Another Timbre

There aren’t many articles on the web explaining in detail violinist Tiziana Bertoncini’s views on music, art and disguised establishments like this interview, unfortunately written in Italian. Have someone translate it for you, for several of her statements – though dating from more than five years ago – are the direct emanation of a bright mind unwilling to bend to artistic compromises. A rare feature in this country, this reviewer even happier after reading that the 42-year old pragmatic virtuoso hails from Tuscany (Pisa, exactly) and studied fine arts in Carrara – respectively the region and the city of my own blood.

Not that this should necessarily correspond to a “soft spot” kind of review, however there’s serious brilliance to behold and – especially – hear in Horsky Park, which features two duets with Thomas Lehn’s renowned analogue synthesizer. The longest improvisation – “Galaverna” – finds the couple reciprocally dealing amicable blows over half an hour of dynamic hackings of worn-out formulas, bizarre intuitions and contemporary jargons characterized by an all-aerials-up approach. “Moss Agate” is quieter yet not deprived of surprising turns, the timbral component made slightly different by Lehn’s real-time processing of Bertoncini’s violin in a soundscape that confirms the mild feel of “ancient-era” avantgardism already experienced in the preceding track. Occasionally, echoes of the activities from the German event surrounding the performance percolate inside the piece. An involuntary complement, not overly disturbing.

Obviously typified by the introduction of classical techniques within an improvisational context, Bertoncini’s instrumental behaviour is always informed by an evident sureness; either by whispering near-imperceptible pitches or emitting ferociously grating sounds, intelligibility transpires from every gesture. Lehn’s mastery still shines in such a peculiar milieu: malleable ellipses, bubbling rationalism and blemished cleanness running the whole gamut of what can be accomplished through an expert managing of knobs and sliders that, in “alternative” hands, would cause all kinds of damage.

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