From Cat Hope
This is the second Room 40 release of collaborations between Australian chamber ensemble Decibel, and French music concrète composer Lionel Marchetti, after ‘The Last Days of Reality’ in 2018. This release consists of two pieces: Inland Lake (le lac intérieur (2019), and La Patience (2020). Working with Lionel is magical.
Inland Lake was devised with the ensemble when Lionel visited Australia in 2019. As he sometimes does, he came with an ‘partition concrète’ that was part score, part ensemble member, part fixed media. The music is coaxed from the ensemble, without score, but with discussions, listening and experiments. In the live performances, Marchetti efficiently and imaginatively positions speakers in strange directions, heights and places and somehow, the sounds melt together, intertwining and indiscernible – as on this recording. Marchetti adapts the partition concrète after first rehearsals and performances, integrating recordings of the acoustic instruments with synthesizers, tape and electronic manipulations in his home studio.
The recording of Inland Lake occurred in two places at once: at the Digital Hub, Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance at Monash University, Melbourne and Soundfield Studio in Perth, Western Australia. Marchetti joined from France. Determined to make this recording despite the ongoing border closures within Australia and the world, the group came together telematically – using software to reduce the perception of latency and improve the sound quality ‘down the line’ for the performers. The ensemble was split in half between the east and west coasts of Australia, listening together over the Internet, recording locally. Marchetti later mixed and mastered the track in his own studio. Listening to the piece once the recording and mixing process was complete was like hearing it for the first time, again.
The recording of La Patience was also an overcoming of separations. Commissioned for Decibel’s ‘2 Minutes from Home’ project, this is Marchetti’s first notated composition.The score is beautiful – hand written in ink on crinkled paper, with white out, blurry artefacts and scraps of paper pasted on, a combination of traditional and graphic notations sitting on and around the stave. The project saw each member record their part in their own home, mixed by Marchetti, and blended with video by Karl Ockelford. The score is read in motion, and contains some precise coordination uncommon in other Marchetti works.