“For Pauline” reviewed by Neural

For the lovers of contemporary experimentations (with obvious reference to avant-garde music of the second half of 20th century), the name of Pauline Oliveros is a key figure, not only for the unconventional use of her instrument, the accordion, but also for composition and theory. In the five books she left us she developed a critical mass of enlightening thoughts for future generations. Her theories of deep listening and “sonic awareness” created some real conceptual fires, still able to open new perceptions and approaches in the musical field even after decades. In 2016, when the American artist passed away, Isabel Latorre and Edu Comelles met each other. Latorre is an accordionist and composer; Comelles is a sound artist, focused on live performance and installations, but he doesn’t disdain to work on longer and more structured projects too. The idea to make a homage release for Oliveros was already developed before her death, and this event encouraged and inspired Comelles even more to enlarge the sound materials on consideration and subsequently work on a second suite, mostly derived from the initial recordings by Latorre. Both tracks are born from a productive meeting. Comelles apparently is more focused on the general aspect, Latorre more on the instrument, but the relationship of the parts is actually mutual, as it needs to be in every working relationship. The album was released on tape with an impressive artwork completed by a lovely cover photo by Paula Felipe and is produced by Cronica Electronica, the Portuguese label that deserves to be praised for this prestigious homage to some innovative avant-garde. Latorre plays Pauline Oliveros at the Dormitory Room of El Carmen monastery at the Ensems Festiva in Valenza, and Comelles performs “La Isla Plana”. Both suites are the result of two parallel and un-coordinated creative processes, that found their inner coherence without special efforts: it’s a magic moved by a sincere inspiration and by the affinity, also programmatic-aesthetic, to the Oliveros’s fundamental and poetic experimentations. Aurelio Cianciotta

via Neural