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Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuovo Consonanza [Slipcase] *

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Larry Austin encouraged the formation of the Improvisation Group of the Nuova Consonanza, which is the only group in Europe formed exclusively of composers. The essential element of the group is a sense of good understanding, which is the base for finding a fertile field first for discussion and then for performance.

Album Notes

This Italian group from the 1960s was an improvising ensemble made up of some of the most notable composers of avant-garde music in Italy, namely one Ennio Morricone, who would go on to become famous as a soundtrack composer. Other members, Franco Evangelisti and Mario Bertoncini, would stay working on the cutting edge of classical music for their ensuing careers. This CD reissue comprises material from 1967 through to 1975 that the group recorded for classical avant-garde labels in Italy. As a laboratory for experimental musical ideas, the title translates as "The Improvisational group for New Consonance" and the group's ambition was to uncover new methods in instrumental performance. Three decades later, this material makes one think these documents were swept under the carpet to allow rock & roll to happen and punk to seem as though it was revolutionary. This is entirely unorthodox considering it was made in an academic music environment. There is much anarchy and deconstruction here, and GINC were held in high regard in electro-acoustic and improvisational circles in the '90s, when groups such as Voice Crack and Polwechsels began to reflect upon the ideas thought up in Rome way back then. Exploring prepared instruments and extended techniques, the ensemble holds a similar place in history to the British improvising group Amm and fellow Rome-based Musica Electronica Viva. Morricone fans will find no trace of his soundtracking aesthetic here, though, this is purely in keeping with the work of John Cage, whose many prepared piano techniques and experimental compositions inspired them. On this CD, their work to defying known formulas is apparent throughout, and abrasive noise and sparse explorations of sonority dominate this CD collection. Later the group would work with Morricone again, far less rigorously though as their job was to add noise and incidental abstractions to his funky soundtracks. Another chapter in the secret history of the avant-garde -- and its reissue seems intent to uncover another vital key in finding the roots to some of the more experimental music created in the following years, from jazz and improvised music (Borbetomagus and John Zorn) through to "new complexity" classical music, such as composer Helmut Lachenmann. Editions RZ is a label that specializes in LPs and CDs of such diversions, and they design, package, and remaster to a very high standard. ~ Sylvie Harrison



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