The ArtSplaces series starts here

London, May the 1st, 2016.

That day I was visiting the Serpentine Galleries.
A funny displacement feeling captured my attention thanks to some sounds coming from both sides of the exposition internal entrance.
That was the moment I started to take some field-recordings of the situation.
After visiting the Serpentine Galleries I went to the Tate Modern.
Walking through the eimg_3884-tate-modernxpositions’ rooms I was caught by another delicate emotional resonance.
Temporal suspension and physical floating were somehow represented by the experience of walking through the artworks.
The peak was reached when I entered the room where the video work by Gülsün Karamustafa “Memory of a Square” was playing.
I had never heard about this Artist before.
Something had happened.
Entering that room I understood what I would have done with the recordings I was collecting.

gulsun-maramustafa

That event lead to many nice discovers and meetings, starting with connecting with a very gentle and passionate Tate Modern curator and a lovely synchronicity with a friend working at the Kassel Documenta, who was so kind to send me Gülsün Karamustafa’s book in the picture, printed by Documenta itself.

I will keep on investigating about the fascinating, delicate and intense feelings originating from the physical spaces of art expositions with a series that I called ArtSplaces.
I like the idea of this being the first step of a walk.

Here is the sound of my walk through Tate Modern, in and out of Gülsün Karamustafa. Suspended.

This event resonated with the feelings of temporal suspension and physical floating, which is the reason why it exists and resists in time in the form of audio material.

Audio processing from hardware to software, the difficult evolution.

Since I began my musical journey I’ve always been fascinated by the depth of acoustics, sound processing and real time audio manipulation, so much that I feel like I am playing sounds much more than guitar.
I’ve been extensively using rack processors since the end of the eighties.
My setup grew to a point where I felt the need to start reducing it, this was its last “hardware-just” incarnation:

My latest hardware-just sound processing environment, circa 2004. From top Doepfer Fader control, 2 Oberheim Echoplex running in stereo/dual mono, Tc Electronics Fireworx, Eventide Orville, Sound Sculpture Switchblade GL. Not visible are the Mesa Boogie Studio preamp, foot controllers and volume pedal.

Around the end of 2005 I started to substitute looping processors ( two Echoplex Digital Pro from Oberheim) with a pc laptop loaded with Mobius, just a few months later I started investigating the potential of using an audio interface as signal router/splitter/mixer to drop  another piece of hardware, the fantastic Sound Sculpture Switchblade.
This is where the real story began: I started to use a software application as the center of my audio enviromenment, a hybrid between hardware processors: an Eventide Orville ( later a H8000fw) a TC Electronic Fireworx and a Boss VF1, another great processor, often underestimated and plugins running in my laptop.

My hardware-software sound processing environment as it was in 2011. Pc laptop running Audiomulch and Mobius as audio looper, Eventide H8000 fw, Tc Electronics Fireworx, Boss Vf-1 and Rme audio card. On the floor the Gordius midi controller and various pedals. Not visible is the Mesa Boogie Studio preamp.

I installed and checked Bidule, Usine, Max-MSP, Live and Audiomulch.
Checking these amazing software meant to enter into their respective universes, meeting completely different approaches to audio routing, user interface, general settings concepts, languages and internal organization.
Being a non digital native with zero academic training in electronics and computer programming I’ve had the feeling of being exposed to a sort of philosophical challenge.

I checked these fascinating applications keeping my focus on audio routing flexibility, midi control, computing resources, system stability and ease of use.
With these aspects in mind I decided to go for Audiomulch which, since then, has been the environment in which I’ve developed my audio processing system and, basically, the core of my playing: my actual musical instrument.

Audiomulch was a fantastically thought application: essential and deep at the same time, clean and efficient, with a very smart way of connecting modules and plugins; it has been key to allow my approach to audio processing progress and grow up to where it is now.

During all this time I’ve met many idiosyncrasies, bugs and incomprehensible solutions that made me waste a big lot of time and challenged my patience.

In 2016, after more than 10 years of use of Audiomulch I feel that there’s no more reason to live within the restrictions of 32 bits and be limited by single core processing; I feel like I have to move to a more up to date application. This is sad as I would prefer so much to keep using Audiomulch, I still think its concept delivers the best mix between interface/routing/processing/midi mapping out there, at least for the way I use it.

Since March 2016 I’m testing software to find the new host to process my audio.
Max/MSP, Usine, Audiostrom Sound Professor, Plogue Bidule, Cantabile, Ableton Live, Bitwig, Gig Performer and some others I just can’t remember.
All this to find the application to replace Audiomulch.
It is complicate, there are so many weirdness out there, strange visions and sometimes incomprehensible solutions. On the other hand you can easily find many interesting ideas but, unfortunately, not all of them in the same package.
I honestly just hope Audiomulch will show a new breeze of life, just before I do the final move.
Please Ross, let the world enjoy Audiomulch at 64 bit and with multicore support!

Watching the captain mixing

Stefano Castagna @ Ritmo&Blu is finishing with me the mix of the tracks which potentially are going to be part of a new albumottotracce of Flos.

 

On the desk there is now the last candidate song: 4 stereo tracks able to bring into a different territory born from an improvisation set with the dear friend Markus Stockhausen.
Listening to his trumpet in the same music where I play always reminds me how unique is the feeling of playing together and, once again, what a lucky man and musician I am.

Watching Stefano mixing and managing his immense SSL board is like being sit on the prow of a fast sailing boat, with the ocean in front of you and a solid and serene captain at the helm.

Lucky man I am.

The Sound of my Step at the next Cinemambiente festival

il suono del mio passo-locandinaThe Sound of my Footstep is the short from Mario Piavoli which was premiered at Visions du Reel Festival in Nyon in April this year.
Next week it is going to be hosted by the Cinemambiente Festival in Turin, another important festival with a special focus on environment.
Always new and beautiful reasons for refresh the happiness for such a collaboration.

Music for sleeping

Following the first experiment of a few months ago, this is going to be the evolution of the previous sleep-concert at Cascina Balocchi.
This time it’s going to be a more immersive situation, with 3 amazing dancers ( for those who haven’t met them before, check this), Simone Lombardi at the piano, Vittorio Guindani at the mixing board and Tiberio Faedi, the mastermind of this project, managing prerecorded sounds in the form of Steve Roach.
Breath.Sleep Concert_full

 

 

The sound of my step, a movie by Mario Piavoli.

It has been a great surprise and I feel very much honored by having my music usued as soundtrack to a beautiful movie like this.


It will be premiered in Nyon, on april 15th at the festival Visions du Réel. Will write more about it in the next future, don’t want to risk to reveal anything before it reaches the public.

5 months in the underground, a deep site-specific

rationabiles_0On January the 28th, 2016, together with Stefano Castagna and under Francesco Fonassi invitation we’ve opened a 5 month sound-installation commissioned by Brescia Musei foundation.

Some informations here, further details on a specific in-depth article soon.

Exploring audio through intuitive sound processing, a personal explorative practice.

audio routing matrix

Software plus hardware routing processing. Using the audio card as a multichannel mixer,router,splitter.

The older I get the more I realise how central deep processing stays through my musical journey.
From the old times of footpedals to the actual combination of software and hardware processing, I’ve always been interested in using guitar as the source of an energy fluxus to excite and move the physical and virtual molecules located in resistors, processors and algorithms.
This has led me to devote much more time to experiment through these tools, which are usually not considered as musical instruments, than exercise my guitar skills and techniques, which have always been very poor and so will stay.
After more than 30 years in doing this I feel like that’s what it should have been.
I feel comfortable in such a fluctuating, unpredictable, deep and stimulant musical environment.
Sound exploration is able to activate many areas of my inner self.
This is what music means to me. Actually, is this really like this or when I’m listening to music I’m actually just looking for that magical, evocative potential that sounds are able to create in me ?