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Lea Bertucci
Acoustic Shadows
SA Recordings
Catalogue Number
Release Date
August 28, 2020
  • Vinyl 1×LP


    White vinyl

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    • + WAV / FLAC


    • Limited edition of 300 copies
    • Embossed front cover art
    • Two colour photo inserts on silver mirrored paper
    • Monochrome leaflet featuring a short piece of writing on the Deutzer Bridge project from Lea Bertucci

    Available: October 9, 2020

Instant WAV / FLAC download with all Vinyl purchases.


SA Recordings present a new LP by the acclaimed New York composer, performer and sound designer Lea Bertucci. A work of three interlinked incarnations, ‘Acoustic Shadows’ began as an event, which then became an album, and inspired a sample library for other musicians. The event – recalled by Lea Bertucci “Acoustic Shadows I-III was a series of site-specific musical performances and a sound installation that took place in the enclosed hollow body of the Deutzer bridge in Koln, Germany, 2018. Spanning approximately 440 meters across the Rhine river, the extraordinary acoustics and rich existing aural architecture of this site became crucial components of the installation and musical compositions. An 8-channel speaker system distributed throughout the bridge became activated by three instrumental performances that happened throughout the course of a week. Fragments of each performance were captured by microphones installed in the space and then played back through the 8-channels after the performance was over in a loop of overlapping moments, creating a sonic accumulation that takes place over long stretches of time - a musical performance with no clear ending. The first performance, for solo alto saxophone, served as the basis for the rest of the piece, as the sounds generated during this performance were played back as an installation throughout the following days. The second performance built upon the first, this time with an 8-piece brass ensemble. Again, the sounds produced here were captured in a similar fashion from the first performance and continued as an installation for the next few days. On the last day, a performance for three percussionists closed out the event and completed the project. I wanted to create elements within this project that directly responded to the auditory richness of the site. In each composition, I looked for particular instruments that would excite the acoustic characteristics of the space. With approximately 14 seconds of reverb, distinctive delay effects and a room tone of approximately 65 hz, the hollow body of the bridge provided a lush sonic backdrop to stage these pieces. I developed a set of musical rules designed to exploit the acoustic characteristics of the site. While creating the project, I was inspired by the acoustic analysis that I did in a site visit prior to writing these pieces. The existing sound found on-site was also a remarkable element that I was interested in responding to, particularly the low frequency lateral motion of a tram that would occasionally move over the top of the roadway.” The album Regarding editing and reworking the original ‘Acoustic Shadows’ performance recordings into an album, Bertucci comments; “Rather than offer a straight document of a piece that eschewed notions of time, space and subjective/mutable spatial positioning of the listeners, I was more interested in shaping compositions that worked within the parameters of an LP, developing pieces that worked within the approximate timeframe of 20 minutes on each side and capturing the essence of the experience. The original pieces were more than 40 minutes long each, and with no real ending due to the playback element that transformed performance into installation.” Utilising the “natural processing of sound”, direct audio sources provided by Bertucci and percussionists, tram noise from the bridge and voices of visitors to the installation coalesce with the space’s own reverberations and resonances, creating two sonically opulent compositions. On ‘Brass’ drones rise like giant slo-mo waves, contrasting with stabs which dart across the soundspace like shards, whilst on ‘Percussion’ beats appear as thrown objects, flying through and bouncing off surfaces, giving the listener a 3D sensory and spatial perception akin to a bat’s echolocation. This detailed deep listening experience has a transportive quality, summoning a vivid sensation of being present as the installation took place. Both pieces map and evoke a sense of the bridges’ impressive size, shape and material, whereby its incredible acoustic properties purvey a monolithic auditory power and profound sense of gravitas. “The LP is best listened to at loud volumes and on good speakers in order to feel the mesmeric power of sound in space”, suggests Bertucci. The sample library

‘Acoustic Shadows’ will be the third library released by SA Recordings in conjunction with an artist’s record. It marks the first sample library they’ve released that features site specific sounds made in collaboration with the artist and Spitfire Audio. In November 2019 Bertucci teamed up with Spitfire Audio and three musicians, to record brass and percussive sounds from within the walls of a former industrial fridge at Tileyard Studios in London. This resulted in a high-quality selection of reverberant sounds for composers to create with. “The musical ethos of ‘Acoustic Shadows’ is distilled into a library of samples for brass and percussion instruments, which takes advantage of the natural acoustic condition in the resonant space to create a third instrument, wherein the sound of the instruments is filtered through the reverberant room. The collection of sounds found in this release are musical and instrumental techniques derived from the same language as ‘Acoustic Shadows’, which includes minimal ostinatos, volume swells, and timbral variations through other extended techniques,” explains Bertucci. The artist Lea Bertucci is a composer, performer and sound designer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her performance practice with woodwind instruments, her work incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental technique, percussion and tape collage. In recent years, her projects have expanded toward site-responsive and site-specific sound-based investigations of architecture. Deeply experimental, her work is unafraid to subvert musical expectation. Described as creating a “fresh and exhilarating connection through sound with the nuances of space and the variegated grain of reality” by The Wire, Bertucci has conceived multiple pieces for the spaces they were performed and/or recorded in. Taken from the album ‘All That Is Solid Melts Into Air’, the track ‘Cepheid Variations’ was written for Issue Project Room's marble clad theatre in Brooklyn, whilst ‘Double Bass Crossfade’ from the same record took place at Knockdown Center – a 50,000 square foot former door frame factory. ‘Resonant Field’ was recorded in a vast concrete grain silo in Buffalo, and a further performance happened at a closed cement mine, in her home town in upstate New York. Bertucci’s discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on independent labels and in 2018, she released the critically acclaimed ‘Metal Aether’ on NNA tapes, which was recorded at a decommissioned military base in France. As a solo artist, she has performed extensively across the US and Europe with presenters such as The Museum of Modern Art New York, Blank Forms, Gagosian Gallery New York, Pioneer Works, The Kitchen, The Walker Museum, ISSUE Project Room, Museo Reina Sofia, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Sound of Stockholm Festival, and Unsound Festival, Krakow. She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition. In 2018, she received commissions from The American Composers’ Forum and the Levy Gorvy Gallery in New York. Lea is co-editor of the multi-volume artists book The Tonebook – a survey of graphic scores by contemporary composers, published on Inpatient Press.

Digital Track List

  1. 1 Brass (II) 22:39 Buy
  2. 2 Percussion (III) 19:45 Buy

    Percussion (III)

  • Acoustic Shadows

Lea Bertucci

SA Recordings

Experimental and Noise

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Limited Editions

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