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Joseph Bertolozzi

Tower Music

Release Date: July 13, 2023

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1 A Thousand Feet of Sound / Trois cents mètres de son (5:11)  
2 The Harp That Pierced the Sky / La harpe qui a percé le ciel (3:11)  
3 Continuum / Continuum (3:19)  
4 Prelude / Prélude (0:49)  
5 Ironworks / Ferronnerie (4:05)  
6 The Elephant on the Tower / L’éléphant sur la Tour (3:29)  
7 Glass Floor Rhythms / Rythmes sur le parterre vitré (2:45)  
8 Evening Harmonies / Harmonies du Soir (4:31)  
9 Tower Music / Musique de la Tour (10:53)  
10 BONUS TRACK: Audio Tour of Eiffel Tower (11:25)  
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What is the sound of one hand clapping?

We may never know. What does the Eiffel Tower sound like? Hah! There’s an answer to that one.

Never one to shy away from a compositional challenge, Joseph Bertolozzi undertook what became a twelve year odyssey to sample and write music using only the sounds of the Eiffel Tower. Without the aid of supplemental instruments or effects, he worked with the raw surfaces of this architectural landmark.

A spiritual follow-up to his Bridge Music (composed for and using New York’s Mid Hudson Bridge), Tower Music was a logistical as well as artistic challenge. Bertolozzi’s careful navigation of the considerable political, artistic and organizational challenges guided Tower Music to completion through waters fortuitously free of protocols. Notoriously protective of images of their iconic structure, the French embraced Bertolozzi’s project to make it sing.

This muse of iron did not yield its harmonies easily, however. Percussive cadences revealed themselves more readily than melodic lines, but the challenge was met: Bertolozzi takes something incomplete as an instrument and makes it seem like there’s nothing missing.

Bertolozzi’s tour de force of compositional craftsmanship takes the listener on a colorful journey: from its bold, opening overture to gentle whisperings; from a lilting waltz to a darkly avant-garde soundscape; from a mash-up of modern Western and ancient Indonesian styles to the volcanic finale. Here, a composer takes on a world monument and brings back the music of the world.

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