Knowing Fabio Perletta and Luigi Turra’s profound understanding of the relationships connecting sound, silence and space, I’m not surprised to see the fruits of a shared admiration for Tadao Andō as the recorded officialization of their teamwork. Indeed, many years ago Turra made recordings in the Vitra Seminar House of Weil am Rhein (Germany), designed according to the Japanese architect’s principles; this led to his 2008 release Texture.Vitra (Koyuki). Upon Turra’s request, Perletta took that material and reworked it for this project.
Being aware of the inherent proximity of absolute stillness and roaring noise, I always bear in mind how disparate types of environment can wholly mutate the refractions and ultimate consequences of a specific sound in relation to the perceiving subjects. By focusing solely on a “ceremonial” dimension, we would get a deceiving perspective on this record. This seems to occur quite frequently when Japan is directly or indirectly involved: in those instances, for someone, everything MUST resonate in impeccable fashion, precisely defined even in randomness, blindly following a predefined logic typically associated to cut-rate Zen references. No alternative interpretations whatsoever.
In truth, Ma 間 does explore silence as a container of transient acoustic events. However, it’s also an investigation of timbre and dynamics informed by an extreme variability. The reactions may depend on several factors, including the timbral personality of a given emission. The ears can be left on standby in utter muteness for interminable instants; comforted by the stretching of muffled reverberations; stunned by abrupt outbreaks; intrigued by anomalous equalizations of normality; disturbed by something coming across as a mere amplification of the quotidian. This includes processed fragments of voices, as well as unidentified objects whose resonance is somehow familiar. If anything, we find ourselves closer to musique concrete than witnessing an obsequious sonic celebration of enforced philosophies.
In essence, your attentiveness is needed, and not just for a single spin. A classic sleeper which grows on you with the passage of time, Ma 間 wasn’t born for categorization and – god forbid – has nothing to do with “ambient”. Think instead of a cross-section of sensations derived from human or mechanical components, flowing into the listening area and identifying the attendants, ultimately adapting to the individual receptivities. The judgment of the merits, in this case, is practically useless. Having said that, the assembling talents of Perletta and Turra are indisputable, and that class is felt from the first minute to the last.