roberto musci & giovanni venosta Messages and Portraits (CD, £12.25)
Hardy perennials, the LPs Water Messages on Desert Sands and Urban and Tribal Portraits never peaked, though they continued to sell steadily from the year of their first release, in 1987 and 1988 respectively. We assumed it was because almost everybody who heard them liked them; World music people celebrated them and Magma used Portraits as pre-concert music at gigs. Both records mix ethnic recordings (collected on their travels by Roberto - a surgeon - and Giovanni -a film composer) with composed parts played on modern instruments, and electronics, to create quasi-minimal song shaped pieces - for the most part instrumental (when there's singing it comes from the field recordings - and much of it is profoundly exquisite). This is a timeless music with its roots in ancient sonorities and rhythms, elaborated through electronic and contemporary structural detail. This re-packaged CD, re-mastered by Bob Drake, brings both LPs into one package. GIOVANNI VENOSTA was born in Udine, Italy, in 1961. Apart from his work with Roberto Music, he has mainly worked as a film composer -16 feature films, various shorts, documentaries, videos, and music for dance and theatre - awarded the Golden Ciak in 2000, 3 nominations for best soundtrack at Donatello's David in 2002, 2004, 2008 and a nomination for the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize in 2009. Since 2002 he has composed the signature tunes for the Locarno Film Festival. He is also a member of the trio diSturb und Drang, Emilio Galante's ensemble Sonata Islands, and several projects dedicated to the music of Magma, After Dinner and Wha Ha Ha. He also plays electric piano with the afro-beat group Mamud Band and teaches a 3-year degree course of Music for Images at the Civic School in Milan. He has made numerous solo recordings, film soundtrack and band recordings on a variety of labels. ROBERTO MUSCI was born in Milan, Italy, in 1956. He studied alto sax and guitar and then between 1974 and 1985 travelled around the planet studying African, Indian, Near and Far Eastern music, making field recordings, studying and collecting ethnic musical instruments from around the world. In the '80s and '90s he made ethnic and electronic/experimental programmes for Italian national radio and the independent Radio Popolare. He also composed and played music for dance, videos, commercials, poetry, theatre and performed live soundtracks for silent movies. He has released many LPs on numerous European labels.
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