Walter Marchetti (1931-2015)



La Caccia (Da Arpocrate Seduto Sul Loto) (1965)

  1. Parte Prima 21:10 / Parte Seconda 21:25


In Terram Utopicam (1977)

  1. J'aimerais joner avec un piano qui aurait une grosse queue (1974-1975)

    Per pianoforte a quaranta mani
    Pianoforte: Juan Hidalgo
    Registrazione: Fono-Roma, Milano 1977


  2. Adversus (1966)

    Home-made electric music


  3. Osmanthus Frangrans (1973)

    Home-made electric music

    Cramps Records, Italy, 1977 (CRSLP 6115)
    Nova Musicha series #15


Per La Sete Dell'orecch (1984)

  1. Per la sete dell'orecchio
  2. Da nulla e verso nulla
  3. Song for John Cage

    originally released in 1984 as an LP on Multhipla Records, re-issued in '89 on CD w/ bonus track



Walter Marchetti - Giancarlo Cardini ‎– Natura Morta (1989)

  1. Natura Morta 69:27




Vandalia (1989)

  1. Le Secche Del Delirio (33:23)

    Piano [Pianoforte] Juan Hidalgo


  2. Perpetuum Mobile 29:00


Suoni dentro Suoni (1996)

  1. Suoni dentro Suoni

    La caccia 42:21
    Adversus 11:57
    Osmanthus frangrans 13:22


Antibarbarus (1998)

  1. Il Coma Regna 17:01
  2. Coma Liquido 17:04
  3. Coma Vigile 17:13
  4. Uscita Dal Coma 17:13
  5. Antibarbarus 2:55


Nei Mari Del Sud. Musica In Secca (1999)

  1. Nei Mari Del Sud. Musica In Secca 61:00

    Recorded at Studio RDS, Milano, April 27-28, 1999.

    "Walter Marchetti's Nei mari del Sud may be regarded as the 'epitome' work of all his recent musical output. Firstly for it represents the original re-elaboration of a former work achieved in 1982; secondly, the manipulation techniques here applied rise in the same principles formerly developed for recording the Antibarbarus set of pieces, a cycle to which the new work therefore refers in terms of an ideal continuity, though it preserves some peculiar characters strictly connected with the source of its basic music material. The former version of 'Nei mari del Sud' was originally conceived as an environmental music or, more properly, as a piece of 'acoustic theatre'; to accompany an installation staged on June 9, 1982, during the international contemporary music festival Musicalia at Teatro Carcano, Milan. In this stage installation, Marchetti expanded for the first time on a larger scale the same figurative scheme that usually marks his major work in progress: a series of installations invariably entitled 'Musiche da camera,' where the 'icon' of a piano defines its role in a seemingly paradoxical context. In the scenery of 'Nei mari del Sud,' as shown in the photographic sequence reproduced on the CD fold-out, the black carcass of a grand piano appeared on the surface of a large expanse of sea, artificially re-created with a shapeless heap of bluish tissue-paper. In the background, the slow, progressive unsticking of the blue paper-curtain, accidentally caused by the floodlight's heat, configured the impeding threat of a gigantic wave on the point of completely submerging the scene. The acoustic décor projected for this installation invaded the whole stalls through twelve loudspeakers set in a semicircle in the rear of the audience. This equipment simultaneously played the tracks of six magnetic tapes, whose signals were displaced out-of-phase by inverting the two poles of each loudspeaker and by means of the reciprocal crossover of each mixed channel. Perhaps, an even more calligraphic adherence to the same 'subject' inspired the version of 'Nei mari del Sud' now subtitled 'Musica in secca'. Not being possible to reproduce with absolute fidelity, in a studio recording, the acoustic design originally conceived for spreading the six sound sources in a theatre space, Marchetti chose to create, using the same material, a new work that could express the relationship with its archetype transposing the same 'icon'; on a more pregnant metaphorical axis. Answering to an always implicit exigency in Walter Marchetti' oeuvre and coherently investigated by the composer with more and more penetrating awareness -- the same processing techniques efficaciously employed in 'Antibarbarus' revealed themselves extremely suitable for raising to the highest degree the critical and metalinguistic reflection stated by this metaphorical axis. A piano englouti in the abysses of that process of reification in which the heritage of musical thinking is irrevocably sunk. Finally, Walter Marchetti has touched the bottom of music. Presented on digipack compact disc, in a first pressing of 1000 copies, including a foldout with photo documentation, an essay by Gabriele Bonomo, a testimony by Robert Ashley and a poster."




De Musicorum Infelicitate (2001)

  1. Variazione I 6:00
  2. Variazione II 6:00
  3. Variazione III 6:00
  4. Variazione IV 6:00
  5. Variazione V 6:00
  6. Variazione VI 6:00
  7. Variazione VII 6:00


The Bird Of Paradise (2001)

  1. The Bird Of Paradise 25:45


    Recorded at Studio RDS Milano March 1997.

    Limited to approximately 200 copies.

    "The Bird of Paradise: Hunting in the City. Performance time: from dawn to dusk. Leave your home, with a cool head, and carrying a briefcase full of birdcalls, of the kind used by hunters, as well as a portable tape recorder, slung across your back on a carrying strap. You will use it, at the proper time, to play a tape, which has also been placed in the briefcase. Once outside, you begin your performance of 'The Hunt' by crossing over to the sidewalk on a far side of the street, with respect to the building you have just left. After observing this building for several minutes, you will then begin to walk. From the point at which you begin to walk, proceed for 1632 paces, and then come to a halt. (Whenever you come to a halt you should always look around to your rear, since the Bird of Paradise may in fact be following you. Check at least three times, carefully casting your eyes in all directions). Resume walking, turn to the left at the first street corner, and stop again. Choose 6 calls and sound them 38 times. Then put them back into the briefcase and continue along your way, until passing the second street on the right. Remove 10 calls from the briefcase and sound them not more than 20 times. Resume your walking. Stop after 3274 paces, pick out a call with a powerful sound, and sound it 15 times. Resume walking, turn right at the third corner, take a few more steps, stop, open the briefcase, take 5 calls and sound them in alternation 127 times… 1005 more paces… after 2536 paces… sound it 140 times… walk 1634 paces… etc.… etc.… At a certain point you can constantly turn either right or left, entering and exiting every door along this whole new route until coming into sight of a park with a single tree. Once beneath this tree, sound all the calls a single time. If everything remains unchanged, motionless and silent, open the briefcase and take out the tape, which holds the recording of the song of the Bird of Paradise. Play it by means of the tape recorder which is slung across your back. Replay this tape 316 times. Having listened to the song of the Bird of Paradise, wait in complete inactivity for 24 minutes. And then, perhaps…"


Utopia Andata E Ritorno (2006)

  1. L'Andata (70:00)
  2. Il Ritorno (70:19)

    "Music: the foundation of that presence in which we find ourselves shows itself as pure negative. Everything is founded on a demonstration of its own negativity: as awareness of its being negative, and does not look for an escape into a future presence, that is an objective future. But, accepting its negativity, makes of this self-negation the real act, the true reality -- the true foundation, the real and actual continuity: this is music's sense. Utopia Andata e Ritorno is the title of the new composition by Walter Marchetti, recorded in Milano in 2005. It has two parts, each one CD long. The first part, 'L'Andata,' puts together two former recordings of Marchetti. The recording of a real storm and a recital for solo piano. This is not the first time that Marchetti mixes a piano solo recital with the recording of a natural live event, thus creating a 'piano concert'. The second CD, 'Il Ritorno', reverses the direction of the first record and literally destroys itself. In the first part of this work, Marchetti puts music successfully in the place it has to have today: on the road to renewal in contact with reality, a reality that is a synonym for vacuity, that is the interdependence of phenomena, music, reality, technology. There is nothing mimetic or anecdotal in this work. The storm is a real storm and the solo piano recital is a modern work of pure music, without the excesses that the society expects of a piano recital from composer and virtuoso player. Pure music, in the best sense of the word. 'L'Andata' is one of the great works of music of our time, or, as Jose Luis Castillejo remarked, 'it may be the best modern piano concert since Brahms.' In the second part, 'Il Ritorno,' sound waves are deformed when one tries a reverse hearing and the turn around trip becomes an aural nightmare. Of course, avant-gardism has made us accustomed to noises and silences and to the arbitrary idea that anything is music. 'Il Ritorno' announces the end of musical avant-gardism and its technocratic aspirations. It points to the end of music avant-gardism because it exposes the technological manipulation not only of technology beyond its powers, but also the manipulation of both music and sound. 'Il Ritorno' is such a problematic work also because its subject is failure and impossibility. Three-folded digipack 2CD edition. It includes a 32-page booklet with essays by Water Marchetti, Gabriele Bonomo and Jose Luis Castillejo. First edition limited to 500 copies."






Born in Canosa di Puglia in Italy in 1931, Marchetti was a key figure in the world of avant-garde composition. In 1956 he met Spanish composer Juan Hidalgo, both of whom met and collaborated with John Cage in 1959.

In 1964 the pair formed the Zaj group, a musical collective heavily influenced by Cage’s thinking. Though the group started out with a musical focus, it soon shifted to included figures like poet and critic José Luis Castillejo.

The Zaj group toured throughout the USA in the 1970s, and though Marchetti disbanded the group in 1993, he continued writing music for several years after that. Most of his early music was released through the Cramps Records label, which issued an exhaustive retrospective of his career last year.

Marchetti influenced several contemporary artists – both Oren Ambarchi and Keith Fullerton Whitman paid their respects to Marchetti on Twitter, with Whitman saying that he was “a crucial mind in contemporary musical thought and action.”

Spain’s El Pais newspaper reports that Marchetti died of a heart attack in Milan. He had been in ill health for some time, suffering a stroke and gradual hearing loss over the past several years.


RELATED RESOURCES:
Walter Marchetti in UbuWeb Historical