Lionel Marchetti
Adele et Hadrien - Le Livre des Vacances

[Optical Sound, www.optical-sound.com]

At particular times in my life, I regret I've forgotten most of the French I'd learned throughout high school. Had I not pursued other fields of study, I would've understood every single word and every nuance that is contained on these recordings. As it stands, I'm lost. Spread over 2 CDs, "Adele et Hadrien - Le Livre des Vacances" is concrete music composer Lionel Marchetti recording his kids over a span of eight years [1999 to 2006]. These are audio documents of his two kids enjoying their summer. Free from school, the two little ones discover the joys of camping, hiking, riding in a boat, singing songs around a campfire, discovering new insects, fishing and enjoying a picnic. There's a real sense of looseness and family unity within these field recordings, even at times when the two kids are shouting at each other, which is usually followed by some loud arguments back and forth. Though majority of this stuff was recorded during the summer months, there is a glimpse of the winter holidays as well, as the family goes for a sleigh ride, followed by sounds of farm animals. Other than that, these are recordings made during summer or fall months. Kids take a walk through a cemetery and listen to voices of the dead. Then they take a trip to Morocco [where we hear sounds of the desert and the hectic pace of the local towns]. We also hear the kids being frightened by a racing waterfall. Marchetti's approach is quite unobtrusive. Other than very infrequent electronic blurbs and sound processing, he lets the field recordings speak for themselves. These tell a tightly-wound story of two kids running around with eyes wide-opened discovering a world which soon enough they'll inherit from their dad, who happened to be sitting hidden away on the sidelines recording the whole process. Now, my challenge remains to take up French again to get the full gist of this absolutely stunning recording.

- Tom Sekowski


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