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Piero Bittolo Bon: Spelunker


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Piero Bittolo Bon: Spelunker
The Italian saxophonist Piero Bittolo Bon is a veritable one-person orchestra. On his 12th release, Spelunker (his fourth solo outing), he augments the sound of his alto saxophone and adds bass flute and electronics to his instrumentation. Thus, over two long improvisations and a shorter excerpt, he creates poignant and cinematic soundscapes that move and stimulate.

"Game/Elan" opens with resonant alto and electronic percussion and can easily be a soundtrack for a dystopian steampunk film. The eerie sounds that Bittolo Bon generates result, in part, from of the placement of his microphones on various parts of the sax. Midway, the tune grows somber, infused with a contemplative spirituality. As the performance evolves it transforms into a provocative chant that mixes the human quality of the woodwind sound with the mechanical clatter of the electronics. The resulting music is understated yet dramatic.

In contrast "A Melange" starts off with silent pauses mixed with tolling bells and soft rustles. In this atmospheric mix, Bittolo Bon introduces the twittering reverberations of his bass flute. The impression the tune creates is of an otherworldly fairy tale replete with imagery of dark woods sprinkled with colorful fauna and flora. Again the extemporization changes, becoming more angular with crystalline melodic fragments that reflect a kaleidoscopic array of tones and notes. Bittolo Bon concludes the tune with a passionate and riotous soliloquy including vocalizations, fiery alto lines and synthesizers.

On Spelunker Bittolo Bon uses his spontaneous sonic phrases to build dazzling harmonic "sculptures." These constructs are intricate and vibrant, and simultaneously organic and ethereal. Although better suited for an adventurous and an open-minded audience, these multilayered pieces reward repeat listenings. One just has to surrender to the recording's energy and raw beauty and let it transport them to another dimension.

Track Listing

Game/Elan; A Melange; Game/Elan (excerpt).


Piero Bittolo Bon: saxophone, alto.

Additional Instrumentation

Piero Bittolo Bon: augmented alto saxophone, amplifiers, voice, Korg MS20 mini, Korg Volca Beats, Koma Elektronik Field Kit Fx, bass flute.

Album information

Title: Spelunker | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Chant Records

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