A firm fixture in the late 20th century avant-garde scene, Bertoncini’s abilities as a pianist also led him to perform piano repertoires from the Baroque era through the early modernist canon, and even piano and keyboard pieces written by Terry Riley and John Cage. He wrote numerous pieces for solo musicians and ensembles that include a variety of instruments and acoustic environments and treatments, such as Japanese gongs, prepared piano, speakers, mimes, photoelectric motors, sitars, “kinetic shadows” (whatever those are), and — of course — many Aeolian harps. Yeah, he was a weirdo, and an enormous influence on the late 20th century Italian avant-garde.
The frontwoman of the Israeli group Panic Ensemble’s first solo effort covers a lot of ground. Kraus’ versatile pipes carry her through multiple genres from cabaret to orchestral/Balkan pop, maintaining a sensual curiosity throughout. I’m interested to see whether she brings out a full band; her arrangements are as joyously unpredictable as an early Bjork record.