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2
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[pe126]Massimo Falascone
Variazioni Mumacs
[pe125]Auris + Gino
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Massimo Falascone - Variazioni Mumacs
CD (Milan, Italy)



1. Mumacs Begins | 2. Fibonacci | 3. Land of Ashes | 4. Alias Me | 5. Eugène et Lidia | 6. The Doctor Comes | 7. Variation in Bob | 8. Generation Gap | 9. Guarda dove vai | 10. Senza fiato | 11. The Doctor Goes | 12. There’s Something in That | 13. Mi ricordo | 14. Incantations | 15. I Do Welcome You | 16. Friends Nearby | 17. Light Blue | 18. I Forgot the Question | 19. Una lettera | 20. Su Milano | 21. Page After Page | 22. No Photos Required | 23. Puntini | 24. Pills | 25. Did You Remember to Bring Your Hat? | 26. An Itinerary | 27. Mind Reset | 28. Nanna ieri | 29. One More One More | 30. Back to Morrow | 31. Giardini Pubblici | 32. Fri Bestia



Massimo Falascone
Bob Marsh | Eugène and Lidia Darredeau | Alberto Braida | Giancarlo Locatelli | John Hughes | Emanuele Segre | Leonardo Falascone | Marcello Magliocchi | Filippo Monico and Fabrizio Spera | Musimprop | Giovanni Falascone and Valentina Steffenoni | Anna Coffetti

Reviews:
(Downtown Music Galley)This is a concept disc which was organized by Massimo Falascone on saxes & compositions with lyric by Bob Marsh. There are more than a dozen mostly Italian musicians involved most of whom I don't know except for Alberto Braida on piano and Giancarlo Locatelli on clarinets. Bob Marsh, who I recall from his work with Jack Wright, plays violin, cello and narrates as well. There are some 32 shorter pieces here which flow into one another seamlessly. There are also layers of sounds, static and soft voices swirling together. Bob Marsh has a strong, serious voice (Ken Nordine-like) but only speaks a few lines at a time. There are a few other voices who speak in French and Italian and are well-woven into the ongoing tapestry of sounds. This more like a radio play and is successful at creating a mood and story although I don't know what the voices are saying when they are not in English. Rubbed strings, an ancient typewriter, tapes and sound sculptures are involved and well-selected to create the overall tale. What I dig about this is how well it works even though it is not so much about the music as it is about the way it speaks to us. - Bruce Lee Gallanter

(Babysue) Massimo Falascone is part of the experimental underground in the world of music. He has played and recorded with a whole slew of artists around the globe and has recorded numerous albums. Falascone plays saxophones, composes electroacoustic music, writes music for the theater, documentaries, and installations. He also teaches, conducts workshops, and classes. And yet...his name is probably only known to a relatively small segment of the population most likely due to the fact that he chooses to focus on strange experimental stuff instead of commercial music. Thus, as you might expect, Variazioni Mumacs: 32 Short Mu-Pieces About Macs is a strange and curious spin. This album does indeed feature 32 compositions...all of which would be far too peculiar and abstract for the casual listener. It's almost impossible to really describe these pieces, you just have to hear them and draw your own conclusions. Folks who only like catchy hits are warned to stay away...far away. Folks who appreciate the stranger side of music...will find a wealth of material to appreciate here. Truly mind expanding and slightly surreal. - Don Seven

(Kathodik)Trae ispirazione dalle “Variazioni Goldberg” di Bach, e dalla visione del bello ed intimo “Trentadue Piccoli Film Su Glenn Gould”, questa delizia che è “Variazioni Mumacs”. Ennesima brillante uscita, per il compositore/strumentista milanese Massimo Falascone. Cinema per l'orecchio, organizzato fra divagazioni elettroacustiche e parti impro. Materiali lasciati a riposare nel corso degli anni. Appunti, divagazioni e riflessioni. Poi, una superba opera di cut-up, a legare frammenti e storie, persone e luoghi, in un unico avventuroso percorso, non esente da notevoli aperture ludiche (certi stralunati siparietti alieni, da spellarsi le mani nell'applauso). Una valanga di amichevoli contributi esterni (ne cito alcuni: Bob Marsh, Alberto Braida, Giancarlo Locatelli, Marcello Magliocchi, Roberto Del Piano, Fabrizio Spera e molti altri). Falascone, isola, seziona, accostata e sovrappone. In ultimo, aggiunge ed improvvisa sopra al todo. Armeggiando fra sax, live electronics, field recordings, samples, effetti e voce. Materiali cercati, materiali trovati, risate, voci di bambini, tracce notturne, momenti d'insieme, regali strumentali inaspettati, parole, numeri ed una cover di Monk. Una visione compositiva, leggera e svolazzante, come lenzuola stese al sole ad asciugare. Contiene ricordi (odori, colori e sapori) e non s'assesta, come zavorra sulle spalle. Trentadue istanti, di bellezza in liquida espansione. - Marco Carcasi

(Monsieur Délire) 32 pieces, 67 minutes, a collaged work that combines free improvisation, electroacoustic music, spoken work, and hörspiel. Falascone (sax, live electronics, field recoridngs) is seconded by a lot of people here, but mostly by violinist Bob Marsh, who also acts as the narrator and co-produced the album. On first listen, I got lost, but my interest never waned. I expect that further listens will clarify things. So, an intriguing album, well conducted; the question is will it stand the test of time and further listens? - François Couture

(Musica Jazz) Il mito di un artista libero di prendere decisioni anche «scandalose» come manipolare le registrazioni nasce dalle Variazioni Goldberg incise da Gould.È su questo assunto che Falascone costruisce un affascinante patchwork che monta ad arte un set molto variegato di parti suonate (composte e improvvisate), registrazioni ambientali e rumori. Ne scaturisce uno dei lavori più suggestivi e intimamente moderni del musicista. - Michele Coralli

(Touching Extremes)The curve delineated by Variazioni Mumacs – descent, causation and contributors to be ascertained by clicking this link – starts from impressive acousmatic vistas largely established on real-life vicinity, recalling some of Lionel Marchetti’s aural landscapes (and not only because there are French-speaking voices in the fifth movement) complemented by diverse improvisations, far-flung echoes of mild-mannered nonsensicality (with a purpose) and declaimed poetry. The central subdivisions are somewhat deprived of the initial bulk and less dependent from surprising suddenness, an essential organization aiming to give more room to infinitesimal instrumental subtlety and utilization of the useful traits of broken pitches. Significant tenseness is perceived in the moments of quietude, occasionally injured by a slight propensity to restate acoustic vortexes that render the suite’s narrative just a bit difficult to follow without losing the grip on our centering amidst the ricocheting sounds. In the last tracks there’s a gradual return to reverberations typical of the quotidian – Falascone seems to hold mothers attending to their playing children particularly dear – until a ferocious free jazz discharge ends this challenging work. Given the fractional lineaments of the music and the unevenness of its dynamics, a duration of 68 minutes could result as pretty tough to swallow for a standard exemplar of “erudite” listener gifted with the attention span of a gnat. Still, one can imagine a soundtrack for a brand of experimental theatre or, as an alternative, an exercise in the maintenance of alertness. The composition took a long time of selection and assemblage of old and new materials, and it definitely shows; this is not a crackbrained pastiche, in spite of displacing occurrences of electronic treatments, snippets of radiophonic folderol and contrastive varieties of noise. It is instead a fully fledged creature with a carefully formulated structure; someone will deem it outstanding, elsewhere it may get regarded as subsidiary stuff in comparison to the production of the “big names” in this area. This observer stands somewhere around 70% of the artistic value scale. In any case, Falascone’s conceptual sincerity is unimpeachable, his dexterity as a reedist identifiable right away. - Massimo Ricci

(Chattanooga Pulse) The new album, Variazioni Mumacs, from the sound sculptor Massimo Falascone based in Milan, Italy, is subtitled “32 short mu-pieces about macs,” which is a reference to the film anthology Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, which itself is a reference to Bach’s Goldberg Variations (most famously tackled by Gould on piano) which featured, yes, 32 pieces (opening and closing arias plus 30 variations). It is unclear what exactly is a “mu-piece” or a “mac” or a “mumac,” although MUMAC is apparently a museum in Milan devoted to the espresso machine. From what this writer can tell, this album is not about coffee, nor about Bach. Although it covers a lot of ground, it is never entirely clear what it’s about or trying to accomplish, but if the listener can get past this inscrutability, then it makes for a fascinating, strange experience, particularly when heard through headphones. Falascone straddles the very different realms of improvisation (both jazz-inflected and free improv) and heavily edited and tweaked electro-acoustic music, where studio and recording equipment are used as instruments. The liner notes state that “all instrumental contributions are improvised,” and Falascone employs over a dozen guest artists and vocalists, from jazz musicians, to spoken word artists including Bob Marsh (who contributes the album’s lyrics) and even children. Falascone himself offers uninhibited sax playing and synthetic treatments, with a multitude of field recordings and sound samples. It’s an album of a million different moments that, defying all logic, does not completely fall apart. There are ambient tones, the sound of a typewriter, a recording of a woman practicing vocal scales with a piano, laughter, cello string scampers, squeaks, hisses, vaguely industrial sounds, violin fits and starts, sliced and diced vocal weirdness, skronks, rumbles and countless other sounds. Inexplicably, there’s also a cover of Thelonious Monk’s “Light Blue” on sax with clarinet counterpoint weaving in and out of abstraction. The album is a glorious, ambitious mess, sure, but it doesn’t repel; instead, its mysterious sound universe featuring the real and unreal pulls the listener in closely. - Ernie Paik

(Disaster Amnesiac) Consisting of four tracks of acoustic guitar duo interplay, Naranja Songs stays generally somewhat introspective in its mood. Akiyama and Courtis show their improvisational prowess and personal chemistry, playing twisty and spiked on Mind Mochileros, with its echoes of Towner's ECM offerings and Fahey-esque voicing. Springs and Strings speaks with low notes, deeply sliding harmonic glissando and funky, gritty low end/high end, almost Industrial sounding chatter. They return to the somewhat pastoral Fahey spaces in The Citrico Vibe, playing call and response tag, vibing off of each others' statements as they wend their way through those fields. The disc's closer, Los Frets Nomades, features deep extended techniques, the guitarists coaxing cool Electronic Music and cello sounds from their axes. Naranja Songs is a slow, stately ride into myriad possibilities for acoustic guitars. - Mark Pino

(Vital Weekly) Falascone is a sax player, improviser, composer and sound artist from Milan, Italy. He is on the improvised music scene since the 80’s. He plays alto, baritone and sopranino saxophones, and live electronics. He played and worked with lots of other artists, so many that I wonder why I didn’t meet him earlier. For ‘Variazoni Mumacs’, concept and compositions are by the hand of Falascone. Most recordings date from 2011/2012, and have the involvement of numerous, mostly Italian musicians playing violin, cello, piano, double bass, electric and classical guitar, drums, percussion, sound sculptures, baritone sax. Bob Marsh who is also responsible for the lyrics and playing the violin and cello does most of the vocal work. All instrumental contributions are improvised. The work consists of 32 parts that keeps you 67 minutes from the street. Falascone developed his very own sound art. It sounds like a multidimensional collage built from free improvisation, sprechgesang, electroacoustic sculptures, etc. The idea for this project arose after listening to the ‘Goldberg Variations’ played by Glenn Gould. Falascone wrote to musicians to record a piece of music along the instructions that Falascone included. He combined this material with field recordings and earlier recorded music from his archive, plus the text, written and spoken by Marsh. He assembled this piece following his own procedures. Pieces differ in structure and instrumentation. In some instrumental improvisation dominates, in others pieces everything is centered on the voice of Marsh. We are guided along a series of varied sound collages, as such a satisfying experience showing that Falascone can create clear defined miniatures. It is however a very conceptual work that didn’t make a strong emotional appeal on me and stayed on a superficial level of my musical perception. - DM

(Sentire Ascoltare) Lavoro tanto pretenzioso quanto ricercato e riuscito, quello che Massimo Falascone affida a Variazioni Mumacs, il cui sottotiolo è più di una introduzione ed esplicazione del processo e degli intenti messi in atto dal sassofonista milanese. 32 Short Mu-Pieces About Macs è infatti una sorta di visionaria rivisitazione “strutturale” elaborata all’intersezione tra le Variazioni Goldberg di Bach e alle visioni offerte da “Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould”, da cui parte una sorta di libera e incosciente interpretazione in coabitazione tra acustico e elettronico, digitale e analogico, composto e improvvisato, voluto e trovato. Ad accompagnare Falascone in questo eterodosso percorso “pubblicamente intimo” o “intimamente pubblico”, uno stuolo di amici e collaboratori – da Bob Marsh a Marcello Magliocchi, fino a John Hughes e Fabrizio Spera, ma la lista è veramente ampia – che addensano strumentazione (chitarre classiche e fiati, piano ed elettronica, field recordings e violini) e sensazioni, affinità e influenze, suggestioni e slanci, sotto la sua direzione. Una direzione onnivora, fuori dal tempo (recuperati frammenti di composizioni inedite addirittura più che ventennali dello stesso Falascone) e terribilmente affascinante nel suo essere ondivaga e umorale, divagante da un centro ben evidente – l’ossessione Gouldiana – ma pur sempre centrata e convergente verso una musica in apparenza sfatta, disossata, fratturata e frantumata, ma in realtà ben in grado di fornire il suo punto di (s)vista. In soldoni, 32 microsuite di elettroacustica costruite per assonanze o divergenze tra impro, avant e jazz, attraverso i vari contributi che i colleghi hanno fornito seguendo le indicazioni, a volte fumose, a volte assai ben individuate, di Falascone, su un canovaccio inesistente se non nella testa del musicista lombardo. Un lavoro superbo che porta a compimento il tragitto percorso da Falascone accanto al fantasma di Gould, dopo anni e anni di rincorse fatte di accumulo di idee, riflessioni, fonti sonore e divagazioni sul canovaccio e che ci lascia soddisfatti. - Stefano Pifferi

(Ragazzi) Massimo Falascone legt mit "32 short mu-pieces about macs - Variazioni Mumacs" ein filmartiges Erzählwerk vor, das weit über Jazz (Falascone ist Jazzsaxophonist) in freie Avantgarde reicht. Da sind 'field recordings' ebenso zu hören wie 'live electronics' und 'sound-sampled-effects-noises'. Jazz mag Basis für dieses, zwar in 32 einzeln anwählbaren Tracks aufgebauten, aber ohne Pause durchlaufenden Werkes sein, und es gibt eine Menge verrückter Sachen zu hören, die aus Jazz über freie Improvisation bis weit in atonale Avantgarde ohne nähere 'musikalische' Struktur reicht. Dazwischen sind plappernde Stimmen, Schreibmaschine, Hintergrundmusik, Klangskulpturen und der 'Narrator' zu hören, elektronische Sounds, die an Staubsauger erinnern, krasse Celli-Soli, die wie stürmisches Kratzen klingen, hier geradezu 'echter' Avantgarde Jazz mit Struktur, die fast zum Avantrock reicht und schon sehr forsch und arrangiert aufgebaut ist - das verliert sich wieder in Stimmen, Geräuschen, Noise und Ambientlärm. Als wolle ein Schriftsteller, der einen Radioroman schreibt, nicht in Text, sondern in Atmosphäre veranschaulichen, was er zu erzählen hat. Viele Gastmusiker sind sporadisch aktiv geworden, manche tragen nur ein Lachen bei, andere ein krasses Gitarrensolo (Musik!), verrückte Musikintermezzi und atonale Kadenzen, nur als Ansatz, um die Geschichte voranzutreiben und fortzuschreiben. Track 17, als einzige Fremdkomposition, stammt von Thelonious Monk, jede weitere Idee entwarf Massimo Falascone. Als wahrhafter Avantgardist ist ihm mit diesem 32-teiligen Erzählstück, das zuletzt in kakophonisch dramatischem Free Jazz endet, ein sehr lebhaftes und virtuoses Album gelungen, das Hörern empfohlen sei, die Field Recordings, Avantgarde Jazz, Free Improvisation samt Radiosounds mit Stimmbeiträgen interessant finden. Puristische Jazzfans aller Art werden Fragezeichen in die Gegend schauen, wenn sie nicht überfahren sind. Indes ist hier kein Noise-Album zu erwarten, diese Story kann zwar auch schon einmal laut werden, ist indes eher leise, überwiegend ambient angelegt. 68:00 Minuten weird ambient. - Volkmar Mantei


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