TOM ARTHURS / ALBERTO NOVELLO – Cahiers De Petits Coquillages Vol. IV/V

Setola Di Maiale

Scientist, composer and multimedia artist Alberto Novello – aka Jestern – is a man who, per his own words, is concerned with the “technological limit between instability and error, failure and expression”. In the 31-plus minutes of this record he puts British trumpeter Tom Arthurs right through a skittish sequence of modifications of the native quintessence of a trumpet, altering it via uneven electronic impulses “reinforced” by continuous dynamic changes.

Arthurs’ timbre and phrasing are of clear jazz descent, though his influences embrace much more than that. What could have been a disastrous “mix-oil-with-water” situation reveals instead to be a contiguity of acoustic environments and creative personalities that works quite well in long stretches. As the trumpet dictates twists and turns with an appreciable degree of dissonant relax, Novello’s manipulation equals a spontaneous vandalizing of certain instrumental characteristics. The outcome is a singular coalescence of subsonic throbs, unruly frequencies, unrelenting pitches and piercing harmonics immersed in some sort of boiling liquid. It remains nice and stimulating even after a number of consecutive listens. The audacity of this attempt has definitely been repaid by music worth of being considered at the very least entertaining.

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