Robert Iolini

Iolini: Electroacoustic, Chamber Ensemble, Soundscapes & Works for Piano

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This CD, Australian composer Roberto Iolini's first, proposes a mixed grill, as announced by its title. Nine tracks, mostly excerpts from various works produced in the course of the 1990s, try their best to piece together an accurate image of his sound world. It can be awarded only partial credit. There is something disorienting about this album that sucks out its substance. It would have been better to focus on a particular facet of the composer's production (radio works, for instance, his most personal area) and offer longer excerpts or even better, complete works, especially since two of the four chamber ensemble pieces ("Congo" and "Zimbabwe") had already been released on the CD ReR Quarterly, Vol. 4 No. 2 in 1997. These short songs with a jazzy feel from 1992 have their moments, but they make too big a contrast with the latter electro-acoustic music and hörspiels. The real, valid reason to release this album is "City in Between," a 15-minute work chronicling the ambiguous feelings of Hong Kong's inhabitants as the once British colony reverted to Chinese sovereignty back in June 1997. Collages of field recordings, both vox populi and general city sounds, are woven into a striking musical narrative. The other highlight of this collection is the closing "Anti-Apocalypse," taken from a longer radio work entitled "Marking Time" and featuring, among others, flutist Jim Denley. This CD contains strong moments, but it doesn't project a clear, convincing picture of Iolini's talent.

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