This group of Italian avant composers from the '60s and '70s created challenging music that sought to define new methods in the compositional process through group improvisation. Like AMM and Musica Electronica Viva, they came from a background of avant-garde classical music rather than jazz, but embraced the strategies of freeform music that were being explored by both Europeans and Americans. Going a step further, this ensemble employs the techniques of post-World War II classical music, such as the preparation of instruments pioneered by John Cage, as well as the atonality and abrasive percussion that was being explored by Iannis Xenakis in the '60s. The striking trait of this ensemble is in the outlandish and courageous music that it performed, which has aesthetic similarities to the work of Maurucio Kagel and Luigi Nono in that it exploits the peculiarities of both sound and strategy. Furthermore, legendary Italian soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone was breaking ground as a member of this critical ensemble. With a membership that revolved, the group was most prominently a house for the experiments of Franco Evangelisti and Mario Bertoncini. This CD reissue is debatably the best document of this ensemble among the numerous that appeared in the '90s following the rediscovery of late-20th century classical music's many diversions. This is a vital document in the history of avant-garde music and, like the work of Musica Electronica Viva and AMM, it sounds absolutely new even 30 years after the fact.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane