Franca Sacchi: EN (I,1970,re.2011)****'
Franca Sacchi studied piano and composition in Milan and also frequented the ORTF in Paris and the Léo Kupper studio in Brussels. Between 1966 and 1975 she mainly worked as an electronic and concrete music musician holding seminars on the subject too. In 1968 she founded the Research Centre for Electronic Music in Milan until 1970. There she worked on cross-disciplinary projects. After an intense period of meditation she abandoned composition and since then only improvised musically and "choreutically". She also obtained a degree in sacred music singing and Gregorian chant.
The first piece (“ainsi fut le commencement, il n’y aura pas de fin”, 1970) sounds like a pulsating tone with additional fading in harmonic and noise textures and similar pulsations, expressed in total in the same way as a natural environment with insects, only this sounds a bit more like a machine with some small irregularities in the pulses it also makes it more natural. It is a very meditative piece.
The second piece (“arpa eolia”, 1970) seems to be based upon piano note harmonies separated from recordings from inside the piano and made more like round fading in clustered waves with its own not too harmonious keyboard-like tonal tensions because of the surrounding resonating strings and limited sound chamber of the piano. There are a few layers of them pulsating on its own rhythm of which some of them have surface noise textures.
The third track (“quando mi hanno ucciso, se posso dire, e quindi rinasco” 1972) is an electronic harmonic tone pulsating its way through space and time with small, directed changes in its shape and form. New tones with overtones pulsate in space too. One beeping pulsation and a smaller, slower pulsation then are combined. There’s some small tape hiss present.
The last track (danza, mia cara”, 1971) goes even further and stretches some changes in shape and form of some foundation into another like one big improvisation. It starts with a basic reverb reverberation that could have been a tape manipulation perhaps mixed with electronic music, finding its own rhythm. Then a second part starts with sea shore-alike white noise that is combined with new electronic radiowave sounds, then two layers of oscillating and sequencing notes move up and down. Also this finds a rhythm of its own, the control over it possibly is based upon a direct discovery process through the ears with a direct reaction of reshaping this. Certain rhythmic overtones are filtered out and become more apparent. New patterns of oscillation, melody and strange harmonies are taken to evolve further in time, with for instance changes in tone. These melodic patterns evolve further until certain tones or waves are again more dominant pulsations. An interesting piece of a creative meeting place of hearing alertness, skills of controlling sounds and improvisation by being one with the material.
This is the most meditative electronic music I've heard, even though it requires best full listening attention, the results are in a more complete range of reality in experience compared to music that is deliberately made for meditation as functional music, which this surely is not. Franca Sacchi saw music as a state of self-recognition, so that music making for her is different from the traditional sense of composition as a deliberate thought-process, this goes deeper and more directly towards consciousness over sound and the creation and findings made with it. This sort of oneness can be sensed very well, especially on the longest (and last) piece.