The Wire Magazine ( March 2020 ) Julian Cowley
The body imitates the landscape – Unsounds CD/DL
Claudio F Baroni, based in Amsterdam, dedicates ‘The Body imitates the landscape’ to the memory of Robert Ashley. Appropriately, like Ashley’s own Automatic Writing (1979), it relies upon whispering voice, their confiding intimacy but equally their elusiveness and capacity for enigma. Certain words, phrases, whole sentences translated from an essay by Japanese writer Michitaro Tada are graspable, yet their utterance remains a sensuous mystery rather than a straightforward communicative act. Members of ensemble Maze play flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, percussion, keyboards and electronics, adding a seductive harmonic gloss that radiates in haloes around that evasive vocal thread. Baroni composed this piece for an interactive installation by artist Adi Hollander, but he also designed it for live performance. This recorded version thoroughly involving and intriguing, and it serves Ashley’s memory perfectly.
Silence and Sound – Roland Torres – The Body Imitates The Landscape (Unsounds)
Oeuvre composée par Claudio F. Baroni et interprétée par l’ensemble MAZE (Anne la Berge, Gareth Davis, Dario Calderone, Reinier Van Houdt, Wiek Hijmans, Yannis Kyriakides), The Body Imitates The Landscape trouve son origine dans la création d’objets ergonomiques créés par Adi Hollander, qui transforment la musique en vibrations, ressenties par le corps.
Les chuchotements caressent nos sens, nous transportant dans un espace étrangement apaisant, dans lequel le rythme des mots ruisselle sur les notes d’instruments disséminant les notes à propos, coups de pinceaux pointillistes sur une toile en apesanteur.
Un coté méditatif se dégage de l’ensemble, de par ses vibrations et son flot régulier aux allures de métronome hypnotique. On est littéralement happé par la sérénité enrobante qui s’accapare de tout notre être, enveloppant nos pores d’un halo de matière musicale à la quiétude relaxante. A savourer et ressentir au casque !
Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: 2018 By Peter Margasak
In his sharply observed liner notes for this remarkable album of work by Netherlands-based Argentine composer Claudio F Baroni, Samuel Vriezen writes, “Each of these pieces in their own way makes it nearly impossible to tell just how many ‘things’ are present.” He’s referring to sound sources, a seemingly simple deduction made difficult by the thrilling harmonic interplay implanted in Baroni’s writing. The centerpiece is “In CirCle,” a four-movement gem that suggests the slow-moving pattern shifting heard in Morton Feldman’s music, but beyond that structural conceit—the keyboards, cello, electric guitar, and percussion of Ensemble Modelo62 produce dazzling work here that consistently belies both the instrumentation and the number of musicians. As the work unfolds, shifting tone combinations play tricks on the ears—they’re forced to consistently re-adjust to the shifting timbres.
Gonzo Magazine – Rene van Peer – March-2020
In memory of Robert Ashley, composer Claudio F baroni recorded “the body in the landscape”. He descends little by little, from the head to the fee. He does this on the basis of texts by the Japanese writer Michitaro Tada, who recorded associations and thoughts about culture, memory, science and expression in various body parts. Just as Tada emerges further and further from every starting point, and can become increasingly abstract, so the whispered words are the starting point for discrete, pensive musical movements. In this Baroni fits in with Ashley’s work. The music in his operas is an extension and elaboration of the lyrics that he led into his ensemble. Sounds radiated around the voices like a halo. And just like with Ashley, Baroni’s music is thoughtful, slightly philosophical and surreal. The combination of the MAZE ensemble is absolutely the cause of this. These people not only play with the hands, but also (and especially) with the ears.
Every new word sets the members of MAZE, expanded with percussionist Enric Monfort, in motion and then comes to a halt again. The whispers make the music an experience that approaches reading in its intimacy. Originally conceived as an installation by Adi Hollander, in which visitors could take the pieces in specially designed furniture. The headphones are an excellent alternative, but ensure a relaxed and responsive attitude.
Nitestylez.de / Motum [Unsounds]
Returning to the Netherlands-based Unsounds label with his new album “Motum” these days is Claudio F Baroni who is bringing forth an hour long dive into three brand new compositions, starting out with “in CirCles II” which is split into four distinct movements / sections, each of eight to nine minutes length and presenting a minimalist, yet beautiful take on Ambient, crystalline droning and harmonic perfection as well as distinct piano tones for true genre connaisseurs whereas “Solo VIII – Air” relies on the slow and continuous manipulation of organ registration knobs, pedals and manual keys which results in a faraway, blurred on subdued feel of organ tones, honking cars and the sound of large vibrating metal plates being blown over by the wind from an unknown source, creating an all embracing, yet mysterious and mystic feel in flux, like the remains of a dream dreamt seconds before one wakes up.
Silence and Sound – Roland Torres – MOTUM
Avec Motum, le compositeur argentin Claudio F Baroni aborde la vibration de manière centrale, la faisant circuler dans des sphères comme polies dans une matière cristalline, enrobées de liquide glissant sur des courbes aux résonances longue et ininterrompues.
Interprétée par Modelo62 (In CirCles II), Quartetto Prometeo (Perpetuo Motum) ou Ezequiel Menalled & Claudio F Baroni (Solo VIII – Air), chaque pièce est une invitation au mouvement perpétuel capable de prendre ses appuis avec douceur sur de nouvelles matières, sans que l’on s’aperçoive de leurs mutations permanentes.
Sur Motum, tout est fluctuation et élasticité, étirement et contraction, les éléments s’assemblant autour de séquelles et de bourdonnements, desquels émergent des cadences à l’origine sonore prêtant souvent à confusion, les cordes et les orgues interférant constamment leurs élans dans un souffle commun fait de balancements et de fluctuations, pris dans un tourbillon d’harmonies aux cadences mouvantes. Fascinant.
Music Map – Piergiuseppe Lippolis
Il disco comprende tre composizioni, la prima delle quali suddivisa in quattro, per un totale di sei brani. “Motum” si apre con “In Circles II (Mov I)”, il cui fluire è lento, avvolgente e stratificato, con i suoni che cambiano di intensità in maniera più o meno rapida. Più articolato è il percorso di “In Circles II (Mov II)”, che riprende da dove il brano precedente aveva lasciato, con il pianoforte ad assumere un ruolo centrale. “In Circles II (Mov III)” è invece più lineare dell’episodio precedente ma i suoni, ancora stratificati, comunicano un senso di dolcezza e suggeriscono un’atmosfera melliflua davvero godibile. “In Circles II (Mov IV)” cambia volto e si inserisce in ambientazioni a tinte fosche, soprattutto in una prima parte completamente priva di quegli spiragli luminosi presenti, invece, nella seconda. “Solo VIII – Air (Dedicated To Phil Niblock)” cresce molto lentamente e nella sua fase centrale propone un pesante massiccio di suoni industriali che si dissolve lentamente nell’ultimo terzo del brano. “Perpetuo Motum (Dedicated To Quartetto Prometeo)” è il pezzo che suggella il disco fra timide distorsioni, climax e anticlimax, secondo un incedere ancora piuttosto lineare, ma dal sorprendente effetto straniante. “Motum” è un’opera concettuale e, come tale, piuttosto complessa: è però gradevole nel suo complesso, sebbene non adatta a tutti.
Ambient Blog – Manfred Koener – The body Imitates the landscape
It must’ve been a fascinating, if not overwhelming experience: the whispering voices coming from (180) transducer speakers embedded in seventeen waterbeds in different shapes, and from 60 wooden benches – while the soft electronics are accentuated by the (acoustic) Maze ensemble (“dedicated to performing music that challenges the idea of a fixed form and fixed listening perspectives”). The Maze Ensemble features a few familiar performers: Anne La Berge (alto flute), Gareth Davis (bass clarinet), Yannis Kyriakides (electronics), Reinier van Houdt (piano, synth).
The texts that are whispered throughout the 11 pieces are inspired by Michitaro Tada‘s Karada (‘the body’). “The sound installation translates the textual experience of reading the book into a sensory one.”
Westzeit – Motum
Claudio F Baroni ist ein argentinischer Musiker, dem mit “Motum” eine sehr bemerkenswerte Platte gelang. Zunächst muss man aber eintauchen in einen klanggewordenen See aus CelloLinien, elektronischen Wunderlichkeiten und OrgelDrones und dieses Eintauchen hat etwas von Abkühlung aus sommerlicher Hitze und dem Hineingleiten in die heiße Badewanne nach einem Winterspaziergang zugleich. Erfrischung und Meditation – two in one. Als Referenzpunkte darf man sicher Branca (die Idee des stehenden Tones, ob nun aus einer E-Gitarre, einer Orgel oder einem Schaltkreis, jedoch ohne dessen Brachialität) und Feldman (die stoische Ruhe, mit der auch kleinste musikalische Gedanken in der notwendigen Ausführlichkeit untersucht werden, jedoch ohne an dessen Gespür für zarteste Dynamiken heranzureichen) nennen, wobei Baroni der guten alten “Neuen Musik” näher ist als schrägen EchtzeitIdeen oder popkulturellen Verwischungen. 4
Neural – The Body Imitates the landscape
The source of inspiration was the Japanese book Karada, published in 2011, where author Michitaro Tada explored “the body” in its different cultural manifestations, through memory, science, expression and daily life. The fundamental concept of the installation was an attempt to trigger the textual experience of the book by activating a broader sensorial engagement. The partnership with the composer Claudio F. Baroni and the ensemble Maze was fundamental to activate a specific space for the audience, made of 17 objects of different forms, with water beds, wooden benches and speakers with built-in translators. In this area, the spectator-performers can expand their hearing abilities by using different parts of the body and creating an intimate relationship with the objects, a kind of engagement similar to two people sharing a secret. The most auditory element is based on a whispering voice and some highly dilated sequences of electroacoustic and improvisational music. What we hear in the CD is only part of the broader structure the composers planned. Nonetheless, the eleven compositions have their own coherence. A certain range of attention is put into developing hidden harmonies existing in normal language, a sort of “speech without voice” supported by the musical instruments, with the high flute played by Anne La Berge, the vibraphone by Enric Monfort and keyboards by Reinier van Houdt, to mention a few names. The result is undoubtedly refined and demonstrates an intimate relationship between the audience, the sound and the objects in a soft and intriguing way, mysterious and narrative, with an original form.