All of your favorites, in one place.
In the archive of the Janacek memorial in Brno, lies a somehow odd treasure: a series of very tiny notebooks where composer Leoš Janáček used to annotate scraps of spoken language he would hear during his daily life in musical notation. Each one of those speech-melodies, as we call them today, taken roughly from 1904 till 1928, is a small sound photograph of a mundane and ephemeral situation, a fragment that let us blink into an acoustic reality long gone. Janacek practice and obsession reminds of the contemporary habit of taking field recordings with portable devices but it was made with pen and paper much before those devices had became available. Contemporary italian composer Alessandro Bosetti has been a practitioner of the “music of speech” himself and in his work on the notebooks he has tried to bring back to life what he has imagined to be the surrounding situation for those Janáček’s annotations using his voice and creating several electroacoustic tableaux in the setting of the different rooms of Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat. Conscious of having stumbled upon a listening treasure and a great poetic gesture he listen to the world (and let us listened to the world) through the ears of Leoš Janáček. Bosetti reconstructs an imaginary reality around those magical and mysterious traces tracing back a tradition of “musique anecdotique” starting with the Brno composer and continuing with “musique concrète” composers as Pierre Schaeffer and Luc Ferrari.
Leoš Janáček used to scribble notes and record the speech melodies that he heard everywhere around him... He did not care much about the possibilities enabled by the discovery of the mechanical recording technology of Edison or Bell, but preferred to write by hand for later use. The last element is a hypothesis because we could also assume that he used to scribble in order to get the melodies out of his head and enclose them in a sealed form that will not come back from beyond the grave to further haunt him. Bosetti instead of trying to find melodies from notebooks in Janáček’s compositions he set out to perform a bodily experience of re-synchronization with the sounds long gone, and noted with the use of deficient but personal technology. The rhythm gets redoubled and the eerie effect of a personality split is re-performed. The bold decision to get himself infected with all the pain of the process of building of personality of Czech composer brought Bosetti to a point where he himself just like Schwitters recites the meaningful (or meaningless) fragments of another reality.