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Did They? Did I?, by Bologna-based Valerio Tricoli, whose only released work prior to this was an untitled cassette outing with Ielasi on Freedom From, is a fascinating if enigmatic piece that, like its cover photography, plays with the idea of inside / outside. Or rather, foreground / background - Tricoli explores the idea of distance and depth (real, in the form of sounds occurring far from the mics - a distant police car siren - or illusory - sporadic and intentionally heavy of use of reverb) in a beautifully executed and constantly thought-provoking piece of work. The piece itself lasts 19'09", but the album displays a total duration of 41'08". At 20'21" a ghost track appears, in the form of a recording that has also apparently provided some source material for the preceding piece. It sounds as if Tricoli has hidden a Minidisc recorder inside a cupboard in somebody's apartment: fragments of conversation, the clang of pots and pans, passing traffic noise and various other acoustic ejectamenta of everyday life appear and disappear. Once more, the sounds are recognisably interior (crying children, flushing toilets..) and exterior (passing motorcycles, dogs..) in origin, but their coexistence as musical elements in a work of sound art has blurred the difference. Similarly, the seemingly untreated field recording raises the eternal question, is this life or is it art? That's for you to decide (I'd argue it's both). In its way, Tricoli's work is as aesthetically challenging as Martusciello's, the difference being you probably won't be evicted or have to replace your speakers if you play it loud. (Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic, January 2004)
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