Lea Bertucci packs the sounds of vast structures into small spaces | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Lea Bertucci packs the sounds of vast structures into small spaces

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Sometimes Lea Bertucci treats architecture as an extension of her instruments. For the 2019 album Resonant Field (NNA Tapes), the composer, sound designer, and instrumentalist brought her alto saxophone into the confines of the Marine A Grain Elevator in Silo City, a collection of three such elevators in Buffalo, New York. The structure’s size—it’s 13 feet wide and 90 feet high—resulted in a 12-second natural delay that let Bertucci play with or against her own improvisations. In postproduction, she layered her reeds’ long tones, twisting trills, and decaying echoes over field recordings and other musicians to vertiginous, psychedelic effect. For last year’s Phase Eclipse (Astral Sprits), she used a more immediate approach, putting her fingers directly on rolling tape in order to alter the pitch and progress of Amirtha Kidambi’s voice. On her current tour, Bertucci intends to use woodwinds, tapes, and electronics to draw silo-size sonic experiences out of the smaller spaces she’s playing. This concert, part of the Hideout’s Resonance Series of experimental music, also features a rare duo performance by Brokeback, with Areif Sless-Kitain’s percussion accompanying the melodic six-string electric bass of bandleader Douglas McCombs. Headlining the show is Saariselka, a duo of singer-keyboardist Marielle Jakobson (ex-Date Palms) and pedal steel guitarist Chuck Johnson.   v

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