MARGEN winter/spring 2002 Interview by Rogelio Pereira  <

Most listeners define Alio Die´s music as ambient-trance. To what extent is Alio Die´s music based on altered states of consciousness?

Alio Die's music is connected with states of consciousness, this it mean that my effort is create a sound that find a relation with consciousness : about the perception of reality ,on the different spheres.The composition process become one with the experience with sounds ,looking to the perfect combination at the present moment, between sounds and the focus :the inner vision,the inspiration.altered ones, when are relation between men and different plants, are interesting to me in the way to give possibility to open minds to more consciousness about life, reality and spiritual world.

The psicological basis of these states, their mutual relationship and their adaptive meaning are still imperfectly known. All cultures tend to define some of these states as valuable and desirable. However, in our western culture it is still generally accepted that those who seek such experiences deliberately do it because of frivolous or hedonistic reasons, and they are considered as social deviants with certain psychological maladjustments. I would like to know your opinion about all this.

Entheogenic plants can give to the mind ,in the right ritual settings ,similar effects that meditation, yoga, sounds experience. But the intensity could be hight, and the perception could be the full universe, 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. In our times every thing must to have his market! Also art, and religion are mostly connected with money than with other worlds or poetry... Altered states of consciousness often are not suitable with consumistic productive society, as they induce no motion or consumo, and could create a different, permanently, less material, connection with reality.

The use of sampler gives a magic, spiritual dimension to your music. Most of the material you produce comes from acoustic sources treated through studio techniques. The sampler is an indispensable tool by means of which you carry out loop techniques, amongst others. Furthermore there is the artificial creation of acoustic spaces by means of digital effects devices for signal delay, such as reverb delay of chorus, with which you creates at sense of the existence of several performers playing the same line... How do you conceive and carry out the structuring process of the pieces? Do you let yourselves be carried away by your own instinct?

The process is always changing becoming more accurate but simple at the same time. My first compositions were more instinctive , as for the limits of the technologies I was able to use at that time, aside from my less experience with recording / sampling. I observe myself being provoked by music while making it. The best mood for starting to compose music is one which can be both an empty and active state at the same time, producing the right contraposition between creativity and receptivity.
But the choice of the sounds that I'm going to work is very important, usually I prefer acoustic sounds than electronics, in my last experiments with khen (mouth-organ from Thailand) the sound is very interesting to me and for the first time I play all the sounds before samples them... After improvise with khen and recording on DAT tape the basic sound, I select some parts and sample them creating special loops and controls changing in the time. Than supposing a sample sound is 20 sec. that change between few pitchs , plaing it on different keys we could obtain good armonics between them. Moreover a control on the sound change the frequence filter (a loop-control during about 3 minutes), hearing the sound is like changing in space, moving from the front (the real sound) to the infinite back (distant bass). This effect is quite different to a similar control just on Volume! It's about listening music from a central point where hearing sounds moving and meeting each other turning at different velocity, tunings, like planets and it is the effects of the right combination that invoke spheres, and sometimes create an effect of opening in time.

That conception of harmonies and ambiences shape music and noise which merge in a whole, forming a turbid balance between daydream and nightmare. Do you think that, through this transformation, the human being reaches sensations which are, somehow, premonitory and which help to channel our body´s inner energy?

Music give inspiration,great inspiration under the course of time create sure some transformation, Material world is strictly connected to the spiritual one and all the thoughts we put around become ingredients we build our own reality throw the time of our life. Sometimes music give us the occasion for a deep relaxing and meditation,and this is a first necessity in these chaotic times!

How do you conceive your relation with electronic instruments through the computer?

Electronic and computers could be very interesting today in the way to create music, or for multi-tracks recording. It give you a lot of possibility to experiments ideas and creativity, the problem is use all this stuff without lost yourself or your ispiration,in a manual ,but when you are really able to work with, it give you a great instrument.

Since your formation in 1989, you have followed a philosophy and a coherence regarding the conception of your works. All of them keep a radical stance. You are a group of artists who do the visual works, the instruments, tittles, music... A working team who know what they want and who have influenced or have been a reference for other artists. How do you feel when somebody mentions you as an influence?

Thanks you, I feel happy and honoured .

How important are mythology, anthropology and philosophy for you?

Yes interestins things. About music I'm listening a lot of traditional music, from over the world , expecially India, Indonesia, Mali... there is an ocean of inspiration inside trad. music!

What is your experience like when you give a concert live in which everything has to be carefully planned? (I am referring to the prerecorded basis). Is, perhaps, in the live concerts when you turn more intensely to improvisation?

I plan to make more concert in the future with more improvised components , more live manipulation of acoustic sounds.But it is a totally different work than recording session in the studio. I've already done some concerts some years ago. Some took place in unique locations such as castles. Two of these were with TUU. The live shows were supported by video. Three of the tracks were taken from "The Door Of Possibilities", very nicely placed into the "soft" flow of the video. We shot, often in macro, natural objects as stones, reflections, water, sunbeams, etc., which we used to build a single flowing play of trasparencies and colours. Even the more recognizable pictures have become abstract, trying to get closer to a dream language.

What is your opinion of sound spacialization? What would it be the ideal way of listening to your music?

I think what is important for this music it's not just listening like enviromental surround ,but giving it space with a relaxing attention on it. But I hope this mood naturally welcome as the music flow.

One could say that it is in live performance, facing an audience when you got to develop all this second arsenal you use in a way... Making use of objects, electronic and acoustic instruments achieving a wide gamut of timbres and intensities structured in a complex way. Do you interests lie here?

Yes. Oh, pehaps this is your vision of the concerts I'll able to perform in the next decade!

Your has collaborated with Vidna Obmana, Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Nick Parking, Antonio Testa, Amelia Cuni, Raffaele Serra and Werner Durand... How is the relationship where you collaborate with divergent artists which explore different areas of sound?

Yes sure, sometime the idea to collaborate grow from a mutual esteem as our music is close in focus but different in the language, than in a collaboration project we feel always interesting to create a special meeting playng in different areas of sounds. Working with these musicians in the last 5 years gived me a good esperience in the recording session,and familiarity with different composition possibilities.There's also a project called Solo Traslatio a collaboration with Matteo Zini (Opium) our last CD 'Mother Sunrise' is out the US label Hypnos. You can find very good review at: . Our first CD out on Eibon Rec./HSL is called 'Ad Infinitum' and incorporates ambients elements and a darker atmosphere than that of my latest works.The Second CD with Antonio Testa 'Prayer for the forest' will be out later this here on the american label Greenhouse Music. 'Apsaras' the CD collaboration with Amelia Cuni will be out in September on Projekt (Usa). Amelia Cuni has established herself as exponent of dhrupad singing. This is the most ancient and inspirational of musics from North India. Born in the temples during the 15th century, dhrupad became the court music of the Mughals. It is considered to be the foundation of Hindustani music. Meditative and lyrical sections alternate with more extroverted rhythmic improvisations, creating an introspective music that is at the same time earthy and vital. Amelia has realized several CDs and successful live collaborations (with the likes of Terry Riley, David Toop, Paul Schuetze etc). Some of the recordings for Apsaras were made nearby the clear streams and rivers of Lunigiana, a rather wild area in the Toscana, Italy. Here, Amelia is singing to the accompaniment of rushing water and cicada-drones. In the studio, I've manipulated the voice and built rich, layered textures using acoustic and environmental sounds.

As regards the distribution of your CD´s, do you feel that being linked to a independent label like Hic Sunt Leones. Gives you security as to the sales of your releases, not having to worry about the job of private production, which, on the other hand, very few artists can afford. What do you think about all this? What does self production through CD Rom? What are conditions for becoming member of the Hic Sunt Leones artists catalogue?

Hic Sunt Leones is my private release label, I 've produced my albums and distribute them around the world, but for the collaborations projects I've preferred to give the production of our works on different labels: Hypnos, Greenhouse, Projekt, Musica Maxima Magnetica, Release. This for obtain a better promotion than I can do, with Hic Sunt Leones. I still will release CDs on HSL but mostly about Alio Die, perhaps special editions like 'Incantamento' and 'The Door of Possibilities'  with seeds and leaves inside...