It must be said from the outset that anyone not familiar with Mike Patton and his breathtakingly diverse body of work would do well to investigate the back catalogue and familiarise themselves with the artist who has successfully taken on any number of disparate projects.
In 2010 Patton, together with the Brussels based Ictus Ensemble andNederlands Kamerkoor, performed “Laborintus II” by Italian composerLuciano Berio at the Holland Festival. Berio created the piece in 1965, to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of Dante, basing it on the poem “Laborintus” by Edoardo Sanguineti, and concerning itself with the “timelessness of love and mourning”.
The chamber opera had its Dutch premier at the Holland Festival in 1972, and featured a set that compromised, amongst other items, a giant blow up doll and car tyres. Lieven Bertels, former artistic director of the Holland Festival, described bringing the piece to a new, younger audience, and incorporating narration from Mike Patton, who, quite rightly, has the versatility and open mindedness to tackle such an assignment, and has openly paid tribute to Italian composers in his work in the past.
It is said that Berio composed “Laborintus II” whilst teaching in California, and was listening at the time to jazz, pop and folk music. Careful listening to all three sections of the piece featured on this recording would suggest that these influences have been skilfully woven in to the texture of the set....