Animali is a strange work of electroacoustic/acousmatic composition with the source material derived from a ‘musical theatre opera’ of the same name – and the opera in turn appears to be an adaptation of the late Argentinian novelist Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch. Arg is Graziano Lella of Rome, and Animali is his second album under this moniker.
The music is determinedly abstract – it’s strictly a No Tunes Zone. Some of the spoken word material is taken from archive recordings of Cortazar – but as the recordings are in Spanish, I’ve no idea what’s being said. And so the semantic content goes out the window, and the speech becomes just another musical element. ‘Apertura’ begins with a male voice speaking, then laughter, then noises that sound like we’re inside a carpenter’s workshop. ‘Infra 1’ features overlapping voices (including Cortazar himself?) along with low drones and clangorous bell sounds. ‘Paravisioni’ could almost be Nurse With Wound – it begins with a tumult of noise before breaking down into more discrete musical sounds.
It should be noted that the production and overall sound quality of Animali is of a very high standard, making what could be a difficult listening experience, much more palatable.