Maurizio Ravalico [acoustic percussion]
Ismabard Khroustaliov [feed-back/feed-forward electronics]
Started in Spring 2005 with a series of recordings, this duo collaboration takes advantage of acoustic sound at its richest and most varied in terms of timbral expression, with Maurizio's set-up expanding the palette of percussion sound from a selection of orthodox instruments (two surdos, Tibetan bowls and cymbals) into the open-ended realm of found objects, employing various kitchen utensils, marbles, film tapes, magnolia leaves, and different components from industrial machineries. Isambard's sound construction runs in parallel to this real-world scenario and is, on this occasion, non-generative. He picks up the sound created by the acoustic instruments, analyses and processes it in real time (using a series of hand crafted software tools) and plays it back to Maurizio as a mode of conversation, creating a structural dialogue between two vastly different worlds, one continuous by its very nature and the other a discreet manipulation of this reality. The duo's approach to the music itself is therefore predominantly concrete, in that the two performers work at generating one single and undivided sound output. No one is accompanying anybody else; both performers occupy the same sound zone, and are, under all perspectives, playing one single four-handed meta-instrument.
Isambard Khroustaliov (aka Sam Britton) trained as an architect at the Architectural Association in London but took up music full time after securing a recording contract as an undergraduate. He has since recorded and released music as Icarus (with Ollie Bown) to significant critical acclaim and performed all over Europe. In 2004 Icarus's "I Tweet The Birdy Electric" album was listed as one of the Wire magazine's top 10 electronic records of the year and the BBC similarly hailed it as one of the top experimental records of 2004. In 2005 Sam undertook a masters course in computer music and composition at IRCAM in Paris.
Maurizio Ravalico: member of the F-IRE Collective (please refer to Biographies section).
" [...] The music contained on "Five Loose Plans" can only be described as experimental. Ravalico's percussion set up includes conventional, if rather exotic, instruments such as surdos, Tibetan bowls and cymbals plus "found" objects and devices such as kitchen utensils, industrial components, marbles, film tapes and even magnolia leaves.
Khroustaliov picks up the acoustic sounds generated by Ravalico and processes them using a variety of self-invented software tools. This is then played back to Ravalico to create an ongoing dialogue.
The sound created by this process verges on the "musique concrete". Ravalico's percussion deliberately steers clear of conventional beats and metres and once it has been treated by Khroustaliov it becomes even more abstract. However, as on the "Ezzthetic EP" the acoustic percussive element is a vital factor in humanising the music. There are several passages of thunderous acoustic percussion of great virtuosity that serve to punctuate the more abstract electronic episodes.
The soundscapes generated here are too spiky and challenging to be classed as ambient, but they can be both atmospheric and dramatic. "Five Loose Plans" is certainly not a record for the general listener. However, fans of electronic and improvised music should find much to enjoy here. Repeated listening reveals fresh layers and nuances as the duo lure you into their unusual but strangely compelling musical world."
Ian Mann, 24Dash.com, 16/03/07.
FIVE LOOSE PLANS, December 2006, Not Applicable, NOT007
Live sound clips downloadable for free from http://www.maurizioravalico.com/files_MP3s.html