NATURA MORTA – Natura Morta

Prom Night

In Italian – but not only – “natura morta” means “still life”. Rather preposterously, the latter definition – entirely logical for me – is contrasted by the Latin-rooted languages using the literal translation “dead nature” for the kind of art that Saxon-derived idioms compare to something alive (if immobile). For sure, the trio of violist Frantz Loriot, double bassist Sean Ali and drummer Carlo Costa doesn’t sound lifeless at all. This, their first statement on disc (another, already recorded, is coming out within a few months) is a perspicaciously concise exploration of several aspects of the interrelation between timbre and dynamics. Highlighting the parallelism of varying instrumental hues and the mixing of diverse types of resounding acts – mostly giving a material indication of how the sonic fibre is set into vibration – these four tracks contain music that, while not exactly groundbreaking, possesses important qualities: it is acoustically gratifying, sturdily physical and delicate at once, and serious (minus the ostentation). The gestures might be known: scratched strings, bouncing arcos, bowed cymbals, rubbing of wood and skins. Yet the players do their job with a real interest in the perception of the interior demarcations, both individually and collectively. The investigations get them pretty close to the Polwechsel area, though the depths reached by Natura Morta are not the same. At just 32 minutes of duration, without tricks and “attitudes”, this listener feels like having been treated with respect and inclined to the repetition of the playback.

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