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Best of 2021

Maria Teresa Luciani

Situazioni del Terzo Mondo (LP)


**Edition of 300.** Maria Teresa Luciani’s 1972 LP, Situazioni del terzo Mondo, is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. For years, debate has swirled around the identity of its creator, with recent reissues of other albums in the artist’s catalog by Finders Keepers and CinedelicSounds of the City and Free Jazz, respectively - only adding further steam.

Maria Teresa Luciani’s name represents a relatively brief entry within the canon of Italian library music, having issued four albums over the course of 1972 - all of which rank among the great holy grails of the genre - before disappearing from view. Over the years, the genre’s disposition toward mysterious identities - encountering many of its composers working under numerous monikers and false names - has led listeners and fans to speculate that the origin of these albums rests with none other than Antonino Riccardo Luciani - one of library music’s most prolific and noted composers - rather than being the product of a brief appearance by his otherwise unknown sister.

Whatever the truth may be, Situazioni del Terzo Mondo is an astounding piece of work that ranks among the most important efforts of musical abstraction ever recorded. Like all library music, it was conceived for use in television, radio, or film, but with no specific platform in mind, allowing its composer an unparalleled amount of creative freedom. Comprising 12 freestanding works that culminate as a seamless totality, the album is a journey into sonic conceptualism that is startlingly ahead of its time and presents a number of striking commonalities with future forms of electroacoustic and experimental music, only to emerge decades down the road.

Nearly impossible to sum up with any justice, Situazioni del Terzo Mondo features passages of repetitive percussion that rest at the razors edge between minimalism and tribalism, bristling moments of droning long tones and texture, reverberant, ambient soundscapes that harness unplaceable sound sources, abstract gestures that nod toward explicit electronic avant-gardism, and astounding gestures of minimalist guitar, each complimenting the next to culminate as one of the most exciting listening experiences that can be found, before or since. Visionary from start to finish, while arguably being a far more striking gesture of experimental music than for the context it was originally conceived, if an excuse was needed for a exploration of Library music, Situazioni del Terzo Mondo is unquestionably the place to start. Absolutely stunning from the first moment to the last, Cinedelic has done it again with the first ever reissue of this masterstroke.

Cat. number: CNLP58
Year: 2021

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