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Massaro, Francesco: Maniera Nera (Creative Sources)

Translating to "Black Manner", saxophonist and electroacoustic artist Francesco Massaro, a member of the Italian band Bestiario, presents a dark and troubling album of intense and power solo saxophone and acousmatic accompaniment, which he refers to as "fixed media", each of the 8 pieces referencing musicians including Lenoci, La Volpe, &c.; enigmatic and superb.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063405439

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs543
Squidco Product Code: 26204

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Chora Studi Musicali, in Monteroni di Lecce, Italy, in December, 2017, by Valerio Daniele.


Francesco Massaro-baritone saxophone, fixed media

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Artist Biographies:

"Musician, philosopher and independent 'Pataphysics teacher, a fan of the trappist movement, he survives since long plugged to a metal pipe with holes and keys. Prone to the blues, he collects and catalogs weightlessness and jasmine scent."

-Francesco Massaro Website (

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track listing:

1. Ex Libris 0:47

2. My Track For Fm 8:17

3. Erocene (Per Leo Lionni) 5:55

4. Massarav 4:36

5. Come Canna Al Vento 8:10

6. Termite 4:08

7. Urban Mammut 7:10

8. La Strana Casa Del Giardiniere 6:11

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The "black way" is a method of engraving (also called "carbon black") dating back to the seventeenth century, made famous by Goya: substantially, the design is engraved on a blackened slab, creating gaps that will be visible as clear signs. Francesco Massaro, a regular guest with his "Bestiari" in this column, is a bit like Tarantino: in Black Manner (a CD just published by the Portuguese label Creative Sources) the "signs" emerge from a dark background, a dark silence with small glitches, noises and sound incidents of various kinds. We are on the border between "written" music (though perhaps on magnetic tape and not on paper) and more or less radical improvisation, a territory beaten only by jazz extremists and priests of contemporary research. Just to make clear the experimental and border nature of this project (presented in concert in the last edition of the festival "Urticanti"), Massaro worked on the crossing between the two practices, commissioning a piece of musicians a piece for computer or for magnetic tape on which he himself then improvised with the baritone saxophone.

The result is fascinating and at the same time disturbing, a catalog of sound gestures at the limit, sometimes even audible. The CD contains eight pieces: the first, introductory and very short, is composed by Massaro himself, who plays us on "on tiptoe". The others, of very variable length, are built for Massaro by friends and accomplices, mostly from Puglia: electronic specialists such as Francesco Scagliola, Giuseppe Pisano or Maurilio Cacciatore, or musicians closer to jazz but of reckless nature such as Adolfo La Volpe and Giorgio Distante, "amphibious" creatures like Gianni Lenoci and unpredictable sound poets like Valerio Daniele (in brackets, the work is recorded in his studio, in Monteroni). Just the latter, with La strana casa dei giardiniere, closes the path of listening, and his is perhaps the most dense piece of the lot. On the contrary, As cane in the wind of Scagliola is made of small scattered and distant shivers. In any case, here as elsewhere, Massaro "inhabits" the various sound landscapes with intelligence."-Fabrizio Versienti, Corriere del Mezzogiorno

"The music of Francesco Massaro speaks to us from a wound, or perhaps from the wound of history: the oneiric mood of Henry Threadgill freed from the cage of the structures, almost a Boulez lost in labyrinths on the border between jazz (which can only be glimpsed and really fugacissime ombre, or simply its necessary to bloom in something definitely other) and contemporary, the untiring search of Roscoe Mitchell and Evan Parker as a beacon, however, led with an inexorably light, thanks to a voice that makes his come to terms with silence in every moment its strength, its own fragility its power. [...]"-Nazim Comunale
Related Categories of Interest:

Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Acoustmatic Electronic Composition

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