Martina Bertoni – “All the Ghosts Are Gone” (2020)

Born and raised in Italy, Berlin-based cellist Martina Bertoni spent much of her career collaborating with other musicians. Her first solo release wasn’t until 2018 and up to this point all of her solo work was digital. All the Ghosts Are Gone, on Iceland’s FALK label, is both her first solo full-length album and her first physical release, FALK producing an extremely limited run of 40 cassettes in addition to making it available for purchase via download.

While classically trained, Bertoni’s style is anything but classical. Blending somber cello with electronics she creates musical canvases that slowly stretch against their own frames, creating a tension that threatens to tear the surface and rip the entire thing apart. That’s not to imply that the songs are in any way frantic. In fact it’s just the opposite. The tension comes from an underlying stillness that is disturbed, gently at first but with steadily building pressure, the initial touch becoming firmer as spacetime stretches in response, membrane-like as it attempts to conform to Bertoni’s sonic exertions. If asked to recommend entry points into All the Ghosts Are Gone, I’d go with “Blu” on the more ambient end of the spectrum and “Invisible Cracks” as the most tense. “Notes At the End of the World”, the only composition with vocals, is tremendous in its flow and is one of the highlights of the album.

Cassette copies of All the Ghosts Are Gone, as well as downloads, are available on the FALK Bandcamp page HERE. I also recommend checking out Bertoni’s own Bandcamp page (HERE) so you can listen to and download some of her other solo material.

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