At a time when electro-acoustic composers present their works in public on multiple-speaker diffusion systems (eight, 16, even 32 or more) and "surround sound" has become the standard for home playback, Lionel Marchetti goes back to the conditions prevailing in the origins of musique concrète. "Train de Nuit (Noord 3-683)" is a piece for one loudspeaker -- a single focal point, like listening to radio in the 1940s, when Pierre Schaeffer's groundbreaking "Étude aux Chemins de Fer" was first aired. On disc, the piece is heard only in the left channel; listening with headphones feels like listening to AM radio with an old earphone inserted in one ear while the other continues to perceive the world. The piece is dedicated to Schaeffer and it aptly opens with train sounds. The tribute ends there and the piece quickly evolves into one of Marchetti's own creatures. Voices, train whistles, abstract gestures, and tons of plundered sources are carefully orchestrated, moving forward or backward in the mix but never sideways. Snippets from Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" and the Doors' "Riders on the Storm" add to the radio imagery. Forget multi-channel pieces; the real challenge is to make a single loudspeaker the listener's center of attention for a full 22 minutes. This piece succeeds marvelously, thanks to Marchetti's warped sense of poetry and beauty. His is a voice among the most original and compelling in the world of tape music. This 3" CD is his third contribution to the Metamkine series "Cinéma Pour l'Oreille."
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AllMusic Review by François Couture