The idea that aliments this project is working with people needing to reconstruct a broken language, as opposed to a good portion of contemporary music where the opposite – namely the deconstruction of a given language – is applied. Writing about a piece whose foundations derive from the voices and utterances of spastic and laryngotomized people (to whom the composer asked a description of what they were hearing while subjecting them to examples of electroacoustic music) is not exactly a walk in the park, but I won’t put my head under the sand while blaming personal delays (the CD was in fact released in 2006). The sounds contained by “Il fiore della bocca” are difficult to swallow, its silences all the more. It’s a work that, ideally, should make everybody think hard about the weight of words, or even of a single word, which for a speech-impaired being can be compared to completing a marathon. Alessandro Bosetti, one of the (very) rare Italian artists who look into themselves rather than for ideas to steal, defines this a “text-sound composition” and it looks to me that he may be right after all. The voices were utilized both in their nude appearance – breath overtones, unintelligible snippets, contorted syllables and superimposed salivations appearing amidst a terrifying quietness, only broken by the ticking of a clock or, in other occasions, by the stomach-churning cries by other unfortunates coming from another room – or cut, pasted and juxtaposed (via computer, one surmises) to generate arrhythmic crescendos, peculiarly swaying background choirs over which one or more “soloists” elaborate concepts, laugh or sing in their own special way, and veritable counterpoints where the differences between unorthodox timbres almost make us forget the core of the matter, namely who the real protagonists of the album are. This is an effort that no one can afford to approach light-heartedly, and will certainly result quite disturbing for non-superficial listeners. We deal with something serious, and Bosetti pulled no punches in showing the cruel reality hiding behind the great illusion of our existence while using the musical qualities of these deficits. At the end of the day, “Il fiore della bocca” is an act of love, probably the best way to homage these souls with a moment in the spotlight (although I doubt that some of them are aware of it and, obviously, a record like this doesn’t guarantee that much of a wide exposure) during a life that usually starts bad and ends worse. After reading a few comments around the web, which brought on the potential chance of exploitation of people not in possession of their full faculties and the morbid curiosity that such a release could attract (Reynols-style), I have two responses. First, I’m not so sure that the hundreds of associations and leagues hypothetically devoted to publicize this segment of humanity are doing a better job than Bosetti did in about 48 minutes comprising several touching, if controversial moments. Second, the comparison with Reynols’ Miguel Tomasin’s Down syndrome applied to art is not acceptable: here, we’re in presence of an austere compositional method dictated by severe, crucial issues, while I’ve always seen more of a folklorist overhype in the Argentine ensemble’s glorification. The music was not exceptional. For sure, “Il fiore della bocca” is not in competition with that; a comparison with Jason Lescalleet’s “The Pilgrim” – not in terms of sound, rather matching the tangibility of different kinds of suffering – is probably more useful.


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