Saturday, July 26, 2014

Alessandra Novaga - La Chambre des Jeux Sonores

Alessandra Novaga
La Chambre des Jeux Sonores

Alessandra Novaga - Electric Guitar

Continuing our survey of new releases by the Italian label Setola Di Maiale, we come to guitarist Alessandra Novaga’s La Chambre des Jeux Sonores (“House of Sound Games”). On it, Novaga performs five graphic scores composed for her by two American and three Italian composers.

This type of record is somewhat uncharted territory for me. Novaga herself describes her music as experimental, rather than as jazz or free improv. However, she does indicate that a large degree of improvisation is involved in the performances.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, and that sense of anticipation, even unease, persists throughout the album. It plays out as a series of textures, or episodes, that somehow hang together to form a narrative. There are passages of minimal gestures and there are passages that seem sinister and alien. A sort of hazy calm sets in by the end of the last track. Novaga gets all manner of sounds out of her electric, from feedback to bell-like percussion to piano-like sounds. 

She will be performing the works that comprise this CD in concert at Spectrum in New York City on August 26.

Here’s a clip of an NYC performance from 2012:

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