Avant Music News Reviews: con_cetta vs MonoLogue – Orlando (Time Released Sound)

 May 11, 2014 by nepets in AMN Reviews 

“Orlando” is one of the most remarkable novels of the twentieth century, a post-impressionist masterpiece that also manages to be postmodern and post-feminist avant la lettre. In it, Virginia Woolf tells the tale of a child born into 16th-century Elizabethan aristocracy who undergoes a miraculous sex change while serving as ambassador in Constantinople, only to finally reappear after eighteenth- and nineteenth-century intellectual dalliances as a thirty-six-year old woman motoring through London in the Roaring Twenties. Abolishing fixed coordinates of time and space, genders and desires, Woolf frees Orlando from social convention and divulges some fundamental things about the ambivalence of existence. Independent of gender, time and history, “Orlando”, in the opinion of British author and critic Jeanette Winterson, suggests that committing to a single identity is an awful waste of half a life.

Fittingly then, this musical interpretation of the book is a split album, tracks alternating between con_cetta, an Italian gentleman who has assumed a feminine nom-de-musique, and countrywoman Marie e le Rose, who has chosen to record under the most generic of names. “Orlando” is an opulent, sensual novel, reveling in detail: “Chairs and tables, however richly gilt and carved, sofas, resting on lions’ paws with swans’ necks curving under them, beds even of the softest swansdown are not by themselves enough. People sitting in them, people lying in them improve them amazingly.”Orlando the “soundtrack” addresses us as if bemused by such headiness, with a deadpan meekness that masks secret correspondences – as Woolf did with a novel that was largely composed as a lover´s biography of bohemian aristocratVita Sackville-West.

Though the novel was written in great haste, Orlando the album is genteel, ambient parlor music, opening on a minor key, with guest Davide Lo Iacono trying to urge a faint smile out of the piano and a glockenspiel tickling the crystal clear air. Clear air that becomes infested with vinyl run-off crackle as MonoLogue sits down at the keyboard to perform a piece that evolves from proper Victorian decorum to the youthful energy of a new way of seeing and hearing. The duo´s pieces mesh seamlessly and interpose cleverly; the painstakingly balanced building blocks of MonoLogue´s piano on “Thirst for Knowledge (Flesh)” interlocking perfectly with the billowing curtain of “Ecce Homo” by con_cetta. “Procrastination of a Construction” opens with a music box tinkling out the last notes of “You Light Up My Life” before embarking on a lengthy magic carpet ride through curved air. Her colleague replies with “Woe and Lamentation”, equally light but grasping at fragments like the last looping wisps of fleeing memories. Like the novel, the album is lush in texture, whole cloth of abstracted emotions and associations in whose folds to get lost.

Time Released Sound comes by its name honestly – the availability of each new release is announced with the striking of a specific hour of the clock on a specific day – its latest, for example, “Sunday morning, May 11th, at 9AM, California time”. Each release is issued as a limited, fanciful art edition, usually accompanied by a run of handsome digipaks for us regular working stiffs.


Stephen Fruitman


and in French from Ethereal blog

Francesco Giannico


On pensait n’avoir jamais croisé la route de Francesco Giannico avant la compilation publiée par son propre label, Oak Editions, en juin dernier. Or, notre discothèque contenait un CDr 3″ paru en 2011 sur Twisted Tree Line qui était, en réalité, la première sortie de l’Italien. Après avoir remis la main sur cet EP, on peut donc reprendre le cours de la discographie du musicien (qui s’était, dans l’intervalle, enrichie de deux albums partagés et d’un long-format solo) avec Metrophony, proposition qu’accueille Time Released Sound et sur laquelle Giannico est parti d’enregistrements des sons de deux lignes de métro romaines. Enrichis d’apports instrumentaux (guitare, piano, violon, synthés), ces samples constituent un morceau unique de quarante minutes de field recordings bruissants et complexes.

Aussi surprenant que cela puisse paraître, les instruments se marient parfaitement aux bruits urbains : fermetures de portes automatiques et déliés de guitare (vers la fin du premier quart d’heure) ou plus loin bribes de conversations à peine audibles et jeu de la batterie (autour de vingt-cinq minutes). Alors qu’on pouvait redouter une forme de monotonie du propos, sur la durée du disque-morceau, l’ensemble est déroulé avec intérêt, comme si l’on progressait sur les lignes de métro aux côtés de Francesco Giannico. L’oscillation discrète des nappes agit ainsi comme une forme de bercement tandis que les sons captés sur place viennent parfois secouer l’auditeur ou le ramener à la surface. Quand le parcours s’achève, il est presque trop tôt et nous nous disons alors que nous suivrons assurément l’Italien à l’avenir et que son nom ne devrait plus quitter notre mémoire.

François Bousquet
le 21/01/2015

Filed under Reviews

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,