Claudio F. Baroni and Maze - The Body Imitates the Landscape (CD (Unsounds)

From what I can gather Claudio F. Baroni is a contemporary composer whose work, the same as trio Maze’s, has been championed by this Dutch label for several years now. Using Maze to interpret the eleven compositions here, they are based on an installation whereby the audience would lay on specially designed benches and waterbeds fitted with many speakers interacting with surroundings arranged like a Japanese garden. The idea being that subtle movements and vibrations would be directly engaged with the listening experience and react accordingly. As such, subtle plinks, plonks, rings and tones make themselves felt here before they then drift away whilst several whispered voices enhance proceedings to evcative effect. Even though some of the sounds tilt in less comfortable directions, they largely sit together here rather pleasantly and I’m reminded somewhat of Robert Ashley’s incredible Automatic Writing album with respect to just how far subtlety can be pushed. Despite my own many misgivings about presumably arts grant funded installations and the like, a document such as The Body Imitates the Landscape at least proves that, just occasionally, something more worthwhile can arise from this domain. Most unexpected. RJ