Audible Audio: Alessandro Bosetti

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Alessandro Bosetti was born in Milan, Italy in 1973. He is a composer and sound artist working on the musicality of spoken words and unusual aspects of spoken communication, producing text-sound compositions featured in live performances, radio broadcastings and published recordings. In his work he moves across the line between sound anthropology and composition, often including translation and misunderstanding in the creative process. Field research and interviews build the basis for abstract compositions, along with electro-acoustic and acoustic collages, relational strategies, trained and untrained instrumental practices, vocal explorations and digital manipulations. Recent projects include African Feedback (Errant Bodies press), the interactive speaking machine "MaskMirror" (STEIM, Kunstradio.at a.o. ) and an ongoing project on linguistic enclaves in the USA.

Do you consider your audio work to be "music"? Always? Sometimes? Do you think about such things?

Surely, yes. The only real decisions I take in my work are musical decisions.

Has anyone ever challenged you on whether or not your work was music? What happened?

What's up with everybody asking this question right now? It is somehow up in the air again. Together with "should I move to Berlin?" and "should I go back to school?" I know, I know, it must be because of the bad economy.... that must be the reason... In any case yes, it happened, I had been challenged by someone but then I forgot what happened. I was also musically challenged as a kid. My Argentinean grand-aunt was a piano teacher. She wore an impressive layer of white make up on her face. She resembled something in between a Japanese geisha and a cheesecake frosting. She gave me two piano lessons. In the first one I just sat there copying treble keys on a piece of pentagram paper for one hour trying to get it right. In the second I had to do the same. After then I stopped - of course - and decided that my nature was that of a surely unmusical being. Now I am 36 and I know that this is not really the case. I am very happy of that.

How would you defend your work as being "music" if you had to? Or would you?

I simply know it is music.

If you don't defend your audio work as "music," is there a term you use for it?

Once I had the honor to sit beside Henri Chopin in a restaurant and talk to him for a couple hours. He looked infinitely old. He looked almost like a dead person. So fragile. But humorous at the same time. He just had played a wonderful performance at the Berlin poetry festival. I had been digging his work for a while, reading that fabulous and meandering compendium that his Poesie Sonore book is and exploring the revoue OU in the accurate re-edition released on CD by Alga Marghen. After one hour that I was talking with him about his work I realized I was constantly referring to it as "his music". I knew how he dreaded this definition. He had spent so much ink in his younger years making clear how his work was poetry and not music. He wanted it to belong to the realm of the lettres. Still I was forgetful and kept calling it music all the time. A terrifying mistake. And with one of the artists I admired the most. At a certain point I become aware my faux pas. He looked so old and fragile I dreaded that he could have got upset and die on the spot, or mabe just disintegrate into sand or catch fire like a vampire exposed to sunlight (did you see the Katrin Bigelow vampire western movie? It's great...). But he didn't. I apologized. He was just laughing. He seemed allright with it. He was laughing all the time. He was so happy to be still alive.

What are your favorite sorts of music? And nonmusic?

Speech is one. There are many others.

Anything else?

Check out that vampire movie. It's really good!

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