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«Portraits de Voix»

The Portraits de Voix is a puzzling, theatrical vocal music by Italian, Marseille-based sound artist-composer Alessandro Bosetti who paints a series of portraits from a collection of conversations recorded in various locations in Italy throughout the Summer of 2019. Bosetti chose and collected four anonymous voices articulated over three generations, two female and two male. He then disassembled them and put them together in a palimpsest that integrates three elements: polyphonic writing, a collage of thousands of fragments and vocal writing for a portraitist, and electroacoustic writing and immersive scenic writing.

This composition was translated into a musical theatre and hörspiel portraying a family of incorporeal voices, performed by Alessandro Bosetti along with Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, and featuring the costume design by Canedicoda. Now it is released as an album, that was recorded at SWR Studio in Stuttgart in October 2021, and features once again the artwork and design by Canedicoda.

Portraits de Voix presents the operatic sonic lives of a fictional family of voices suspended between Renaissance polyphony, microtonal texture and dinner table chatter. Each voice is mother, father, daughter and sister of one or the other, and the family is dismantled and reunited, with its many dramatic, passionate and eccentric bonds, separations, friendships and loves, as well as the immersive emotions of an imaginary and magical community.

Bosetti acts as the portraitist who sits in the middle of the audience and is surrounded by the five singers of the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, while the entire space is immersed in a mist of immaterial voices. He invites the listener to be part of this supposedly familiar and very close – claustrophobic as nourishing – and vocal – literally – crowd, just like every family. The twenty bodily, physical and political portraits count for little: only the voices count, which, as markers of absolute generality, resemble souls to whom an identity has not yet been attributed.

Eyal Hareuveni

Johanna Vargas (soprano), Truike van der Poel (mezzo soprano), Martin Nagy (tenor), Guillermo Anzorena (baritone), Andreas Fischer (bass), Alessandro Bosetti (portraitist)

Portraits de voix — Alessandro Bosetti from GMEM on Vimeo.