Music of Fausto Romitelli
Composer Fausto Romitelli took the power of psychedelic rock and the sonic analysis techniques of the French Spectral school and twisted them together to create a deformed, artificial sound world. New York-based Talea Ensemble will make world premiere recordings of five of Romitelli’s works during their EMPAC residency and perform a concert consisting of:
- Domeniche alla periferia dell’impero (2000)
for violin, cello, flute, clarinet
- La sabbia del tempo (1991)
for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, bassoon, keyboard
- Amok Koma (2001)
for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, percussion, keyboard, live electronics
- Nell’alto dei giorni immobili (1990)
for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, piano
- Blood on the floor, Painting 1986 (2000)
for 2 violins, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, electric guitar, keyboard
- Trash TV Trance (2002) for electric guitar
Fausto Romitelli was born in Gorizia, Italy in 1963. He first studied under Franco Donatoni at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and later at the Scuola Civica in Milan. He continued his investigations of sound at Ircam in Paris, and with the musicians of L’Itinéraire—Tristan Murail, Gérald Grisey, Michaël Levinas, and Hugues Dufourt.
Romitelli broke down the barrier between art music and popular music. Distortion, saturation, and psychedelic rock were part of his musical universe, evident in Acid Dreams & Spanish Queens (1994), EnTrance (1995), and Cupio Dissolvi (1996). The Professor Bad Trip cycle (I, II, and III, 1998-2000) blended distorted colorations of acoustic and electric instruments as well as accessories like the mirliton and harmonica to create a hallucinatory atmosphere.
An Index of Metals (2003), a video-opera for soprano and ensemble, was Romitelli’s final work. He died in 2004, after a long illness.
The Talea Ensemble, called “...a crucial part the New York cultural ecosphere” by The New York Times, has given many important world premieres of new works by composers such as Pierre Boulez, Tristan Murail, Jason Eckardt, Pierluigi Billone, Hans Abrahamsen, Stefano Gervasoni, Marco Stroppa, and Fausto Romitelli. The Talea Ensemble was the guest ensemble for the 18-day Spectrum XXI Festival tour in Paris and London and has twice been invited as guest ensemble to the Nevada Encounters of New Music (NEON) festival, as well as La Ciudad de las Ideas (Mexico), Art Summit Indonesia (Jakarta), and the International Contemporary Music Festival of Lima, Peru. The ensemble has served as ensemble in residence at Harvard University, Columbia University, and New York University. Upcoming projects include concerts at the Darmstadt International Music Festival, residencies at Stanford University, Harvard University, Ithaca College, and Cornell University, and a release on Mode Records. Recently commissioned composers for upcoming seasons include James Dillon, John Zorn, Pierluigi Billone, Eric Chasalow, Victor Adan, and Georges Aperghis.
“At the center of my composing lies the idea of considering sound as a material into which one plunges in order to forge its physical and perceptive characteristics: grain, thickness, porosity, luminosity, density, and elasticity. Hence it is sculpture of sound, instrumental synthesis, anamorphosis, transformation of the spectral morphology, and a constant drift toward unsustainable densities, distortions, and interferences, thanks also to the assistance of electro-acoustic technologies. And increasing importance is given to the sonorities of non-academic derivation and to the sullied, violent sound of a prevalently metallic origin of certain rock and techno music.”