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(etre) - Inferno From My Occult Diary

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Artist: (etre)

Album: Inferno From My Occult Diary

Label: Porter

Review date: May. 27, 2011

Italian composer Salvatore Borrelli is known under the moniker (etre) for a variety of performances, recordings and installations of sound art. For Inferno From My Occult Diary, the composer boldly makes his inspiration and context quite clear in his liner notes: The work is “dedicated to the universal movement of synapses…” (I quote only in part here) and to “the memory of all people whom haven’t voiced their life or used hands to write their existence.”

These ideas do seem to resonate within and around the sounds themselves. The five sections are built from dark drones, disembodied voices drawn from electronic media, indeterminate clicks and static, and processed acoustic guitar and Satie-ish piano melodies (played by the composer). All of this is placed with the utmost care from both a timbral and spatial viewpoint.

For all the layers going on here, Borrelli evinces a deft touch in the organization of his material. There are occasional distant echoes of Ussachevsky — albeit in ways much less linear or harmonic — in the way sounds are treated not only for texture, but also for the tension between association and mystery. (Indeed, it might well be that listeners will meet these sounds with their own very personal associations and apprehensions.)

The final section, “Consenguito Silenzio,” reveals all of this in remarkable ways. It morphs from drone-and-event into a sonic structure that is almost unbearably dense in timbre. Paradoxically, this might bring the listener to an extraordinary experience, as the small spaces between the sound-layers seem to open into deep abysses, the effect hitting like a spectral ton of bricks.

By Kevin Macneil Brown

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