Italian musician and sound artist Attilio Novellino made his debut release in 2009. Since then he has been focused on the use of sound as a psycho-acoustic tool throughout his solo albums, collective and collaborative projects. 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’.
‘Contemporary electronic music seems to need extra-musical meanings and a specific concept to be listened to. This is losing sense in my opinion. For Strängar I was just honest and direct, talking only about the sound aspect and describing the process I followed.’
While the concept 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, there are undoubtedly a lot of releases where the big idea feels glued on and a bit of an afterthought. Despite eschewing an obvious story or theme, Strängar engages, emotes and prompts with its collisions, harmonics, rumbles and reverberations.
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 noise.
Living in 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 Attilio did not want interfering with the music too much. 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.
Strängar will be available as a limited edition Digipak and digital release