Les Kristoff K. Roll, Des travailleurs de la nuit, à l’amie des objets (MKCD024)

This piece could almost be taken as a test case of how inherently musical speaking voices are. I’m fairly certain that that’s not the main thing they set out to do in this piece, but it’s just as certain to me that that’s one of things that’s happened. Des travailleurs opens with the extreme far end of speaking, at the line between speaking and singing, a crowd of people chanting. (“No pasaran.”) In between that and its reprise at the end of the piece are just about every kind of spoken voice—single voices, conversation, old people, children, men, women, laughing, yelling—and all set out as one would contrast voices in an orchestral piece, with tuttis and solos and small groups of instruments, with melodic and rhythmic variation, of course.

And no, listening to this piece, you will not ever be reminded of orchestral music, even with this review in your head. But I think you’ll perhaps savor voices, ordinary speaking voices, just a bit more than you did before listening to this.

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