Luciani, Maria Teresa: Sounds of the City LP
Welcome to the parallel musical universe of Miss Maria Teresa Luciani, a landscape of sonic architecture and theoretical composition constructed by a family of engineers that reinvented the wheel before the vehicle even began the journey. Imagine, if you will, the musical equivalent of Peter Cook’s Archigram group or the soundtrack to Charles and Ray Eames’ private sketchbooks, hinting at a new municipal, utopian metropolis just hours before the blueprints are suspiciously misplaced by the courier and mainstream pop building regulations piss on our asbestos bonfire. These 1972 constructions of progressive, cyclic, proto-industrial colour music were never intended for public habitation. These are the Sounds Of The City in a galaxy far, far beneath our radar and above your expectations that was never built. Pseudo-futurist pop music? Cubic folk? Tape-op-art? Sì, grazie!
Before the needle hits the first groove, the story of Maria Teresa Luciani reads like an Alphaville caper full of foreign intrigue, low intensity identification fraud, secret codes, family bonds, mistrust and wanderlust… Naturally, you are holding a genuine Finders Keepers article. To say this rare Italian concept album is “unbelievable” is justified on multiple levels. This multi-storey storage facility of found sounds, radiophonic samples, tape loops, early electronic music experiments, mechanical folk, cinematic vision, sound design, educated music theory, political pop and high concept art-as-noise successfully layers more musical ideas within its unique structure than one would think possible for a solo artist within any musical genre. This is why Sounds Of The City presents us with a brand new genre defying compositional framework, pre-dating sampling culture, cut ‘n’ paste plunderism and industrial music in the process. Pre-digital, indefinable and genuinely unbelievable. But who is Maria Teresa Luciani? On hearing this record respected collectors and enthusiasts have suggested “the female answer to Basil Kirchin,” or “the Italian Daphne Oram”. Both with justified cause. Mystery, myth, legend, teacher, artist, inventor, author, musician, psychologist, daughter, and (possibly most importantly) sister.