'The sound impresses the memory remaining inside as a stratified landscape that you will often return to explore in silence. Among the records of the year' — Dionisio Capuano - Blow Up Magazine
Italian musician Attilio Novellino released his first album in 2009. Since then he has been focused on the use of sound as a psycho-acoustic tool throughout his solo albums and collaborative projects. (See bio for more info). June 2020 sees Attilio’s first release on Forwind with four tracks of piano variants, electronics and electroacoustics.
The somewhat blunt and remote title ‘Strängar’ (meaning Strings) was an intentional choice made to avoid going down the route of ‘conceptronica’. While this approach works perfectly for some releases and adds convenience for listeners and reviewers when trying to decipher or add meaning to abstract and instrumental music, on occasion it can feel somewhat forced and a bit of an afterthought.
“Contemporary electronic music seems to need extra-musical meanings and a specific concept to be listened to. This can be claustrophobic at times. For this record I was direct, talking only about the sound aspect and describing the process I followed. In this way I believe I pulled out from the matter all the implicit conceptual potential, without further denotation. The title 'Strängar' has a strong connection to the matter, steel of the strings, as well as the sculptures to gypsum in the cover art, both showing that praxis and contemplation cannot be separated. Practical life and contemplative life are coexistent, in the modern era at least”.
Recorded in Stockholm at EMS Elektronmusikstudion, and in Catanzaro, Italy, Attilio used a wide range of sound sources including; piano soundboard with strings, grand piano, prepared piano, Buchla 200 modular synthesizer, Serge modular, Prophet 5, harmonium, organ, percussions and electronics. There are varied approaches and results across the four pieces as it moves from some beautifully recorded grand piano sections via ambience and carefully crafted abrasiveness.
Visiting Sweden was a big influence on Attilio's thinking and along with some other subtle cues like the artwork, adds another clue as to the geographical and cultural influences. While always tempting to dig for these things as part of a species who are constantly trying to make connections and spot patterns, it is probably best to heed the artist's direction and enjoy it as a piece of work working within its own framework, wherever the pieces might take you.
The cover art gypsum heads was created by sculptor Alessandro Badolato. Photographs by Attilio.
Strängar will be available as a limited edition Digipak and digital release