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Emusers guide to Fausto Romitelli
edited March 2015
I thought that it was about time to gather the posts from various threads about this extraordinary brilliant composer, followed by some new discoveries (when I get to them).
Gorizia, Italy, 1963 — Milan, Italy, 2004
- "One of the most promising of the young generation of Italian composers, Fausto Romitelli, born in Gorizia in 1963, died prematurely in 2004 after a long illness.
He first studied under Franco Donatoni at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and later at the Scuola Civica in Milan. Besides Donatoni, his early inspirations were György Ligeti and Giacinto Scelsi, followed by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez and Gérald Grisey. His 1980s output already testified to his interest in sound as, in his own words, a “material to be forged”: Ganimede (1986), for alto, and Kû (1989), for 14 musicians.
In the 1990s, he continued his investigations of sound at Ircam in Paris, and with the musicians of L’Itinéraire—Tristan Murail, Gérald Grisey, Michael Lévinas and Hugues Dufourt. He studied at Ircam’s Cursus de composition and, from 1993 to 1995, collaborated with the Représentations musicales team in the capacity of “compositeur en recherche.” Romitelli’s experiments in sound synthesis and spectral analysis informed his compositions during this period: Sabbia del Tempo (1991), for six performers, and Natura morta con fiamme (1991), for string quartet and electronics.
Anything but a formalist composer, Romitelli did not shy away from hybridization, breaking down the barrier between art music and popular music. Distortion, saturation, psychedelic rock—inspired compositions and “dirty” harmonies were part of his musical universe, evident in Acid Dreams & Spanish Queens (1994), for amplified ensemble, EnTrance (1995), and Cupio Dissolvi (1996). The Professor Bad Trip cycle (I, II and III, 1998—2000), blending distorted colorations of acoustic and electric instruments as well as accessories like the mirliton and harmonica, was inspired by Henri Michaux’s writings under the influence of psychedelic drugs, and recreates a hallucinatory atmosphere.
An Index of Metals (2003), a video-opera for soprano and ensemble, with video by Paulo Pachini, is Fausto Romitelli final work, the synthesis and summit of his musical language."
edited April 2016
- Starting with his last work that has an urgency and intensity about it. . . It makes me think that something like this can only come from a person who is fully aware of this is the very last shot he will ever get of doing what he was called to do.
- Anyways, a totally brilliant album and, needless to say, wholeheartedly recommended.
ENSEMBLE MUSIQUES NOUVELLES
Jean-Paul DESSY (conductor)
- "What strikes immediately in Fausto Romitelli’s work (1963-2004) is the immediacy of his musical proposals that pleases the ear. As a convinced modernist who is careful not to indulge in the arrogant fallacy of radical rupture for its own sake, the composer represents an heir of Western musical traditions – be they scholarly or popular, ancient or current – all the while expressing a strong sense of independence towards historical necessity or the desire to pertain to a group, to be “heard”. By playing with coded musical structures (and evading them at the same time), his frescoes, which exhibit a fascinating expressive force, become directly accessible to the music lover yearning to take the plunge into this universe of sound. In the tradition of the electroacoustic and spectral movements, Romitelli, an enthusiastic and curious technophile, devotes himself to new technologies of amplification and transformation that make electric sounds become electrifying and, through successive distorsion, reverberation and projection, creates a three-dimensional illusion. On the occasion of his 50th anniversary, the ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, directed by Jean-Paul Dessy, retraces the arch of a decade (1990-2001) in Fausto Romitelli’s musical work and explores several pieces of music that are presented on the disc for the first time."
Cypres Records 2012
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