The Notebooks

for voice , electronics and multiple spaces is a commission of 2014 Janáček Festival in occasion of the 160th Janáček’ Jubilee.

Composition, radio art


Catalogue number : 56

In the archive of the Janacek memorial in Brno, lies a somehow odd treasure: a series of very tiny notebooks where composer Leoš Janáček used to annotate scraps of spoken language he would hear during his daily life in musical notation.Each one of those speech-melodies, as we call them today, taken roughly from 1904 till 1928, is a small sound photograph of a mundane and ephemeral situation, a fragment that let us blink into an acoustic reality long gone.
Janacek practice and obsession reminds of the contemporary habit of taking field recordings with portable devices but it was made with pen and paper much before those devices had became available. Contemporary italian composer Alessandro Bosetti has been a practitioner of the “music of speech”   himself and in his work on the notebooks he has tried to bring back to life what he has imagined to be the surrounding situation for those Janáček’s annotations using his voice and creating several electroacoustic tableaux in the setting of  the different rooms of Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat. Conscious of having stumbled upon a listening treasure and a great poetic gesture he listen to the world (and let us listened to the world) through the ears of Leoš Janáček. Bosetti reconstructs an imaginary reality around those magical and mysterious traces tracing back a tradition of  “musique anecdotique” starting with the Brno composer and continuing with “musique concrète” composers as  Pierre Schaeffer and Luc Ferrari.


« The Notebooks » was originally commissioned for the stage by the Janáček Opera Festival 2014 and premiered in the Villa Tugendhat in Brno on November 25th, 2014.

The radiophonic version of « The Notebooks » included in this edition was comissioned by Czech National Radio – Český rozhlas for the Radiocustica series, premoiered on February 27, 2015 and was awarded the Palma Ars Acustica preis in 2015.

« Dante and Beatrice -The Notebooks, part 2 » was created for The Fall of Recording project curated for Sanatorium Dźwięku festiwal by Michał Libera and Daniel Muzyczuk. It was produced by In Situ Foundation within the framework of Sanatorium Dźwięku residencies held in Sokołowsko.

This project will be also broadcasted as radiophonic version in Radioateliér PremEdition of Czech Radio Vltava in February 27. 2015 at 10 p.m. / RADIOART.CZ

Carried out with the support of Gmem, centre national de création musicale, Marseille.

Winner of the Palma Ars Acustica preis 2015.

Special thanks to Pavel Lojda at Janáček Opera House, Ladislav Železný at Český rozhlas, Jiří Zahrádka and everybody else assisting me at the Leoš Janáček Memorial archive in Brno, Gerard Lebik and Zuzanna Fogtt of Sanatorium Dźwięku. Also special thanks to Jaroslav Šťastný, Jozef Cseres, Michał Libera and Daniel Muzyczuk.


© Alessandro Bosetti / 2024