Lionel Marchetti, Le Grande Vallée (MKCD025)

I first heard Lionel Marchetti in the Ground Fault recording of Portrait d’un Glacier (Alpes 2173m). Le Grande Vallée could almost be called Portrait des feuilles sèches, as the sound of crunching through the autumn leaves strolls through the whole piece. Over the top of that are voices calling, human, wolf, bird. It’s a strange piece, alternately (or simultaneously) gloomy and companionable. Perhaps the most revealing thing one can say about it is that the voices at the end are shocking, because they’re normal, conversational voices.

The piece is headed by this exchange, from Chuang Tzu:

“Master, where are you going?” demanded Gustofwind.
“To the grand valley,” said Obscurethickness.
“Why?”
“The grand valley is the place where one pours without ever filling, and where one draws out without ever depleting.”

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