ANTS, A New Timeless Sound // experimental record label established in Rome, Italy, 2001
Luca Miti
JUST BEFORE DAWN
AG10
Jewel Box case
8 pages color booklet with italian text by the author and scores
1 audio CD

€ 12,00  SOLD OUT
Luca Miti, pianoforte

What we are here presenting is one of the most intimate
releases we produced ever. Luca Miti is a “strange” kind of
composer and musician. And organizer, too. He has the
uncommon attitude to make private experiences and let them
become “public” in a very natural way. Primarily known for his
compositions (most of them unconventional and ”
experimental” in the best sense) and impro-live-written
collaborations, he’s also a “perfomer” with many different
sides. One of these aspetcs is shown in this album. This is
really an “album” in the broader sense. It contains pieces
that are “images of life” for Luca. They are parts of his own
musical essence. The daily activities, the loving moments, the
earliest listening, the deep influences, all of this is comprised
in this “lovely” compilation. The Piano is the “classic”
instrument of Luca. He’s not the incredibly skilled performer,
but he’s, to me, the "real" performer. And, most important,
he really “understand” (‘cause he loves it) the music he plays.
This CD is not only a collection of beautiful pieces by more or
less known contemporary composers. It’s, first of all, a gift
that Luca makes to himself and to us, trying to communicate
his own experience.
You’ll have the chance to discover some little gems in it. And
you’ll have the opportunity to listen to them in the most
“honest” way you can do.
“Luca Miti, who is already present in the 'ants' series both as
a composer and as a performer, in this new CD has chosen to
present himself exclusively in the role of the pianist, taken in
the traditional meaning of the word. And a good pianist he is
indeed, and it is to be regretted that he seems rather
reluctant to show his skills to live audiences. The pieces he
selected for this release may be ascribed to minimal music,
with all the controversial aspects the terms implies. As by
now some decades have passed since the period of the
greatest splendor of this musical movement perhaps one may
speak, in the case of the recent pieces, of neo-minimalism.
Not being really an expert of the field I would propose the
following, simple, distinction: one type of minimal music,
which in its austerity is closer to minimalism in the visual arts,
takes the term rather literally, in other words, few sound
events are happening, the sound-to-silence ratio shows a
clear preponderance of the latter. Cage has pushed this line
to an extreme in his organ piece for Halberstadt: one sound
event per year. Among the pieces on the CD Michi's
Passatempi e giochi d'attenzione n.1 appears to be the one
most clearly rooted in this area. Michi's work furthermore
transcends, according to the intention of the composer, the
conventional 'piece' format, its duration, for instance, was
determined by the chosen total length of the CD. Long
decays by Tom Johnson - one of the grand (not yet old) men
of minimalism - focuses on the fading away of sounds, and
gives ample space to silences that are determined by the
lenght of text fragments the performer has to read for
himself, inaudible to the listener. The CD shows that also
Kurtag, who hardly can be counted among the minimalists,
has written a piece in a somehow minimal style. In the other
type the term 'minimal' rather means that the material used is
very restricted and undergoes limited variations, but there
are nevertheless, sometimes at least, lots of sounds. This
applies, for instance, to the 'classic' minimal work on the
record, Riley's Keyboard Study n.2, where Miti does a
remarkable job as performer.
Knowing Miti's compositional style one would suspect that he
is more inclined to the first brand, but as a pianist he appears
to be quite at ease with both of them, and the selection
actually shows a far greater number of pieces belonging to
the second brand. A characteristic which seems to
distinguish the 'old' and (at least many) of the 'new' minimalists
is the fact that the pieces of the latter are rather short,
sometimes very short (specially when compared to the
'oldies') and the touch of intimacy that pervades many of
them.The sometimes heavy assertiveness which for years has
delighted the fans of Glass, Riley & Co. (La Monte Young was a
conspicuous exception) seems to have given way to yet
another (possible) interpretation of minimalism: brief
"Moments musicaux" with some tendency towards the joli, or
"Albumblätter" with the presence of (or should we say the
return to) extramusical references. This is enhanced in the
pieces by Curran and  Chauveau which are placed in an
ambient atmosphere. In Delor's Journal we find an attempt to
link the compositional process to the composer's life time:
the modules of the pieces were composed one per day over a
certain period. In Piva's pieces the extramusical reference is
the architectural structure of the church "San Paolo alle Tre
Fontane". The remaining pieces (Guidi, Masin - who also wrote
their pieces for Luca - and Burnell) appear to share quite a
similar atmosphere as the ones mentioned above, even
Spiegel's Cyclic Score nr. 2, in spite of the fact that
chronologically speaking it belongs to the previous generation
of minimalism.” (Albert Mayr)

track list
1) GYORGY KURTAG  12 Microludi, n° 8  0'49"
2) TERRY RILEY  Keyboard Study #II   20'33"
3) TOM JOHNSON  Long Decays  3'39"
4) LAURIE SPIEGEL  Two Cyclic Scores, #1  4'04"
5) ALVIN CURRAN  A Room In Rome  5'11"
6) GILBERT DELOR  Journal du 1/1 au …  3'21"
7) ENRICO PIVA  Parlando di S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane versione
1  1'59"
8) ANNA GUIDI  “era tanto tempo che non mi succedeva” 
2'26"
9) GIGI MASIN  Tootle  1'53"
10) ENRICO PIVA  Parlando di S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane
versione 2  3'37"
11) SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU  Radiophonie n° 2  5'13"
12) PAUL BURNELL  Just Before Dawn  1'09"
13) FRANCESCO MICHI  Passatempi e giochi d'attenzione n° 3
per pianoforte  9'05"

released 03/12/2005

Of related interest:
Miti - MANSIONS
Enomisossab - L'OMBRA DI MEZZOGIORNO
Johnson - RATIONAL MELODIES/BEDTIME STORIES
Miti - 4 ODER 5 HASSLICHE...