Alio Die
News
18/09/2014

Robert Davies - Woodland Alcoves

Robert Davies has created over the years and twelve albums, a particular and unique immersive ambient music with a ...
18/09/2014

Aglaia Hymns

"nymphs, memories and reflections of ancient shipwrecks in the first light of the morning or at dusk, the space ...
07/06/2011

Cdr Ltd art-edition 99 copies - Program of upcoming releases..

La serie in edizione limitata di cdr in confezioni speciali fatte a mano incominciata con Memory Geist, ha questi nuovi ...
29/04/2011

Nuova uscita ! AGLAIA Nights in Nubiland Cd

Nuovo album annunciato per Aglaia: "Nights in Nubiland" è in via di realizzazione, i lavori per la grafica del ...
29/04/2011

Nuove uscite! ENTEN HITTI La Solitudine del Sole

Nuovo e secondo lavoro di Enten Hitti a 15 anni di distanza da Giant Clowns of the Solar World uscito nel 1996 per ...

Joseph Uccello Artworks

Sit tibi Terra levis / Introspective & Hidden Spring cds


Sit tibi Terra levis / Introspective (reprinted 2008)
& Hidden Spring






HIC SUNT LEONES presents "Winter Solstice’s Spores"







Two classic albums: "Sit Tibi Terra Levis/ Introspective" and "Hidden Spring" ;CD in 6 panel digipak limited to 333 copies.

Two milestones of Alio Die's discography are available again after a long hiatus.

This new edition offers two superb collectible digipaks printed in black on silver,in collaboration with the American graphic artist Joseph Uccello.

Mp3 player

Every Object Makes a Sound
All Sounds at Root are Symbols

by Joseph Uccello

Music and art form an ouroboros – ink as its eyes, music as its scales.

In the light of this symbolic image, I am tempted to look at the condition of synesthesia as native to the human mind; it is simply accelerated in some, latent in others. It is what our minds and bodies strive for: a unity of the senses. Down the ages, this incalculable urge has been extruded through the medium of culture. Our visual and sonic arts are constantly revolting, turning themselves inside out, in order to inhabit one another’s apparently separate sphere.

The first time I imagined that I heard a work of art, I was looking at a picture in a book of a woodblock print by the Japanese artist Utamaro. The infallible black lines of the figure, the coiled floral pattern of the kimono, appeared to not only be kinetically scaling the page itself, but to be producing a vast booming sound in the process! This felt perfectly natural; the tectonic collision of the crossing diagonals and the suggested force emanating beyond the page imprinted the air in an invisible song. From that time, I felt I could experience works of art through the idea, or mediation, of hearing them – through the sonic tracks they left as the eye encountered the air around them.

Though music had been a crucial element in my own creation of art up to that point, I had yet to think of it in such concrete terms. Previously, in response to certain music, I had “seen” tendrils and shapes tracking through my inner eye, a display neither purely visual nor purely abstract, but occupying an inner mental world. I remember specifically that J.S. Bach’s music tended to have a very strong “shape” to it, unfolding in impossibly elegant scrollwork and nautili, and Mozart presented breathing polyhedrons and giant figures composed of geometric shapes bounding across the insides of my eyelids.

But it wasn’t until the event with the Utamaro print that I realized this phenomenon could work the other way, with visual signals giving the cue to sonic experiences.

It was through the music of Alio Die that I first discovered perhaps the greatest sonic tool for concentration and creation: the drone. I never knew music could be like this. It is difficult to remember how really strange and exciting it was to hear music completely based on the drone – an element very much present subconsciously in most music – but brought to the fore, as the centerpiece of an entire musical domain. It was like decoding the cryptic “texts” set in stone by the creators of the Gothic cathedrals of Europe , those builders who hid their heresies in plain site, to transmit the river of knowledge which had been forced underground by the established order.. That intangible essence which had been woven into the fabric of the texts of the alchemists, bringing about centuries of obscurantism, had been quietly given birth to in modern Italy .

The sonic domain that Stefano Musso is constantly exploring and expanding under the name Alio Die, is one of the most complex I have experienced, and wonderfully fruitful in the creation of visual art. The way that he incorporates environmental sounds into his works is completely unique. I am often baffled by the utter strangeness and otherworldliness of the sounds he finds out in the wilds, of the creatures and the elements, even of the essence of ancient ruins – and how he is able to weave these sounds into a sonic tapestry, where it appears he is both creating them from his own mind and reacting to them as external stimuli, through the responses he formulates through various instruments. It is as if he were “playing” the landscape, or like hearing a the song of a bird, and being unable to tell whether the bird is singing along to the chaos of the environment, or singing order into it, establishing terrain through its own patterns. He is not just recording; he is showing us how he hears the world, and then taking that experience to turn it into logically discernable and expansive music for the listener.

I can’t count the nights I have sat there, at the table, under a lone bulb, the rapidograph pen etching its thin metal point into a sheet of Bristol paper, surface like polished bone, and watched the ink take shape in accreting patterns, music filling the room, both as a guide and companion, on the sojourn down into the paper. The experience becomes so vast, as the sonic and the visual unite, that I am unable to tell where one stops and the other begins. Sometimes I feel I only draw in order to be able to experience music in this way.

But that is half the reason. This would not be possible without the amniotic fluid of the music, flowing within the spaces between artist and materials. I have become increasingly aware of just how many artists and writers use music in their creative process. I don’t know of any artist who doesn’t use music as a medium of creation, and if I did meet someone who painted or wrote in silence, I would find it hard to believe how it could be done.

As I listen deeper into the music of Alio Die, I feel that he expresses a deep undercurrent of European heritage. I can hear parallels to the early medieval music of which I am so fond – but he calls forth an esoteric essence from this tradition not normally found in modern reconstructions (however beautiful) of ancient musical texts. His is an atavistic link to the past, via an instinctual meditation on ancestral soil, married with an exquisite native talent for shaping diverse sounds.

Stefano’s domain of sound is one of the surest ways to enter into this world where the barriers break down. It can be both epically emotional, that is to say completely connected to the human heart, and gloriously hermetic – guiding us through time to the alchemical workshops of the ancients. The music is crucial in helping me pinpoint, literally, where I am on the page, and in opening the way forward into the freedom to imagine the making of the next mark.

I imagine that I translate this sound, transmit its message, back into a solid form through the medium of black ink on paper. It is like a ceremony at first: grinding the ink stick into the stone well, letting the music wash over it and fill the room, and as the studio’s walls breath, and it begins to seem the door and windows could be looking out just as easily from a turret deep in the forest as from an apartment onto a modern city. It is in this destruction of linear time that I find true inspiration. Memories from throughout my life come to me vividly, and I relive them, all the while the brush, loaded with ink, moves across the paper. The visual focus becomes extreme: my eyes make micro adjustments as the hours progress, and soon I am looking so deep into the paper, into the minute section on which I am working, that the rest of the visual field condenses, and I am down in it, living there, moving through as a trace of the brush; but not just that – I am simultaneously in the paper watching the ink drops from below, and above, watching the ink fall. The paper has become a labyrinth though which I travel. And in many of my works, the labyrinth not only implied, but apparent in its traditional symbolic form.

   When I saw the image of the labyrinth appear on the cover of an Alio Die album, I was intrigued by the apparent acknowledgement being made of the connection between visual symbolism and music. In this case, Stefano’s music can be seen as a sonic manifestation of the idea, and even the actual shape of the labyrinth. The labyrinth is one of the oldest symbols, found throughout human cultures, far back into prehistory. It has been associated with the idea of initiation into deeper reality, and as a symbol of human life itself. It could represent dire confusion and spiritual trial, and was carved into thresholds as a sign of protection. In essence it can symbolize the absolute complexity of the world around us, as seen from a remote vantage point, and as the utter involvement in the fray of life, as one takes on the shape of a human being. This duality was known and exploited by medieval artists and writers; and the labyrinth was ubiquitous in manuscripts, relief carvings, and tiled into church floors (the most famous being Chartres Cathedral). In other words, this symbol is an elegant tool in expressing what the human mind seeks when it creates art and music. When we begin to plan, we can see the whole work as it were from above, and as we plunge into the fray to begin the actual creation, we are caught up in the narrow passages of the labyrinth itself, where one can only wind forward, trusting to the initial plan and not fearing to be led to the center. There is an implicit awareness of the labyrinth in Stefano’s music. It is abstract enough that one feels a “shape”, a sense of geometric reason or overall structure, but it is involved enough emotionally, tangible way, that there is a strong sense of moving through something that can be seen, of following an epic narrative.

   

 

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