Ozmotic / Fennesz – Senzatempo
Recorded 19/21 November 2021 in Turin, Italy at Superbudda Studio. Audio engineer: Edoardo Fracassi. Cut by Jason @ Transition. Photography and design: Jon Wozencroft.
A2: Floating Time
B2: Movements l - ll
“Senzatempo” became a lockdown record. In 2019, a year after our last concert as a trio with Christian Fennesz, the release of his “Agora” and our first publication for Touch – “Elusive Balance” – we met in Milan. We talked about ongoing projects, the evolution of our musical language and, as is often the case when we are all three together, the more frenetic and superficial aspects of contemporary society, the difficulty of letting ideas and projects mature and how music could still play a constructive role in that context. We left each other with the intention of talking at a distance about a new project, to be developed calmly, without any hurry.
In the months that followed, after e-mails in which we continued to discuss the project, we decided to work on the perception of time and to focus our attention on those periods of life in which time tends to dilate, to lose its boundaries, dedicating ourselves to the project without the fear of resting on indefinite moments of stasis – trying to take the time of creation as an ally, making the most significant ideas 'sprout', distilling emotions and crystallising them slowly.
Catapulted into the first wave of the pandemic, we began to work at a distance, We exchanged different types of sound materials, sometimes raw sometimes more structured and with Christian we tried to give musical form to a surreal calm, at the same time as magmatic, uncertain emotional states. In this phase of collective confusion and almost total isolation, the first drafts of 'Senzatempo' and 'Movements I' were born. In both tracks, we tried to structure chordal waves and melodies inlaid with counterpoints with broad architectures and sinuous movements, in a sort of 'rubato', with the idea of creating an orchestral breath to the entire album.
‘Senzatempo’ is characterised by a dream melody with a dense and continuous dialogue between a sharp guitar and percussive sounds floating on an abstract and flexible pulse. ‘Movements I’, later transformed into a two-part suite, is airy and meditative; an initial acoustic shock leads to a melody resting on relaxed chords and enveloping sounds studded with noise, glitches and fragments of field recordings.
After this initial work, we wanted to organise a studio session, but pandemic restrictions forced us to postpone and leave the music to mature further. The following summer, thanks to a residency project for young artists centred on the Senzatempo project and conducted by Christian and ourselves in central Italy, the opportunity arose for the first time to play the material produced thus far, and to experiment and focus on new musical ideas.
In November 2021, after a concert we did in Turin, we finally devoted ourselves to the drafting of the album in a studio session lasting some days. The final versions of the first two tracks were created, with the addition of a second part to ‘Movements I’, and ‘Floating Times’ and ‘Motionless Image of Eternity’ came into being.
In ‘Floating Time’, clouds of micro-sounds envelop an iridescent, sinuous melody in a sonic space delimited by sculpted percussive sounds. Lost memories seem to resurface. The end of the track takes up the beginning in a kind of ‘rondo’. ‘Motionless’ is counterpointed by telluric percussive sounds in a complex and detailed atmosphere. It seems as if nothing is moving in this sea of sound on which the guitar floats, when in fact everything is in motion in a simmer of textures and melodies that embroider counter-songs to the main refrain.
The music of 'Senzatempo' moves in balance between composition and improvisation. It is a symphonic work for an imaginary orchestra in which melodies, counterpoints, dynamics and sonorities define a structural breadth reminiscent of classical music.