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Luc Ferrari - Son Memorise [Sub Rosa - 2006]

Son Memorise is Luc Ferrari’s first post-humous release. This the second in a trilogy of Ferrari Cds to be released by Sub Rosa contains three works spanning a period of twenty-five years.

The first piece is Presque Rien #4 - La Remontee Du Village. The Presque Rein are perhaps the most well know and most respected of Ferraris output. This the fourth of the series has the composer recording his sound picture while walking through a village situated on the side of  a vintimille hill. The sixteen minute piece is divided into two tracks where the sounds of children playing, televisions, cars and general day to day activity can be heard. Ferrari’s voice can also be heard in short segments of conversation with locals and himself.

Throughout the piece Ferrari adds little electronic touches manly in the form of loops and processing. He is a master of dynamics and atmosphere and turns inane babble and events into tense moment of wonder at the flick of a switch.

The second composition has the English translation of Symphonic walk through a sounds cape or A day of celebration in El-Qued 1976. And this description is pretty much all you need to know about this piece. It begins quietly like the town is slowly waking up, before Ferrari seems to walk through a market with musicians, shopkeepers and people all around him. The piece gradually gets louder and more crowded before the sounds of singing (in Arabic) and fireworks can be heard. It’s some sort of celebration. This is a long piece at over half an hour, but the changing landscape always keeps you enthralled.

The final piece is a modern work from 2002 titled Saliceburry Cocktail. This is something of a mix of material from 1990 onwards, nothing hugely coherent but as always Ferrari makes it interesting with his choice of sounds and the way he weaves it all into thick sonic soup. The first part of this four part piece is very tense sounding like a crowd moving through a large hall or station. Electronic effects and pieces of dialogue rise and fall from the mix giving the impression of being a bit drunk and staggering around a city centre. (Or was that just my weekend?)
The second part is more synthesised and abstract,  a slight Asmus Tietchens feel to this part I feel. Processed acoustic sounds fly like debris around the stereo field, distorted drumming and shards of ambient sound mix in a rhythmic forceful drive. The third part has a mixture of the first and second piece, in fact it begins to sound quite manic with voices, noise and warped electronic effects all over the place. It’s pretty cartoonish and freaky for Ferrari to be honest, and is a good contrast between the slowly evolving sounds of the other two pieces on the CD.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Duncan Simpson
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