ROULETTE: Tell us as about the work you’ll be doing at Roulette.
LEA BERTUCCI:For my residency, I will be presenting two projects: the first is a duo with vibraphonist Sandy Gordon in which we provide a live score to “Seep” a 23 minute long experimental film that I shot this past summer. Sandy and I will be playing a structured improvisation that incorporates a tape collage that compliments the acoustic instruments. The second project, “Respire” is an ensemble piece for Trumpet, Flute, Viola, Bass Clarinet, Euphonium, Contrabass and Modular Synthesizer. This piece is a different sort of endeavor for me, as I am taking the opportunity to step back from my usual role as a performer into a more composerly guise. The piece utilizes a range of extended techniques, so it was very important to work closely with each instrumentalist in order to develop a specific sort of vernacular to get the sounds I wanted. An essential aspect of the piece has to do with the fact that it is a site-specific work that was designed for Roulette’s theater. The tonality of the piece is based around active “room tones” that we found in rehearsal. The instrumentalists will be seated in the balcony of the space, which will create a dynamic movement of sound that will activate the unique acoustic characteristics of Roulette’s theater.
Sandy and I have been improvising together for about a year and a half, on and off. Although she is primarily a percussionist, we started as a Bass Clarinet/Harmonium project. After she had acquired a vibraphone, we realized that the timbral qualities of those two instruments (Bass Clarinet and Vibraphone) had an interesting relationship, which we decided to explore further.
R: What was the last music you listened to? LB: I just listened to some recordings of “intimate and ritual music” from the Solomon Islands which feature some extraordinary lullabies sung by old ladies.
R: Do you do other things aside from music? LB: I actually went to school for Photography, and am an active visual artist who has created projects that utilize still photography, video and installation. One of the things that excites me about this performance at Roulette is that I have the chance to present a piece (“Seep”) that has an integral relationship to my sound work. In addition to my visual art practice, I also put together experimental music performances at the Silent Barn in Brooklyn. I’m deeply interested in this part of my artistic life as a form of social practice. The potential to create social spaces that revolve around various scenes within (and sometimes outside of) the NYC experimental music realm is incredibly enriching to my creative practice as a whole.