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På skive

MARTINA BERTONI

«Music for Empty Flats»
KARLRECORDS KR083

The Berlin-based, classically trained cellist Martina Bertoni focuses on deconstructing the relationship with her own instrument by combining acoustic sound, repetition, analog and digital synthesis. She is known for her collaborative work with Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo with whom she recorded several albums and performed at many festivals all around the globe.

«Music for Empty Flats» is Bertoni’s sophomore full-length album, following two EP’s and her solo debut album «All The Ghosts Are Gone» (Falk, 2019). The music for the new album was composed by Beroni in Reykjavík and Berlin during 2019 and 2020. The acoustic sounds of the cello continue to be the main sound materials for «Music for Empty Flats», but these sounds are processed, reverb, feedback and sub-bass frequencies are added and thus she crafts layered sonic sculptures, rich in atmospheres and frictions.

Bertoni says that inspiration for the title of the album came from a fraction of time during last winter, while she was visiting Iceland. «I had the strange opportunity to spend lots of time listening to music, alone in a brand new but unoccupied – therefore completely naked – empty flat in the suburbs of Reykjavík. it was Christmas, it was constantly dark, outside there was snow, inside there was this strange dystopian empty space in which I could listen to my favorite pieces of music in complete solitude. this is when i started sketching the new record».

The seven pieces are nuanced and suggestive, atmospheric-symphonic ambient-drone soundscapes that radiate rich and enigmatic veins of darkness, solitude and melancholy. The close references are Icelandic composer-cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, Australian Lawrence English, or Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz. The music was composed before the Covid-19 pandemic but sounds as a perfect soundtrack for our keep-your-social-distance times, a time for contemplation and forced loneliness. But this music also offers a promise of healing, that these times are passing. Just listen to «Music for Empty Flats» at the end of the day, possibly in total darkness, and allow the hypnotic, almost tangible vibrations of pieces like «Moving Nature» and «Distant Tropics» to embrace and wash away the sorrow and the stains of these times.

Eyal Hareuveni

Martina Bertoni (c, elec)

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