who built almost 300 km of roads in 18th century England. After a long and atmospheric introduction, a melody with a strong evocative power enters quietly. To balance this apparent linearity, we discover a complex work of rhythmic stratification that, with its plots focused on an articulate obstinate bass, brings us back to the dense network of roads imagined and built by our protagonist. The third track of the album is The Choice. The composer draws here an underground odd pulsation with a vaguely rock attitude. Achille Succi’s growing thematic explosions of alto sax and Samuel Leipold’s refined electric guitar sounds intersect with a powerful bass groove to convey a compelling story that develops in crescendo. The story of Keiko Fukuda, the strong-spirited judoka who defied tradition to become the only female 10th Dan in the history of Judo. This is the turn of This Heavy Handbag dedicated to Danuta Danielsson, portrayed in a famous photograph while hurling her handbag at a neo-Nazi protester. Almost in contrast to the action told, the song has a crepuscular and thoughtful ballad feel perfectly underlined by the brushes of Clemens Kuratle. Miomir Mile Plakalovic is the protagonist of Sarajevo Taxi Driver. Lo Bianco tells us about the taxi driver who helped people injured by snipers and grenades on the streets of a burning Sarajevo for 1440 days. A choral theme in 5/4, again supported by a pulsating bass line, seems to describe our man in action while, the estranged arrival of the section B in 4/4, recalls with its harmonic angularity the riots of the city under the bombings. The penultimate track of the album focuses on the events of HELIN BOLEK, MUSTAFA KOÇAK IBRAHIM GÖ'KÇEK, the Turkish musicians of the Grup Yorum who, in order to affirm their essential right to defend their freedom, began a hunger strike that ended with their death after 323 days. Are these days, with their emblematic and endless duration, to strike the imagination of the composer that returns us with 323 a theme of painful beauty in which the repetition of certain intervals sequences finds its unpredictable development in the glowing dialogue between the guitar and the bass clarinet. It’s so that in a few minutes we are catapulted into the inevitable swirl in unison of the quartet in which the drum emerges in a dynamic crescendo and then bring us back to the theme closing a story from the announced epilogue. Finally, the album ends with a disenchanted version of Paul Simon’s Silent Eyes. The theme was conducted by Samuel Leipold’s guitar and Clemens Kuratle’s brushes. In contrast to the stories that the leader chose to tell, we meet here the city that most of all embodies the inability to act, Jerusalem, slave of incommunicability, victim of immobility even in front of God’s gaze, as Paul Simon himself suggests in his verses.
Album uploaded by Angelo Mastronardi
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