AG10 CD, $16.00 US
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Just Before Dawn
What we are here presenting is one of the most intimate releases we produced
ever. Luca Miti is a strange kind of composer and musician. And
too. He has the uncommon attitude to make private experiences and let them
become public in a very natural way. Primarily known for his compositions
(most of them unconventional and experimental in the best sense)
improlive-written collaborations, hes also a perfomer with
sides. One of these aspects is shown in this album. This is really an
album in the broader sense. It contains pieces that are images
for Luca. They are parts of his own musical essence. The daily activities,
the loving moments, the earliest listening, the deep influences, all of this
is comprised in this lovely compilation. The Piano is the classic
instrument of Luca. Hes not the incredibly skilled performer, but hes,
me, the "real" performer. And, most important, he really understand
(cause he loves it) the music he plays. This CD is not only a collection
beautiful pieces by more or less known contemporary composers. Its, first
of all, a gift that Luca makes to himself and to us, trying
to communicate his own experience.
Youll have the chance to discover some little gems in it. And youll
the opportunity to listen to them in the most honest way you can
I received a copy of the new master, and it was a lovely surprise. I have
always thought of you mostly as a composer, but here you are also playing
the piano very well. More important, you are a real interpreter. You have
found a collection of little known pieces that really go together and you
have placed them in what sounds to me like the right sequence.
I must add that I did appreciate your interpretation of my own Long Decays.
Most people read too fast and dont give the sound time to really fade
Luca Miti, who is already present in the 'ants' series both as a composer
and as a performer, in this new CD has chosen to present himself exclusively
in the role of the pianist, taken in the traditional meaning of the word. And
a good pianist he is indeed, and it is to be regretted that he seems rather
reluctant to show his skills to live audiences.
The pieces he selected for this release may be ascribed to minimal music, with
all the controversial aspects the terms implies. As by now some decades have
passed since the period of the greatest splendor of this musical movement perhaps
one may speak, in the case of the recent pieces, of neo-minimalism. Not being
really an expert of the field I would propose the following, simple, distinction:
one type of minimal music, which in its austerity is closer to minimalism in
the visual arts, takes the term rather literally, in other words, few sound
events are happening, the sound-to-silence ratio shows a clear preponderance
of the latter. Cage has pushed this line to an extreme in his organ piece for
Halberstadt: one sound event per year. Among the pieces on the CD Michi's Passatempi
e giochi d'attenzione n.1 appears to be the one most clearly rooted in this
area. Michi's work furthermore transcends, according to the intention of the
composer, the conventional 'piece' format, its duration, for instance, was determined
by the chosen total length of the CD.
Long decays by Tom Johnson - one of the grand (not yet old) men of minimalism
- focuses on the fading away of sounds, and gives ample space to silences that
are determined by the lenght of text fragments the performer has to read for
himself, inaudible to the listener. The CD shows that also Kurtag, who hardly
can be counted among the minimalists, has written a piece in a somehow minimal
In the other type the term 'minimal' rather means that the material used is
very restricted and undergoes limited variations, but there are nevertheless,
sometimes at least, lots of sounds. This applies, for instance, to the 'classic'
minimal work on the record, Riley's Keyboard Study n.2, where Miti does a remarkable
job as performer.
Knowing Miti's compositional style one would suspect that he is more inclined
to the first brand, but as a pianist he appears to be quite at ease with both
of them, and the selection actually shows a far greater number of pieces belonging
to the second brand. A characteristic which seems to distinguish the 'old' and
(at least many) of the 'new' minimalists is the fact that the pieces of the
latter are rather short, sometimes very short (specially when compared to the
'oldies') and the touch of intimacy that pervades many of them.The sometimes
heavy assertiveness which for years has delighted the fans of Glass, Riley &
Co. (La Monte Young was a conspicuous exception) seems to have given way to
yet another (possible) interpretation of minimalism: brief "Moments musicaux"
with some tendency towards the joli, or "Albumblätter" with the
presence of (or should we say the return to) extramusical references. This is
enhanced in the pieces by Curran and Chauveau which are placed in an ambient
atmosphere. In Delor's Journal we find an attempt to link the compositional
process to the composer's life time: the modules of the pieces were composed
one per day over a certain period. In Piva's pieces the extramusical reference
is the architectural structure of the church "San Paolo alle Tre Fontane".
The remaining pieces (Guidi, Masin - who also wrote their pieces for Luca -
and Burnell) appear to share quite a similar atmosphere as the ones mentioned
above, even Spiegel's Cyclic Score nr. 2, in spite of the fact that chronologically
speaking it belongs to the previous generation of minimalism. (Albert
8 pages booklet with scores by Tom Johnson, Anna Guidi, Enrico Piva.