Lionel Marchetti (b. 1967) is a French composer of musique concrète, a style of composition developed in France in the 1940s which uses manipulation of existing recorded sounds as a basis for the creation of new compositions. On this recording, he collaborates with Australian composer, performer and academic Cat Hope (b. 1966) and her ensemble Decibel.

The six works presented are meticulously constructed textural montages created (initially) from recordings of acoustic instruments including flutes, ocarinas and harmonicas. These origins, not necessarily obvious, ensure an organic sonic underpinning for the partition concrete parts, which can stand alone as recorded compositions or be performed with new accompaniments. They can also be read as ‘auditory scores’ to produce new parts in keeping with the composers’ poetic intentions.

The results of this complex set of processes are immersive and captivating, a sea of layered tones that gradually unfold and envelop the listener. The Earth Defeats Me is particularly fascinating, as breaths of long duration build and sustain in a potentially endless loop. As Hope puts it, “it is music that concerns itself with the incredible power of sound, but from the most delicate and dreamlike perspective.” Acoustic, electronic and spatial elements are integrated with seamless sensitivity, and The Last Days of Reality will require a high-quality set of speakers in order to truly appreciate the beauty of its sonic intricacy.

Composer: Cat Hope, Lionel Marchetti
Performer: Marchetti, Hope, Decibel
Catalogue Number: ROOM 40 RM4102