This is A Closer Listen‘s third review category for sonic chameleon Giulio Aldinucci, who has always operated as a multidisciplinary artist. Yellow Horse is his most unusual work to date, and as such is one of his best.
Most people have a junk drawer somewhere in the garage or kitchen. This is where all the odds and ends end up: stray matchbooks, rivets, unidentifiable pieces that were found on the floor. This modern day cabinet of curiosities contains two types of detritus: things that look too important to throw away and things that are interesting in their own right. Aldinucci’s junk drawer is comprised of sonic snippets: small shreds of spliced tape, miscellaneous field recordings, synthesizer patches that he couldn’t fit in a song. After a while, these refugees began to demand their own home, and Aldinucci obliged. In this single half-hour piece, he incorporates the sounds of hammers, yowling dogs, ritualistic chanting, electronic squelch, children, crowd noise, birdsong, running water and so much more. From time to time, a melody attempts to break out, then trips over the rest of the debris and lands flat on its face. The other sounds sigh, spared such a fate.
The diversity of sources makes Yellow Horse an intriguing listen. Aldinucci’s collection of sounds unfolds on several levels at once: the human (car horns and cutlery), the natural (crickets and flies), the musical (guitar and gong) and the spiritual (the integration of components). The compositional process was one of categorization and organization. Now every sound has found its best place. In the end, Yellow Horse becomes a parable of a balanced life. Now that the junk drawer has been cleaned out, one wonders what happens next; our guess is that the process begins anew. (Richard Allen)