“For Kounellis”

Neil Leonard

CD featuring saxophone and live electronics
For Kounellis is a meditative, evocative electronic work featuring samples from Jannis Kounellis’ sculpture, voice, live electronics and soprano saxophone. The sounds are based on Kounellis’ untitled installation comprising 23 large church bells that Leonard recorded at the environmental sculpture park, La Marrana di Montemarcello in Italy. “The bells appear to spiral out from a cylindrical chamber rooted in the Earth’s core. I was struck by the intensity of this chorus of silent tongues, facing the sky and projecting a colossal resonance that is felt but is not heard. Like Kounellis’ inverted bells, Vesuvius’ mouth is a sonic hallmark of local history. Both face the sky, and suggest a tremendous capacity to transform the environment.”
A highlight of the CD is the voice of local Vesuvian singer Alessia de Capua. “I processed and wove her voice thick choral textures that are intended to have the haunting, ancient quality suggested by both Kounellis installation of silent bells and the ominous volcano on which we premiered the piece. Alessia was new to this work but she instinctively knew how to create the atmosphere needed. Her voice became the sound of her native Vesuvian landscape.” The results are a unique combination of processed sound and acoustic performance that defies categorization.
Excerpt from “For Kounellis”