Alessandro Bosetti | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Alessandro Bosetti

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Italian saxophonist and sound artist Alessandro Bosetti vigorously explores the possibilities of his instrument. Last year's Zona (Grob) is a stunning representation of his extended technique as well as an expression of his interest in electronics: he recorded the piece using six microphones positioned at various distances, then digitally sewed the tracks together. Shifting from one mike to another, he creates a sort of 3-D listening experience: the closest mikes let you hear his breath (inhaling and exhaling, along with residual sputtering and whistling), his fingers manipulating the keys, and the full spectrum of his extended technique (popping, extreme overtones, tonguing maneuvers). Bosetti recorded Breath on the Floor (Absinth), his excellent new duet album with French reedist Michel Doneda, more traditionally, but his soprano-sax improvisations are hardly conventional. His columns of spit-flecked air, sour upper-register squeals, and spilled breath evoke the sound of air whistling through the partly opened window of a speeding car or the eerie howl of wind whipping against a shack on the tundra. For a stand-alone multimedia piece called "African Feedback" he played Zona as well as works by the likes of Axel Dorner and Otomo Yoshihide for strangers in Mali and Burkina Faso, recording their reactions. He's planning a similar project, "Scena Muta," for his Chicago debut. In the days before the performance he'll videotape a sampling of Chicagoans listening to an original work of his; he'll present the footage showing the reactions alone, without the actual music, at the show. He'll also present works for voice and electronics. Sat 12/10, 9 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago, 773-227-3617, $12. All ages.

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