Valentina Magaletti is one of the most exciting and innovative musicians on the planet. She brings a spirit of exploration, freedom, and wonder to her work, and that feeling flows through each texture and movement. When she plays, time stands still, and it becomes impossible to turn our attention elsewhere. Through expressive rhythms and tactile sonic atmospheres, Magaletti invites us to experience new worlds, and she never misses. Even so, Batterie Fragile is something special.
The Batterie Fragile is a sculpture conceived by Yves Chaudouët, ostensibly a drumkit made from porcelain. Batterie Fragile results from Magaletti’s second recording with the kit (following 2017’s Valentina plays the Batterie fragile). After that first recording – raw and swift – Chaudouët built a new version of the Batterie Fragile, taking lessons from the experience to improve the piece. Soon after, another recording session was planned in Rennes, and the outcome is one of the most captivating works of Magaletti’s career.
Because of the nature of the instrument, Batterie Fragile has a distinct signature palette. Magaletti’s interactions with the sonic qualities of the porcelain turn beguiling rhythms into fantastic, bizarre universes. Using various materials – wood, metal, rubber, and more – she finds an endless array of tonal textures to shape into hypnotic reveries. Sonic expanses grow from their pointillist spectrums, like thousands of ghosts chanting wordless drones in search of escape.
The haunting quality of the sounds Magaletti generates is utterly captivating. It can also be unnerving because it’s impossible to know where we’ll end up, but that only adds to the album’s immersive engagement. Urgency floods the landscape as Magaletti quickens the tempo, pointing our vision straight ahead toward the growing expanses building all around us. Sharp and soft sounds intersect, filling in details and shading every inch of Batterie Fragile with curiosity and consideration. Magaletti is determined to find every sound possible with this inspiring sculpture, and we should be thankful we’re along for the ride.