The inventive French duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, better known as Air, are planning a pair of releases for 2003. The first will be a music-and-spoken-word album recorded with Italian writer Alessandro Baricco, which will be succeeded later in the year by the follow-up to 2001's amazing 10,000 Hz Legend. The collaboration with Baricco, entitled City Reading (Tre Storie Western), is set for release on March 25 and was mixed by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.
According to MTV, the project first came into being when Baricco invited Air to perform live while he read excerpts from his book last year. The performance was met with such critical acclaim that the three men decided to capture its energy as an album. In order to do so, Air recorded over an hour of new instrumental, which have been combined with Baricco's spoken word vocals and broken down into three pieces, "La Putana di Closing Town," "Caccia All'uomo," and "Bird." Air are currently at work on that yet-to-be-titled new album.