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"Lume Lume"

Romanian-born, Julliard-trained composer and violinist Alexander Balanescu assembled an 8 member group to create a 57 hour live soundtrack, with additional live performances, for the Austrian Ars Electronica festival this past September. The event took place for 15 hours a day at the Klangpark, a large public listening space created by 4 loud speaker towers near the Danube in downtown Linz. Each of the 4 days focused on a different song by popular Romanian singer Maria Tanase as inspiration, "Lume Lume" being one of those. The invited musicians: Isabella Bordoni, Rupert Huber, Sergio Messina, Siegfried Ganhör and members of to rococo rot are a diverse group of mostly electronic artists from different musical backgrounds, styles, production methods and generations. The 17 pieces edited for the disc by Balanescu range from 2 to 10 minutes (72 total) and seamlessly flow into one another, most titles referring to the status of the weather (too much rain apparently) and different times of different days. Electronics dominate with fluid environments, deep bass and simple beats (and somewhat surprisingly there's not a glitch to be found) and are further broadened by Bordoni's spoken voice and Balancescu's violin on a handful of tracks. And it's these in particular that are the highlights, where the violin meshes beautifully and effortlessly with the others. I've never been to Austria or experienced such a sound event firsthand but "Lume Lume" does clearly evoke for me the chemistry of the musicians and the place. Much like Brian Eno's "Ambient 4: On Land", this disc puts me right there where the music was conceived. This must have been truly remarkable for those who actually were there .