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Rossetto, Vanessa / Lionel Marchetti: The Tower (The City) (erstwhile)

Three distinct compositions from the collaborative work of sound artists Vanessa Rossetto and Lionel Marchetti, the first a wonderfully complex work of musique concrète and acousmatic sources guided by the composers' instincts; "The Tower" expands their concepts through the addition of 18 voices, while the final track features the violin of Anouck Genthon.

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product information:

Label: erstwhile
Catalog ID: Erstwhile 092
Squidco Product Code: 31316

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack


Vanessa Rossetto-composer

Lionel Marchetti-composer

Lior Ashkenazi-voice

Volker Bauland-voice

Akanni Temiyato Bello-voice

Gloria Cortez-voice

Klaske de Wal-voice

Regina Idowu Fadipe-voice

Hubert Heathertoes-voice

Lucija Kovic Jakopic-voice

Travis D. Johnson-voice

Asmir Lalic-voice

Jaime Leal-voice

Blue Montakhab-voice

Munachimso Oguejiofor-voice

Roberto Poli-voice

Salvador Saca-voice

Sheila Scoville-voice

Muhammad Usman-voice

Gearoid Walsh-voice

Anouck Genthon-violin

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Artist Biographies:

"Vanessa Rossetto is an American composer. She uses primarily chamber instrumentation, field recordings, electronics and a wide array of objects. In 2008, she launched her own CD-R label, Music Appreciation. Through this imprint she has released four solo albums: Misafridal (2008), Imperial Brick (2008), Whoreson in the Wilderness (2008)and the FILE Festival-honored Dogs in English Porcelain (2009)."

-Vanessa Website (

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"Lionel Marchetti is a composer of concrete music. First self-taught, he then explores the repertoire of concrete music, as acousmatic art, with the composer Xavier Garcia 1 from 1989 at COREAM (Collective for electroacoustic research and musical action) in Fontaine ( Isère ). He then composed in the studios of the Musical Research Group in Paris, of the Living Music Group of Lyon, of La Muse en circuit in Alfortville, of Césaré in Reims, of Gmem inNational center for musical creation in Marseille, at the training center for intervening musicians (CFMI) in Lyon and in his personal studio. At the same time, Lionel Marchetti pursues a work of poetic writing 2, 3, as well as a theoretical approach to concrete music and the art of the loudspeaker, as a practicing artist of the genre.

His book La musique concrète by Michel Chion 4 remains the most noticed - as well as his essay Speaker, voice and mirror... - technical essay in the form of a letter 5.

Its catalog is currently rich with more than a hundred concrete works.

Since 1990, he has been a lecturer in the art of concrete music and electroacoustic techniques at CFMI Lyon at the University of Lyon 2 (see BNF authority notice)."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (

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"Anouck Genthon is a French violinist and ethnomusicologist involved in the improvised music scene in an approach particularly sensitive to sound. Enriched by her double stance as musician and researcher, she guides her ear by improvised gestures through the surrounding sound-environment."

-Jazz.DK (

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track listing:

1. The City, Folded 24:26

2. The Tower 21:01

3. This 25:29
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In one of those moments, so frequent on this album, which mean nothing and intimate everything, subject-less voices enunciate the two words "the tower" in different languages. 'La tour' is the term in Lionel Marchetti's native French. Coincidentally, no doubt, but perhaps still significantly, 'Latour' is also the surname of one of the major proponents of Actor-Network Theory (ANT), a school of socio-technical analysis which treats humans and objects alike as 'actors' in a given situation, all possessing the potential to affect other actors within the network linking them. Objects with agency - it's a notion which feels curiously apt for music like this, where we apprehend voices and sounds, the conscious and the supposedly inanimate interacting on a single centreless plane. Howling whelps, notification sounds. A child's laughter, the calming roar of amniotic fluid.

On The Tower (The City), this collaborative work from multidisciplinarians Vanessa Rossetto and Lionel Marchetti on the dependably disquieting Erstwhile Records, we are constantly invited to indulge in such wandering associative excursions and to do away with ideas of intentionality or what might be 'meant'. Things happen, they are not done. There is no grand design, only moments which sometimes assume the cloak of grandeur. A second version of the album is instructively described as "a kind of inverted Tower of Babel..."; where that project, the ultimate symbol of domineering human hubris, collapsed when common language was lost, this one succeeds precisely because of the complete heterogeneity of its constituent parts. The titular tower is a monument not to unitary ambition but to the incidental and the piecemeal - we might think of the indiscriminate urban collage of Los Angeles' Watts Towers.

Considered musical influences are indistinguishable from passive receptions. Crunchy quivering drones à la Tim Hecker and halting Lucrecia Dalt-esque loops occupy the same space as Coldplay's 'Paradise' overheard from the room over and a 'Careless Whisper' singalong. To say this music sounds 'like' anything is to miss the point; Rossetto and Marchetti present a stimulating sonic environment to be experienced, not a set of references to be decoded. It would be cryptic were everything not so patent, we might feel dread were it not all so peculiarly refreshing.

That these three pieces, totalling over seventy minutes, should avoid being exhausting in the way much musique concrète can be is a result, I think, of its eschewing the mystifying objectivity sometimes found in the genre. Instead of detecting the shaping hand of the demiurge we find ourselves sharing a sensory outlook through which we can dwell in a network of sounds, not peer at a monolith from without. As Marchetti himself puts it, "composing is not so much deciding but to let ourselves be guided on a path". Listening, we mark out his and Rossetto's inquisitive footprints."-Alec Holt, The Quietus

Get additional information at The Quietus
Related Categories of Interest:

Electroacoustic Composition
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
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