All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

1

Alessandro Bosetti: The Notebooks

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Listening to the work of Alessandro Bosetti reminds me of a friend I have who suffered a lengthy bout with sleeplessness. It wasn't so much the insomnia that tormented him but a pop song (specifically Engelbert Humperdinck's version of "Quando, Quando, Quando") that was stuck in his head. Playing on an endless loop, he feared psychosis. Night after night he returned to his bed to find Humperdinck and that Italian pop song. A simple melody took on immense power. Like my friend, Bosetti's music cultivates the melody of nearly anything, from human speech to animal sounds.

What Bosetti records today onto LPs and CDs was also being registered a century ago by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček (1854—1928) who wrote out "speech tunes," transcribing the melodies and rhythms of speech into a small notebook. His aim probably was to preserve the Moravian and other Slavic voice patterns for his music and operas. With the advent of recording devices, an ethnomusicologist like Alan Lomax in the 1940s could actually capture regional folk music, folklore and dialects. Fast forward to the 21st century, and sound is everywhere. The chatter of televisions in the doctor's office and at the gas pump, and the endless chirping of text, voicemail, and the dreaded Muzak mostly causes us to hear nothing. Unless you are Alessandro Bosetti.

Commissioned by the Janáček Opera Festival, Bosetti created these two "Notebook" pieces, both inspired by the Czech composer, but neither wholly imitative. Transcribed words are spoken in English and Czech (with regional dialects) as fodder for Bosetti, plus a female and male voice to repeat, repeat, and repeat until the words have morphed into melody. The Italian Bosetti takes pronunciation lessons at one point, then restates almost as a child might do to learn a language. His signature keyboard accompaniment of the transcribed melodies is testament to the euphony of the various combinations of words and dialects. Words become something extra. Repeated, they lose their message, change significance. The consequence is an update on Janáček "speech tunes."

"Dante And Beatrice. The Notebooks, Part 2" takes a similar approach with Bosetti's spoken/sung words processed and manipulated by some bizarre computer software. If Janáček and Bosetti have brought our attention to the song in our own voices, then this computer program accentuates the dialect of the phantom in the machine.

Track Listing: The Notebooks (2014); Dante And Beatrice. The Notebooks, Part 2 (2016).

Personnel: Alessandro Bosetti: composer, performer, sound artist.

Title: The Notebooks | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Bolt Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Notebooks

The Notebooks

Bolt Records
2018

buy
Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)

Stille Post (Radio...

Monotype Records
2016

buy
 

We Who Had Left

Madison House Publicity
2013

buy
You Wait To Publish

You Wait To Publish

Monotype Records
2013

buy
Royals

Royals

Monotype Records
2011

buy
Expos

Expos

die Schachtel
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read The Berlin Concert CD/LP/Track Review
The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read IMA IMA CD/LP/Track Review
IMA IMA
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Breathe CD/LP/Track Review
Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Good Music CD/LP/Track Review
Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Stillness & Sirens CD/LP/Track Review
Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "Where Is My Mind?" CD/LP/Track Review Where Is My Mind?
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Edmund Rubbra – The Sacred Muse" CD/LP/Track Review Edmund Rubbra – The Sacred Muse
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 31, 2018
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Outside the Soiree" CD/LP/Track Review Outside the Soiree
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "A Beautiful Story" CD/LP/Track Review A Beautiful Story
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 30, 2017