Pietro Grossi


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Italian composer Grossi began studying music in 1925 when he was eight years old, and played cello for over 30 years with a traditional orchestra, but in the early '60s he had the foresight to view electronic music as the way of the future, and was one of the earliest composers to embrace computer music. This vinyl-only album compiles three of his electronic works from various points in his career, starting off with one of his earliest pieces, "Progretto 2-3" from 1961. The piece is extremely minimal and ambient, consisting of several different high monotones that follow one another, controlled by a computer algorithm. Far more interesting is 1969's "Collage," where Grossi puts to good use his concepts of music being an open process where no work of music is a finished piece but rather something to be manipulated into something else, perhaps reflecting Italy's loose copyright laws. "Collage" is just that, a dense collage of different sounds processed by the computer, with crashes and swooshes, clattering, pulses, and other noises in constant flux. Gritty and bruising, this primitive sample piece predates the industrial music aesthetic a couple years before Kluster's work, and is even harsher and noisier. Side two of the album is taken up by "Unucum," composed in 1985, another ambient drone piece, similar to "Progretto 2-3" and yet far more varied and rewarding, as the shifting tones create an alien topography of sound, with Grossi using far more advanced technology to create his automatic music. All in all, a nice way to sample a composer whose work is barely known.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
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