Luigi Turra – Alea

Luigi Turra - Alea, closeup of the folds of a pink velvet curtain

Digital silence, suddenly broken by smatterings of sound. A low female voice, intoning in French, itself ruptured by a piano note. The words are from a text by Marguerite Duras, a reference I’m not familiar with. The voice is transformed, reduced, atomised, never quite becoming object-sound but tending heavily towards it. The same could be said of other sounds: the piano, the irregular percussive tapping, the humming. Brief repetitions, reiterations. On the threshold of musicality, the cusp of a meaningful gesture — a risky and enthralling place to be, regardless on which side of the line you land.

The potential musicality of everything: piano, voices, rattling, static. Play close attention to the contours of the object, to its vibrations. There’s a chance you’ll notice nothing, nothing out of the ordinary. Roll a double six, though, and you’ll notice the semblance of a pattern, the suggestion of form. This is meant to be this way. Lots of silence allow the object-sounds to stand clear, sculpture-like, while drawing attention to their relations, to their separation-togetherness. A close aural examination, registering not only pitch, harmony, and metre, but also a tending-towards-music, a sort of reverse entropy. Or entropy and reverse-entropy both at once.

This close attention is so different from the prevailing culture, from the immediate, thoughtless consumption of simulacra. This attention is what Luigi Turra’s “Alea” specialises in. And yet it could all come to nothing, ending up with simply more of the same — with simulacra. This risk is what keeps it interesting; that, and the attractiveness and subtlety of the sounds — the harmonies, timbres, durations — themselves. The Ravel-like piano figures, the gentle hums and understated presences. The shuffles, whirrs, clicks, whispers, glows. All separate and together in a sea of silence, from which they emerge as objective accidents of music.



Luigi Turra


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