Emanuele De Raymondi uses digital sound processing techniques to turn Oguz Buykberber’s clarinet improvisations into surprisingly moving and lively music. Not that there is reason to think Buykberber doesn’t make perfectly fine music himself but De Raymondi broadens the role of the instrument. He shoves percussive elements to the fore, creates sounds that are meaty, fleeting, sad and swinging, with passages resembling a typewriter, sperm whales playing the bassoon, bells, whistles, steel drums, asthmatic gulls being shovelled into a bouncy castle, synths and, perhaps most shocking of all, someone playing the clarinet.
The creation of the 10 pieces on Buyukberber Variations relies upon the use of a 10-second reverberation room. According to Création Baumann’s “Basics of Acoustics”, the reverberation time of a room can be derived from the calculated total equivalent sound absorption area using the Sabine formula. Such a lab has walls which reflect the incident sound waves to a very high degree and have long reverberation times across the entire frequency range. To put this in perspective, consider that many churches will have a range of 4-8 seconds reverberation time.
De Raymondi is an exciting composer who spent several years in various US cities before returning to his native Rome. His work, arguably less lush than Max Richter and less grandiose than Jóhann Jóhannsson, is informed by his progression of interests through guitar, classical and jazz studies, and film scoring, to the computers which now are his instrument of choice. His work here transforms one instrument into something quite unrecognizable.