Interview by Dmitry Vasilyev/IEM  - Moskow  <

Please tell us about the origins of Alio Die. Why did you decided to start this project? What the creative images were come into being within Alio Die idea?

I've started with Alio Die as consequence of my first experiments with sounds in the late '80, my first creative images was about travel with mind in the nature, in remote places far in time and space, as well as find a sound poetry to traslate the feeling and the idea of sacred and mystere, that I couldn't divide from that of nature.

Talking about your first sound experiments, which ones from them were most important for you? I mean, were there some compositions that defined your further evolution as musician and also influenced the italian scene? The landmarks of your early musical career?

From the first recordings I've found important the step with 'Under an Holy Ritual' as I was able to organize the sounds with a better quality and an accurate focus.For sure also my really first recordings with 'Sit Tibi Terra Levis' and 'Introspective'  had their beauty,also if little more rough in sounds. The source of inspiration that coming out in my first compositions had influenced my music, at that time,just in the way to give me the possibility to find the occasion to goes more deeper in those visions.

Tell us about the meaning of "Alio Die" pseudonym. Does it reflects the principle of unreality of real events?

Alio die is a greeting to a better time in old latin language and It is like a propitiatory evocation.

Is it chosen due to the fantastic or mystic atmosphere which presents in almost every track, while the music follows the special style of narrative movement? Where is the connection between the ideological meaning of the name and the conception behind the albums?

Sometime to give an input with special quotations in an album can help to introduce the listener to connect to the music. I usually choose the titles when the album is already done or sometimes the name appear during the process… but I think the mystic quality is always under the names, not in a common narrative movement... it's more about symbols, that language of sounds have, when it is used properly.

How you use to work on the particular album? Is it mostly planned before the recording session or is it more like the improvisation, spontaneous flight of thoughts and emotions?

The work is not planned before,apart from some technical choose. Spontaneous improvisations ,are combine with intuitions and emotions in different ways, the process is never esactly the same. In the last cds and collaborations we have started from  an accurate improvisation ,choosing particular acoustic instruments, about their sonorous characteristics. We have used the khen (mouth organ from Laos) with a  zither and an accordion (play mostly one note at once), some tubes... looking for the armony and the amazement that come out while playing. Then after this first part of the work, it follow the listening and the selection and elaboration of the recorded material,  in the studio, using the sampler for create more layers, to combine with the direct recordings.  It's like to increase the photographed moment...

What the music you like to listen to? Are there some musicicans whose works you especially admire, and are they always similar to your own music or is there the similarity only on the spiritual level?

I really listen to a lot of music, and I like to listen music that is close to my sound as well as  different styles. I like traditional music throw different area of this planet, like indian music, mali,north europe,tuva, etc. I listen a lot of electronic music as well, experimental, minimal music... as I also take care of distribution, I've always easily the occasion to expand my researches.

Many Alio Die albums (as solo as also collaborations) are full of the environmental sounds (birds singing, cicadas, campfire, whistles, rustles, leaves rustle...) but also with a lot of acoustic instruments (rattles, self-constructed devices made of seeds, sea shells, leafs, various percussion). It seems that the natural component of the music is very important for you. How you can explain this distinctive feature - is it peculiar vision of the world in the light of mundane and everpresent things? What can you say about the general construction principle of your albums?

Sound sources are something like the ingredients that are used in a composition to find a particular taste sometime simple and direct and in some other more complicate and layered. I think is very important the choose of these ingredients as well as the treatments that are added later, during the process of organisation of sounds. I like, in the first step, recording with a portable DAT rec., environmental sounds, animals in nature or inspired improvisations played with acoustic instruments and objects. Every sound have his quality that reflect his vibration in poetry, evocative symbolism, colours and forms, and it is in the right quantity, that every sound with the proper cooking can be useful at the some point. A sound with scary quality can have an awake and excite function on some level in a just contrapposition with a soft one.

Please tell us something about Hic Sunt Leones and Sempiterna Mutatio labels. What is the meaning of its titles? What the conception is behind these labels, what are the conditions of evaluation and selection for other musicians  who want to release their music? Can you send us the full catalogue of the releases (including the sold-out items and all the information) of both labels?

Hic Sunt Leones is my private label, I 've found in 1991 for produce my music and distribute them around the world, the translation of the Hic Sunt Leones name is 'Here there are the Lions', a writing that was wrote on ancient maps for indicate the limit of unknown sea places, where it was supposed there was the monsters, as the boats didn't returned from there. HSL wanted to goes throw these limits, and in the world of sounds mark out paths of  knowledge with his musical proposals.  For this reason the HSL catalogue is little various in styles, but I think there is always a connection between the different productions . The Sempiterna Mutatio side label, was created in the way to produce music with an electronic quality more clear. In the last years due to the fact that my musical project took me more attention and interest, I've limited a lot the release of other artists, and this is also for a problem of time.

What do you think about various chemical substances, narcotic plants and other hallucinatory matter? I mean in general and, in particular, the album 'Password For The Entheogenic Experience':  What may happen while you are working on music or while you listening to it on drugs?  I am asking about this because I've read in the liner notes your recommendation to listen it with "Sacred Plants" (?) and mushrooms.

In the traditions of mostly cultures around the word, expecially when the humanity was more in connection with nature, elements and animistic energies,  the relation between sacred plants (like Soma, and different plants of the Atzec pantheon) and men had an important roll, it was like a key that in connection with some special rites opened mind to the spiritual world. Now that mostly cultures have lost they roots with earth, these keys are still there, but in a lot of occasions are used more for escape from reality, that for find the soul of reality. The approach to the experience is very important, and can make the difference. Entheogenic plants can give to the mind, in the right ritual settings, similar effects that meditation, yoga practice, or sounds experience. It's more difficult  for our culture, to integrate the experience in our day life. And also aspectations,fisical and psycological conditions, and settings are very important and are individually different. We all know the connection between drugs and music from the seventies, and we can look how this was an element that have changed the languages in sounds and in the compositions. I don't take care of chemical stuff and I think it can be very dangerous, as there is mostly no control about sanity consequences. On other side in a respect way with ourself, I think that, for someone, at some step, entheogenic plants can help to find a center or amplified sensibility and perceptions.

Your outstanding collaborations with Robert Rich, Vidna Obmana, Amelia Cuni and some others got the highest assessments of independent press, and it's also my favourites. How can you explain this success and what you think about all those appraisals and reviews, or it doesn't matter for you at all?

I and Robert Rich worked on 'Fissures'  in California, I had good ispiration working with him as well as for his sensibility, as for his qualities of musician and technician, too. 'Fissures'  is the album that have sold more copies arriving to more than six thousand ,also for the fact  the label at that time had a good distribution around the world. We had a very good time together, I had occasion to see two Sleep concert (from about midnight to 8.00 am!) and one real concert he did in Los Angeles and San Francisco at that time. With Vidna Obmana I was also in contact from many years, I like his music from the beginning of his research, and we had occasion to meet different times.The album was out on the italian label Musica Maxima Magnetica, like the collaboration with Nick Parkin. Amelia Cuni have gived me the possibility to understand a little more about Indian music, also as I had  occasion to see different concerts and seminars she did. Technically we worked on Apsaras recording Amelia's voice improvisations (by some raags) on some of my basic tracks,and in other case there, the music was added later. As I find his voice amazing and in respect of the old tradition of Dhrupad from north-India, it was a special step for me to work with. The idea was to support the quality of her voice give to that a different context from the classical traditional music, but in accord with the taste of the compositions.The CD had a great feedback also from different artists and musicians.

Do you like to listen your own music from time to time? Did you ever want to improve the album after it was already published?

Yes it's nice, expecially when I listen to some cd I did several years before, it's like an intimate part of my life, a special atmosphere of mind in that period, returning back in time, discovering just the same ispiration on one side, and a different men and moment on the other.

Your first albums (Sit Tibi Terra Levis/Introspective, Under an Holy Ritual) consists of pretty short tracks, in contrast to the later ones, but they are organically secluded and have no sense of missing continuation. How can you feel that the album is finished and there is no need to correct anything.

I use to listen a lot to the music before I decide it is finish. Throw repeat listenings I can correct the mixing and choose to add elements,or do different editing and so on, and also changing the lenght. The lenght of the tracks , in my first recordings was related and limited also from technical mode I've used to recording at that time.

What is your opinion on the popular, commercial music? There is no doubting that limited editions cannot redeem the poor quality and the fool content of music. However, some labels like to release lots of limited edition albums, justifying themselves with small amount of people interested in those releases. But this is the policy of labels. And what is the audience of Alio Die music, how many people like to listen your music?

I don't like commercial music and I don't take care of politicy of the labels, I did not advertising to my cds, and I think the better success it is relate first to the passion of people for the music, like with this interview. It's very good to arrive to the persons that are really interested, and also maintain a own indipendency about artistical process. I think that Alio Die's listeners should be different thousands, It's difficult to say with precision!

Do you like the idea of live performance? I think there are certain difficulties in playing your music live on the stage because it requires high listening attention.

Yes sure, not every club or space should work at best. I had very good experience plaing live in different places in Italy, like castles or old villages, like in Topolo', near Slovenia ,where I've played in 2002 present  'Il tempo magico di Saturnia Pavonia', and 2003  with two concerts one with Opium,the other with Amelia Cuni and Werner Durand. like you say, find an hight listening attention help a lot, apart of the beauty of the place that is always appreciate. I plan to do some more concerts in the future, some again with Opium(partner in Sola Traslatio project..), to play live it's a different space for this music but the live give some good input, too.

Is there in your music the core, the main idea over all albums?

Every cd or track of music, is an ensamble of vibrations,that can be related to some special evocative quality, that have something to do with inspiration, that play with the energies around at the time of the realisation. The process of creation is a complex feedback of consciousness between the body and mind in an amplified attention condition,while the sounds are developping. I think that my way to find the core is close to become like transparent, a sort of a 'medium' , in the way to describe with music some invisible side of reality, in the case this is tuned, the core become more than obvious in the sounds.

Where is the source of inspiration for your work? What gives you the food for thought?

Sounds, reality and ideals, love and pain, life experience, nature, consciousness and sensibility, intuition.

Many people points to the special meditation feature in your music. Listening to it just once, it's not possible to notice all the touches which become visible later, while listening more and more. It's like the playing with sounds, then with the sounds which appear to be echoes of the same sounds and so on. I think your music is like a multi-dimensional enigma, and the listener should solve these riddles. Did you composed the music destined for meditation intentionally or it has another implications?

You have done a very good paint about this quality of my sound compositions. Certainly it is my desire find a special meditative feeling while I work with sounds, and playing with multidimensional layers is kind of language that help to forget time,relax and enter in a dimension with more possibilities.

Please tell us about the history of your another projects: Five Thousand Spirits and Sola Translatio. If I'm not wrong, they are all collaborations with only italian artists like Matteo Zini and Raffaele Serra. Can we say that these projects are born to withdraw you from the traditional Alio Die sound? What is your aim with each of your side project?

They were both depart from old friendships, of Raffaele Serra I knew his firsts LPs and his electronic -collages & meditations; when later in Milan we knew each other,  listening to some of his big archive recording ,we have decided to combine the efforts ..yes we had occasion to expand both our possibilities in 5000 spirits project! Matteo Zini was also friend of mine from when he was child, by the way he also played music before me at that time...but when he started with electronic experimental music I was very enthusiastic about his first experiments as its were tuned with my ispiration in a very clear way, so we started with Sola Traslatio project.. it have gived us great satisfactions, finding a  very good answer.

What is the studiowork for you? Do you record all material in studio or like the idea to go outside and collect sounds and audioimpressions somewhere?

Both. Recordings outside can be the first inspiration,or just they are used later to complete the track. Recording done in some special places, in the wild or cities, can be very interesting, both if it is just a recording of natural enviroment as well as if are improvisations with instruments.

Do you like to listen another music, far from Alio Die, in your everyda y life?

All the time, when I don't play music.

Speaking again about your collaboration, there are very different people - well known or not. Is there a special meaning behind the idea of collaboration for you?

Sometime the idea happen from mutual appreciation, from reciprocal interest in the music, other times it come naturally working with friends that perhaps have never release so much music before, but there is a strong connection in ispiration for decide to start.

What is your opinion about pure synthesized sound (lifeless as they say)?

I like electronic music, but it become really interesting when a musician can give to the sound materia a soul, really a personality, and apart from the fact that we are speaking about instruments that are machines, this is a common problem, in every art not a problem for synthesized sounds only.

Can you define your work as pioneering work? Or it portrays the succession of ideas taken from the other musicians (artists)? My opinion is that your albums always had the innovative ideas and uncommon sound.

Thanks you, my idea of new is relate to be more close to the center, or most tuned as possible with the feeling of every project. Works of other artists can give for sure some inspiration (and I like more to find inspiration from different kinds of music,now) , but only when are digested and integrate with other ingredients. I like an old feeling in the music, combined with a new language in the expression.

Please tell us about your plans for the near and far future. Are there other collaborative works planned?

Different works are on the way to be released, like 'Sol Niger', contain also some radio-noise, 'Aquaplanning' with Werner Durand, and another CD with piano and zither processed sounds. There is also a cd with Francesco Paladino with the collaboration with In Gowan Ring and Chako (Jack or Jive from Japan), that is mostly finished, the cds will be out in combination with a DVD of the sessions we had in 2003, realized by Francesco Paladino 'Cutting wings of a sleepy angel'. The Cd with Jack or Jive, that last year have visited my studio, is at a good point, and I think will be ready for the end of the year. By the way you'll find more info on my site just on net!

Are there some new musicians you want to join to your personal project or simply work on music together??

The collaborations come naturally to find the right moment of space and interest, but I also would like now to concentrate on some solo recordings, after so many collaborations, and other started..

What is more important to you: the quality of sound or the special frame of mind being tracked through all the albums subsequentially?

Now with new recording technologies the quality is not so difficult to obtain anymore. I  like to build a kind of armony between the little noises and sounds, for open the perception , to disclose unespected dimensions that are coming, it is from tuning sensibility that I put in relation risonances between notes, in different layers…When it works this mean for me quality of sounds,and all special frames can flow like in a very special film.