Below is a rich selection of music taken from records I have recorded over the years, as part of ensembles and as a soloist (in the latest music player). For information on these tracks and the music, extensive notes follow, while by clicking the cart button, you will be redirected to the album page, where you can also purchase it. There are many hours of music, enjoy listening.
Many musicians write their scores on paper or via computer and occasionally discuss with colleagues by drawing lines and making signs as mathematicians or physicists do. I like it, but for me it has never been like this. It is true that in my sound explorations I have composed acousmatic music with the overdubbing technique, I have enjoyed writing some graphic scores and recently, at times, I love to organize and program music through a literary and poetic description, but in general I have no interest to write music or to fix too restrictive procedures, I prefer to organize and express my musical ideas by playing them directly, or to think of a specific ensemble of musicians. As an improviser I am totally involved in this way of thinking and making music, a process that leads to instant composition. Anyway, what I learned about music, about its grammar, I then forgot.
The sounds of the drum kit have a horizontal but also vertical trend and reading, there are overlaps, contrasts and unisons, it is in itself a small orchestra, rather than rhythmic, it is sound. At some point, I was really inspired by piano music, for example that of Béla Bartók, of Cecil Taylor, Glenn Gould’s interpretations, the prepared piano of John Cage. But also by saxophonists John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. These are just a few names but of course there are many musicians who have inspired me, and they also come from very different fields. I have never considered the music in which I was involved, yesterday as today, as entertainment music: this generically leads to leisure outside the self, instead I am interested in music that goes inside of oneself, that is born and turns into our most intimate sensations, in our deepest and most unfathomable feelings. I share the idea of sound as a need and not as a consumption. Cecil Taylor said that “most people have no idea what improvisation is… It means the magical lifting of their spirits to a state of trance. It means the highest perception of oneself, but the self in relation to other forms of life”. It’s beautiful. Research is a path that has no end, it is made up of study and knowledge that germinate into us and this also concerns the public who wants to discern: if the path is more important than the destination, it is because the path itself changes people improving them. The real purpose of beauty is to improve people.
I think that all today’s music should not be written in its entirety, it is old (but not ancient) because the sound of a musician – or at least the musician and performer as I mean it – needs a certain creative vitality that improvisation can bring out; for me this is a necessary act. After all, it is the reason why, among other urgencies, the composers of the twentieth century opened their music to the procedures of indeterminacy and began to work on aleatory strategies and then on improvisation, albeit under strict control. And jazz music began its extraordinary adventure and metamorphosis in the same century! In fact, this music has given a notable contribution of signifiers to Eurocentric art music, which, having overcome the extreme harmonic evolution of Wagner and the serialism of the second Viennese school, and than the so-called post-Webernian serialism whose procedures had somehow impoverished the music of metaphysical meanings (but the music is great), that is beginning to lose meaning in a holistic vision. Music is not (just) mathematics. Thus jazz did not leave indifferent Stravinskij, Milhaud, Šostakovič and many others. But they are probably musicians like Scelsi, Messiaen, Skrjabin, Satie, Cage and Stockhausen who, albeit very modern in their languages, are among the first great moderns to look at the ancient world with new eyes, looking for its secrets and lost implications: in doing so, they traced new paths that led them to conceive a new music, unheard, so to offer again a wider meaning of sound and its practice. Questions all implicit also in many jazzmen, such as Sun Ra, Taylor, Coltrane, Coleman, Graves, Don Cherry, Evan Parker, the musicians of the A.A.C.M. and so on.
From ancient Egypt to ancient Greece, from Africa to India to China, we discover how sound and music were thought and lived, and it is magnificent that today physics confirms the relevance of such knowledge, so present in our ancestors who recognized music as the expression of the higher spheres, of the astronomical laws, of Creation. As Giancarlo Schiaffini states, in the West classical music dedicated itself with such ardor to writing for only three centuries, but this was not the case previously. The most ancient traces of musical notation come to us from the Egyptians, from Spanish Moorish sources, but it can be said that, in the Western world musical writing, was born above all as a political requirement of the Holy Roman Empire, when Charlemagne decided that the Church should express itself with a single voice, it means that every dominated people did not have to sing with their own linguistic inflections and improvise with their own cultural parameters, the more than four thousand unwritten liturgical songs. It is already an affirmation of globalism. Thus were born the first attempts at writing that anticipate the pentagram, such as adiastematic notation, diastematic notation, and then square notation, also called Vatican notation, a way of noting Gregorian chant. One would think that musical improvisation is a danger, a public enemy for the West. Yet this practice cannot be stopped and so it has always found the possibility of manifesting itself in some way, as in Baroque music, at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The complexity of the modern world definitely needed a new declaration of intent, of misunderstandings, of paradoxes, in every field of the arts, everything had to be destroyed and reassembled. Sure it’s a long story, but the fact remains that we have a huge body of ideas behind us. This can give anxiety to a musician – what is the new field to investigate? Is there really a virgin field to explore? What can I do? – but changing perspective, it also gives great freedom. We ignore it, but when we play with stones in the hands to producing sounds and rhythms, we are playing a piece called Stones (from Prose Collection) composed by Christian Wolff in 1969! To date in music, nothing has been overlooked. However, one thing will always remain unprecedented and unrepeatable: the human being, each human being. What is truly unique and peculiar remain ourselves, as long as we are willing to know ourselves and ‘free ourselves’. I like to think, that this is the field to investigate, it is there that our sounds can be found (sounds that we can relate to the history) and it is a way of knowledge: here is a research to explore. Today’s musician should not fear or feel too uncomfortable about the implicit authority in certain musical environments: as Sylvano Bussotti stated, “there is no dividing line between serious music and not. If there is any difference, it is historical and determined in any case from not-so-fundamental circumstances. In any situation, it’s about simply evaluating a product, whatever it is without bias.” Sound is vibration, it reaches the living but also the world of the dead, of the unfathomable, it is a ritual but also intellectual manifestation. The universe is a multitude of vibrations where everything is related, specular, everything is one.
Today I don’t believe in purely formal musical research, also this is old stuff and, to some extent, it is blameworthy marketing. In the fiery decades of the avantgarde of the early twentieth century and the second post-war period, the ‘discourse on the evolution of musical language’ was essential, necessary, but today, does it really make sense to think in those terms? Can we still talk seriously about Neue Musik? Or New Thing? Personally, I would not be able to be comfortable in certain luxurious intellectual bridles. As Stefano Scodanibbio wrote, “today we are no longer afraid of accepting influences and reminiscences, of remembering our past and our emotions.” Now the process is again subordinated to the result and the categories apply generically. I humbly look at my research as a whole, at my imagination as a man and artist who lives in a very difficult historical period, made up of great contradictions and dystopias. We cannot ignore that enormous heritage, that immense and transversal musical legacy which as a whole already provides everything necessary to create that reserve of technical possibilities that helps us to organize our music. Future frontiers, of course, will continue to be provided by digital technologies with all their variations, such as the use of artificial intelligence, algorithms, but without the free soul of artists they will only be cold kitsch expressions, inevitably linked to the academic world who generated them.
Jazz is certainly among the most interesting types of music born in the last century thanks to African-American culture: for its technical qualities, for its ability to evolve, for its marked expressiveness, for its creative and passionate instrumental taste that pushes to virtuosity – which in Eurocentric music finds a vague similarity in chamber music, the one played by high-class families as Berio would say, or the folkloristic one played in popular taverns. It’s a must to consider jazz to be cultured, as art music. The musicians of this music who have fascinated me so much and continue to do so (and of whom I have a lot of LPs) are many and among them there are certainly those who have consigned it to history such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane (everything from the so-called classic quartet up to the latest formation), Ornette Coleman (everything), Sun Ra, Miles Davis (but not everything), Charles Mingus, Cecil Taylor (everything!), Eric Dolphy , Albert Ayler, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton (everything!), Sam Rivers, Steve Lacy, New York Art Quartet, Archie Shepp (up to a certain point), Paul Bley, and then from the end of the sixties the English (Incus Records), the Europeans (Free Music Production, Ictus Records) the Japanese, the Ganelin Trio from Russia, lots of stuff, up to today’s musicians (my colleagues).
The past century has offered many other interesting music. Without going to its roots, rock is one of these and has fascinated me throughout my youth, in parallel with contemporary classical music, electronic and later jazz (I think it was around the age of twenty-five that I stopped with rock and its surroundings) . Here I retrace the stylistic currents and some of the groups of this music that most attracted me and which historically followed each other with great speed since the ’60s: Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators (for me the greatest psychedelic group ever), Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Stooges, MC5 (the first live album!), Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix, Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, Henry Cow, Led Zeppelin, Area, Can, (I also include Kraftwerk here – at seven I was a wild fan of Radio Activity which at the time could be heard on all the radios), to the punk of the Germs, Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Cramps, etc. However, post-punk and the no wave scene are the seasons that I experienced most closely as a teenager, with Tuxedomoon, Contortions, Suicide, Birthday Party, Lounge Lizards, PIL, This Heat, Chrome, Bauhaus, Pop Group, Clock Dva, Cabaret Voltaire, Joy Division, Wire, The Ex, the industrial music of Throbbing Gristle and its international undergrowth, Einstürzende Neubauten (until the early 90s), the Dada creativity of bands like Die Tödliche Doris and FAR. Then Ruins, Sonic Youth pre-major, Primus, Soundgarden (of these last two, the first three records), the hardcore punk of No Means No, Fugazi, Bad Brains, Rollins Band, etc. I became passionate about many groups of rock in opposition such as Art Bears, Art Zoyd, The Work, Cassiber, Skeleton Crew, MCH Band, Plastic People of the Universe. Outside of rock: acid house and techno with Autechre, Aphex Twin, Orbital, Orb, Underground Resistance, Armando, to name just the most illustrious names. All these groups are in their own way disruptive, exploratory, original. However, I have never had a passion for singer-songwriters, Latin music, disco music and hit parade music. In any case, at the same time as a listener, I have always been interested in books on music: musicology, history of music, sociology of music, musical non-fiction, I really like biographies, correspondence. And together with books, it is above all my LP collection that makes me particularly ‘proud’, assembled over years of passionate research and selection.
I have a great passion for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach: I don’t appreciate rankings of any kind, but with this musician one can truly say that he is the only one who can be considered “the greatest of all”, the only one capable of holding his own multigenerational, it is timeless, it is mind and spirit and soul, of the brain it is both the right and left hemisphere; I listen to his keyboard music (almost) rigorously played by Glenn Gould. Then with the same passion I go – even if sometimes I let myself go a little with Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn and even Vivaldi – to the second half of the nineteenth century and the entire twentieth century, with a bit of Wagner and Mahler and many others musicians that I really love, like Schönberg, Webern, Bartók, Šostakovič, Debussy, Messiaen, Hindemith, Milhaud, Varèse, Berg, Petrassi, Stravinskij, Chopin, Čajkovskij, Sibellius, Prokof’ev, Satie (his piano pieces played exclusively by Reinbert De Leeuw or Philip Corner, performers like Ciccolini don’t perform here), Poulenc, Skrjabin, Dallapiccola, Ives, Cowell, Petrassi, and then other heros like Stockhausen, Scelsi, Xenakis, Maderna, Ligeti, Feldman, Nono, Donatoni, Bussotti, Ashley, Boulez, Corner, Berio, Evangelisti, Curran, Sciarrino, Reich, Riley, Lucier, Clementi, Brown, obviously Cage and many other lesser-known composers, such as Ernest Bloch, Henri Duparc (sung by baritones such as Charles Panzéra), Jean Guillou, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Kazimierz Serocki, Milo Cipra, Ruggero Lolini, Jacques Bekaert, etc. I’m passing over my favorite performers, I’ve only mentioned a few. In any case, the music of all these musicians, as well as for jazz (or the music I wrote about above), I listen to from my old vinyls. Instead, I listen to music produced in the last two decades through CDs.
From all the music we can learn solutions and ideas that compared to our aesthetics can prove to be stimulating. And it is not certain that they emerge in our works, they can be only part of the process. Knowledge and openness always bring benefits. However, I do not believe, as is generally stated in ‘new age’ – a commercial and sweetened aspect of the initiatory and esoteric paths – that there are positive sounds (vibrations) and negative sounds (vibrations) and that, for this reason, it would become necessary to seek only positive sounds. It is true, however, that water’s memory shows a different morphological arrangement depending on the sound that passes through it, just as we can observe the reaction of the sand to the sounds, when placed on a horizontal plane: it assumes a harmonic aspect, or on the contrary, chaotic, in perfect relation to the quality of the sound it is subjected to. The research of the scientist Carlo Ventura is also wonderful! Anyway, I think if we talk about art, things are different. In fact, I believe that fixing ourselves on only one aspect, the ‘positive and harmonious’ one, in a certain sense involves a loss of balance in itself. With half water in the glass, it is not half empty or half full: it is both! This is the most balanced description. Those aggressive sounds should not be feared, even the most strident noise (as long as it doesn’t damage the auditory system), because I think they too belong to the devachan and they are carriers of imagination and representation, all qualities that are proper and necessary to art. Existence, when explored, brings to light (infinite realities).
In addition to life, nature, animals, art forms (in particular painting and literature), politics is also an essential part of those interweavings thanks to which I have formed my perception of the world and matured my civil and humanist aspirations. But I have never been attracted to party politics, which I consider illusionist and corrupt by definition. I am interested in understanding the world in which I live, knowing its ideas, knowing its facts, I strive to understand its great complexity and for this reason I dedicate a lot of time to delving into topics that can provide me with answers, avoiding mythopoeia without detailed facts, even if I never forget that “imagination is more important than knowledge” (Einstein) and that intellectuals can dare to connect the dots in an otherwise invisible design, as Pasolini taught us. I have always been a free thinker, I reject any form of totalitarianism.
About my beloved instrument, my feather and my stone together. Playing a drum set means playing drums and metallophones and all together are much more than what a music school can teach to a drummer: they are bridges to the unknown, inside and outside of us. This awareness led me at a certain point to devote myself exclusively to this instrument and so I neglected my interest in other musical possibilities, many of which investigated in my old solo records recorded between 1982 and 2007. The acoustics of drums and cymbals, their intertwining, the vibrations they arouse, the joy of playing them daily and deeply, ‘being inside’, have finally prevailed over everything else; it happened that I realized that the drums alone could give me a kind of musical, physical, holistic completeness, which I obviously needed and need also today. The practice of improvisation gives me that degree of complexity that I seek, both in the contexts of solo and ensemble. (Regarding the drums, I refer for those interested in what I wrote in the text of the ‘A Solo Play’ project, on the ‘recent groups’ page of this website).
1. Ensembles (2015-2023)
Notes, musicians and instruments
As I wrote in the page concerning my projects, have many musical groups doesn’t mean work like a juke-box, it means focus into different situations and directions, but always close to what is the personal research and development. Each of these collaborations has allowed a sort of continuum and progression of my musical ideas and views together, they are a sort of large puzzle, where each anchor adds new elements, thanks to the specificity of the group. Also, it is very difficult to keep alive such projects that are uncompromised and, as a consequence, rather out from the music biz establishment, but I think that the duty of every artist should be to pursue with determination and devotion his/her vocation.
Track 1. / 2. (on first player) Politácito: María ‘Mange’ Valencia (alto sax, clarinet) Paolo Pascolo (flute, bass flute, tenor sax) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 1. (on second player) NoNoNo Percussion Ensemble: Gino Robair (percussion, electronics, prepared piano) Cristiano Calcagnile (drums, percussion, DrumTable guitar, effects, glockenspiel, electrified metal sheet) me on drums, cymbals, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 2. Mahakaruna Quartet: Giorgio Pacorig (piano rhodes, electronics) Cene Resnik (tenor sax) Gabriele Cancelli (trumpet) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Tracks 3. / 4. Ombak Trio: Cene Resnik (tenor sax, soprano sax) Giovanni Maier (cello) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 5. Setoladimaiale Unit & Evan Parker: ‘Intro’ with gongs played by Philip Corner and Phoebe Neville, ‘First’ played by Evan Parker (soprano and tenor saxophones) Marco Colonna (Bb, C, alto and bass clarinets) Martin Mayes (horn, alphorn) Alberto Novello (analog electronics) Patrizia Oliva (voice, electronics) Giorgio Pacorig (piano) Michele Anelli (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 6. Jars: Henry Marić (bass clarinet, clarinet, prepared electric guitar) Boris Janje (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 7. Haiku: Paolo Pascolo (flute, bass flute, tenor sax and electronics) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 8. Massimo De Mattia (flutes) Giorgio Pacorig (piano) Giovanni Maier (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 9. Luciano Caruso (curved soprano sax) Ivan Pilat (bariton sax) Fred Casadei (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 10. Patrizia Oliva (voice and electronics) Roberto Del Piano (electric fretless bass guitar) me on drums and percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 11. Mahakaruna Quartet: Giorgio Pacorig (piano) Cene Resnik (tenor sax) Gabriele Cancelli (cornet) me on drums, percussion. From the album “Inventum” (Nuovo Corso Records, 2017). Improvisation on Auf Unf Geht, traditional folk song, arrangement by Giorgio Pacorig.
Track 12. Roberto Del Piano (electric bass guitar) Marco Colonna (clarinets) me on drums, percussion. From the double album by Roberto Del Piano entitled “La Main qui Cherche la Lumière” (Improvising Beings IB49, 2016). Free improvisation.
Track 13. Nervidi: Michele Anelli (double bass, electric bass guitar, electronics) Dominik Gawara (electric bass guitar, electric guitar, electronics) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 14. Jean-Luc Guionnet (alto sax) Markus Krispel (alto sax) Boris Janje (double bass) Miklós Szilveszter (drums) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 15. Aghe Clope: Paolo Pascolo (flutes and alto sax) Andrea Gulli (laptop, tapes and analog synthesizer) Giorgio Pacorig (Fender Rhodes, Kork MS20, devices) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 16. Noma: Alessandra Laganà (lyrics, voice) Tommaso Marletta (electric guitar) Patrizia Oliva (voice) Boris Blace (trombone) Gabrio Bevilacqua (double bass) me on drums and percussion.
Track 17. Alessandra Laganà (voice) Tommaso Marletta (electric guitar) Dominik Gawara (electric bass guitar) me on drums and percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 18. Neu Musik Projekt: Guido Mazzon (trumpet, little instruments, toys, chimes) Marta Sacchi (A clarinet, Bb clarinet, flutes and toys) me on percussion, selected cymbals, vietnamase gongs, temple blocks and bow. Written score and direction in music by Guido Mazzon.
2. Ensembles (1998-2015)
Notes, musicians and instruments
Track 1. Transition: Nils Gerold (flute) Nicola Guazzaloca (piano) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 2. Gamra: Patrizia Oliva (vocals and electronics) Paed Conca (clarinet) Eugenio Sanna (amplified guitar and objects) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation, second album.
Track 3. Magimc: Thollem McDonas (piano) Edoardo Marraffa (tenor and sopranino sax) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 4. Being Together – Hanoi New Music Festival Ensemble: Lotte Anker (soprano and alto sax) Jakob Riis (electronics) Nguyen Thanh Thuy (dàn tranh) Ngo Trà My (dàn bau) Pham Thi Hue (ty bà, dàn dày, phàch, vocal) Sonx (percussion) Kim Ngoc (vocal) Terje Thiwång (flute) Henrik Frisk (electronics) Stefan Östersjö (dàn tỳ bà, mandolin) Patrizia Oliva (electronics, vocal) Burkhard Beins (percussion) me on percussion.
Track 5. One Lip 5: Guido Mazzon (trumpet) Alberto Mandarini (trumpet) Nicola Cattaneo (electric and acoustic guitars) Franco Cortellessa (baritone guitar and 7 strings classic guitar) Giorgio Muresu (double bass) me on drums, percussion.
Track 6. Transition: Nils Gerold (flute) Nicola Guazzaloca (piano) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation, second album.
Track 7. Crash Trio: Edoardo Marraffa (tenor and sopranino sax) Chris Iemulo (acoustic guitar) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 8. Tobias Delius (tenor sax and clarinet) Mikaele Pellegrino (electric guitar) Clayton Thomas (double bass) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 9. Magimc: Thollem McDonas (piano) Edoardo Marraffa (tenor and sopranino sax) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation, second album.
Track 10. Ipersensity: Daniele Pagliero (laptop, analogic and electronic instruments) me on electronic percussion pads, laptop editing. The way we work is the follows: Daniele sends sounds — via midi connection — to eight or more electronic pads, which are played in real-time by me, with drum sticks (or also with pedals). In this way, the choices of each musician is directly reflected on the other musician’s work. Neither know where the music will go, because it goes its own way, regardless of the performers possible intentions. In practice, the sound produced by each pad (its heights, its timbre, its volume and its attack) could change in any moment, offering a shifting base for an improvised percussive work. Sound development and rhythmic movement, two elements usually taken care of by a single musician, are the inextricable result of the two musicians. Daniele is therefore responsible for the sound choice, while my role is to play and compose the music in real time, based on constantly changing material. The album was dedicated to the memory and the work of Derek Bailey, who died in the same day of these recordings.
Track 11. The Five Roosters: Mario Arcari (curved soprano sax) Massimo Falascone (alto sax, baritone sax, iPad) Martin Mayes (french horn) Roberto Del Piano (electric bass guitar) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 12. Camusi: Patrizia Oliva (voice and electronics) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 13. Aghe Clope Ensemble: Giorgio Pacorig (piano, synth) Nicola Guazzaloca (piano, synth) Andrea Gulli (laptop, electronics) Paolo Pascolo (flute, alto sax) Gianluca Varone (tenor sax, games) Chris Iemulo (semi-acoustic guitar) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 14. Rediffusion: Andrej Bako (laptop, electronics) Karen O’Brien (laptop, electronics) Gareth Mitchell (prepared electric guitar, objects) me on electronic percussion pads. Free improvisation.
Track 15. Gianni Gebbia (alto sax) me on drums, percussion. Free improvisation.
Track 16. Gbur: Dominik Gawara (electric fretless bass guitar) Paolo Caleo (caleophon) Maurizio Suppo (electric guitar) Ivan Pilat (baritone sax) Daniele Pagliero (sampler, electronics) me on drums, electronic percussion pads. Free improvisation.
Track 17. Margine: Alessandro Cartolari (alto and sopranino sax, microphone) Luca Cartolari (electric fretless bass guitar) Paolo De Piaggi (laptop, electronics, mixer) me on drums, percussion, tapes, electronics, direction. The entire work of Esplendor Lunare 1+2, (here’s an extract) is divided into two long tracks and have been built in three phases: A) multi track recording of some short free improvisation by the instrumental trio; B) sampling, manipulation and handling via computer of the recordings and definition of the effects to use; C) final mix, one for each track, totally improvised on the basis of these organized elements.
Track 18. Orbitale Trio: Paolo De Piaggi (electric guitar, electronics) Ivan Pilat (bariton sax, flute) me on drums, percussion / guests Roy Paci (trumpet, flute, piano, violin, armonica) Fred Casadei (double bass, electronics, piano). Free improvisation.
3. Solo works (1982-2007)
Notes and instrumentation
Coming here to a brief description of my solo albums, the genesis has always been the same, i.e. deciding which instruments to use and leaving room for musical intuition, placing brick by brick: what I have done, and still I do, is to make connections. What I had in mind about the music to do for a given album was obviously fundamental and was related from time to time to the choice of instrumentation, a very stimulating phase that characterized the entire creative process. (We skip Mr Nattiez). This is why each of my solo albums has a different instrumentation and a different focus. Perhaps, a point of interest in these recordings, was the choice to work with relatively poor equipment, in fact I didn’t care about the latest crafty thing that the music trade had to offer.
Tracks 1. / 2. / 3. Electronic percussion pads. The whole album Musiche delle Circostanze was played, composed, improvised and recorded in autumn 1995. All the music was played with drumsticks on electronic percussion pads, without overdubs.
Track 4. Electronic percussion pads, laptop. Composed in 2007, MKUltra comes as a suite of minimal techno with twenty-eight distinct parts, all with different combinations of rhythms and sounds – using a few tens of sampled sound sources –. The original samples have been previously edited by Londoners Andrej Bako and Karen O’Brien and here there were used through electronic pads with drumsticks and no overdubs. The composition is a radical reconstruction of a free improvisation, played and recorded in a solo concert, as part of a festival held in Reggio Calabria in 2004.
Track 5. Percussions, prepared electric bass guitar, two voices. As the album’s title suggests (Pezzi Circolari, circular pieces) all the tracks – including the followings n.6, n.7 and n.8 – investigate some small repetitive rhythmic aspects and simple instrumental relationships. Experimental devotion and extended techniques are the bases of this music, as always in my procedures. The whole work was recorded between 1998 and 1999.
Track 6. Clarinet, electronic percussion pads, prepared electric guitar, electric bass guitar. (See note on ‘Track 5′).
Track 7. Two electric guitars. (See note on ‘Track 5′).
Track 8. Four acoustic guitars. (See note on ‘Track 5′).
Track 9. Cd player/recorder, turntable, tapes, electronics. The piece is taken from New Vexations, recorded on 2000.
Tracks 10. / 11. / 12. SPD8 Roland electronic percussion pads with drumsticks, Yamaha DX7 synth, Roland Digital Effects Processor DEP-3, Alesis QuadraVerb GT (a stereo effects unit that combines analog and digital electronics), Soundcraft mixer. Analog electronic music composed between 2000 and 2001. Each track of the album Linked was played entirely in real time (all the parts were overdubbed with a multitrack recorder). Sequencer, samplings and computer weren’t used and make the difference. The music, in some way, is close to the aesthetics of New York’s minimalism but you hear minimal techno, even acid house if you like the words and categories but anyway, it’s electronic with human touch.
Track 13. Stereo-set (including two tape recorders, amplifier, turntable, radio), vinyls, tapes. The album Margini di Riciclo contains thirty four tracks of tape music, divided into two long pieces (here’s an extract); the composition of the tape’s collage has been assembled both vertical and horizontal. This work was composed from 1990 to mid 1993 and it was produced by means of a creative use of a common stereo-set with a special peculiarity: exerting the same pressure simultaneously on two or more of the selection keys of the amplifier, these channels would have been activated, with the result that you could listen, through the loud speakers, both turntable and radio, for make an example; and the whole thing would have been recorded on tape from one of the two recorders connected to the system. Another curiosity was offered by cassettes with chrome or metal tapes: if re-recorded again, for a second or third time, without selecting the frets ‘chrome’ or ‘metal’ on the recorder, the new recording wouldn’t have erased the first, but only overdubbed. The ‘discovery’ of these tricks have been the basis of Margini di Riciclo, the rest is a painstaking work of cut-up technique, manipulations of popular electronic and modern classical music, more or less altered vinyls and radio broadcasters, which enter into the music in aleatory way for most of the time. Musical instruments and computers weren’t used. At that time as a background, I was inspired by Cage’s Imaginary Landscape and WIlliams Mix (known only on books and not heard, the same for the early works by Schaeffer); some years after I have known the work of composer John Oswald and his idea of ‘plunderphonics’. Concerning the texts used through the various voices – mostly were taken from several spoken word albums of William S. Burroughs, Jello Biafra and Timothy Leary – have been chosen with great care but some times were recorded in aleatory way, directly from radio stations; the words show a precise outline, a sort of complaint to the contemporary world. I guess this work has touched – musically – some things that have been written on the book titled Mille Plateaux by Deleuze and Guattari. A similar album was recorded by me in 1989 with the name Urban HardBeat Energy, published on Old Europa Cafe.
Track 14. Prepared electric guitars, live electronics, feedback, analogue synthesizers (Kork SM20 and Eko Ekosynth P15), block flute, tv-set, radio, objects, tapes, cut-ups. Opera was my first musical project and at that time, big influences were the ideas and the music of John Cage and the most radical side of post punk culture. Here’s a selection from three tapes published by Old Europa Cafe in the Eighties.
Last note. I add in these notes on soloist discs, a brief description of the double album “Ripercuotere”, because it can be heard on Internet anyway. Instrumentation: drums, electronic percussion pads, prepared guitar, oscillator (VCO), keyboard and objects. All music was taken from ten hours of free improvisations, recorded in the heart of several nights in the autumn of 1994, without overdubs.
© Creative Commons