ListN Up Playlist: Lea Bertucci (September 21, 2023)

ListN Up is a series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Lea Bertucci is an experimental musician, composer, and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her longstanding practice with woodwind instruments, her work incorporates spatialized speaker arrays, radical methods of free improvisation, and creative misuses of audio technology. Her approach to music is marked by dense masses of sustained dissonance and a fascination with the sonic substance of common experience.

Hey everyone! Lea Bertucci here, coming at you from the Hudson Valley, in upstate New York. I am very excited for you to hear my playlist for I Care If You Listen. It has a bunch of recent things I’ve been listening to. A lot of new releases, some from friends, others — sounds I’ve collected from my recent travels. So I hope you enjoy, and happy fall!

“The Beat My Head Hit” by Ben Vida, with Yarn/Wire and Nina Dante

A recent release from friend and collaborator Ben Vida, this new album on Shelter Press melds mantra-like voices with minimal piano and percussion motifs in his collaboration with Yarn/Wire. Excellent for listening to while performing repetitive tasks.

“Shepherd of Nature of Tushetii” by Keselo Ensemble

I recently spent time up in the Caucasus mountains in the remote Tushetii region, where they play a fiery style of traditional music with signature fluttering accordion, poetic lyrics and a sound that evokes the drama of the mountain landscape.

“Of Shadow and Substance” by Lea Bertucci

This piece is from my forthcoming album by the same name. It’s for a mixed ensemble of strings and percussion featuring Henry Fraser (double bass), Matt Evans (percussion), Lester St. Louis (cello), and Lucia Stavros (harp). Out in December 2023!

“My Eyes Twirl Rounds” by Laura Ortman

From another new release by White Mountain Apache/New Yorker Laura Ortman in signature, blissed-out distorted strings style. More mountain music from the deep western skies.

“Kompleks Me Kavalla” by uncredited Albanian flute ensemble

I found this a couple of years ago on my favorite world-music blog, Music Republic. The track is from a record of traditional Albanian music and features flute ensembles, all sorts of crazy bagpipes, and a style of vocal iso-polyphony unique to Albania.

“Four Full Flutes” by Phill Niblock

Re-released by Blume Editions this year, Phill’s “Four Full Flutes” is a stunningly minimal yet simultaneously maximal piece of sonic architecture. Think brutalist cast concrete so light it turns into a vapor.

“Cassandra and Chorus 4” by Nicole V. Gagne and David Avidor

From a somewhat mysterious opera produced in 1992, this movement features Shelley Hirsch at the height of her powers, as a wacked-out Cassandra, and Robert Ashley as a placid chorus. The contrasts of the two vocal styles and the electronic processing of Shelley’s voice plus creepy bird sounds create one of the most striking interpretations of Agamemnon to date.

“Toupie Dans le Ciel” by Francois Bayle

From the amazing Recollection GRM series. A classic of concrete/electroacoustic music I keep returning to, and I’m always reminded of the wondrous possibilities in techniques of collage and electroacoustic music. Complex waves of shuddering synthetic sound come together and diverge in ever-changing harmonies/dissonances.


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