Thursday, December 10, 2009

2008 : 22 "L'effaçage" (excerpt) by Radu Malfatti

Literally, the erasure, the deletion, the suppression, the annulation, the invalidation, effaçage, effacement, etc.

erased dekooning by robert rauschenberg

Radu Malfatti L'effaçage (b-boim, 2008)

What happens when you erase not just lyrics, melody, solos, harmony, rhythm, but also pitch, notes, technique, tone, touch, and dynamics? Is a piece "music" that is constructed entirely out of a series of bass drum tympani rumbles that arise from and melt into large stretches of silence? Does boredom and extended repetition have a place in music? Can sounds be bland? What happens to the listener and the music between (the) sounds?

radu malfatti

"In a roomful of shouting people, the one who whispers becomes interesting."
- Peter Schmidt

Radu Malfatti has been working with these questions for the better part of two decades, releasing most on his in-house CD-R label, available primarily by emailing him directly. And yet despite this extremely limited niche he works with (visually, think Barrett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, and Robert Rauschenberg at their most ultra-minimal), he has produced work of some range: works for bass drum (L'effaçage), piano, string quartets, sine waves, saxophones, and string orchestra.

"Innovations be damned, it's a boring century."
– Morton Feldman

Malfatti's possibly dogmatic dedication to an intensely precise and austere soundworld, will strike many as cold, sterile, and moreover, a conceptual dead-end, musical entropy. But for others, it may seem like a needed antidote to the practically overwhelming busyness ("gabbiness" to quote Malfatti himself) of almost all forms of contemporary music.

"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all."
– John Cage

See also: Taku Sugimoto– Italia (A Bruit Secret, 2001)

Darren DeMonsi

Listen: Radu Malfatti >> " L'effaçage (excerpt) "

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