Advanced Decomposition

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Advanced Decomposition is a CD album of original jazz music by Maltese musician Walter Vella on the Heritage label. It was released in the summer of 2010 with two concerts. The first took place at 'The Villa' in Balluta Bay, St. Julians on Tuesday 27 July 2010. The second was accompanied by a visual art exhibition by the artist at National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta on the 14 September 2010.

The album was recorded live at Lito's Place on 2 February 2010. The recording and mixing engineer was Manolito Galea.

Piano arrangements are by Dominic Galea.

Cover design: Arté Graphic Design Studios / Walter Vella.

Track Listing

All tracks written by Walter Vella except Track 2, which is by Dominic Galea.

  1. Random DNA (Into the Unknown) - 1:02
  2. Conception (Now Known) - 9:47
  3. Youth (You Think You Know) - 10:33
  4. Awareness (So Now You Know) - 7:23
  5. Speed Tango (You Should Have Known) - 12:52
  6. Life's Mysteries (You Thought You Knew) - 7:16
  7. Reminiscence (The Unknown Known) - 5:25

Bonus Track:

8. Life Traveller - 11:46


  • Walter Vella - Saxophones
  • Dominic Galea - Piano
  • Joe Micallef - Drums

Sleeve Notes

The following is the full text of a note written by Walter Vella:

This music is part of a wider project consisting of an art installation depicting various natural and synthetic objects in an advanced state of decomposition. When it came to representing the human aspect, I chose to portray it through music. Adhering to the concept of decomposition, the pieces involve written motifs which are played only at the beginning of a composition. These motifs are gradually 'decomposed' revealing other forms as the layers are peeled away. With two very talented musicians, these mostly improvised pieces of music create, through spontaneous dialogue, various abstracted moods, reflecting what we experience in life, from DNA through the twilight years, curiosity, erudition, elation, reflection, excessiveness, sadness and reminiscence. This constant 'feeding off' each other's ideas creates a kinetic energy that is had to surpass through written music. The choice of instruments also holds a symbolic meaning, from the soprano in the first two motifs, with its high octave reach, to the dark baritone sounds on the last. The short intro piece features the saxophone family going through arpeggios at different speeds and key signatures. They eventually intertwine to create a harmonious chord, much like human DNA searching other DNA to create new variations. These arpeggios are faintly echoed in the last track suggesting a return to the basic construction blog of life. The bonus track is an accumulation of the day's recording when the musicians were were riding an adrenaline high. It is a totally improvised piece, without a structured beginning or end, very much like the continuous cycle of life.