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Various Artists: Postcards From Italy

Mark Corroto By

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Sound artists, like their brethren mail artists, adhere to the motto "sound art is not fine art, it is the artist who is fine." Born out of phonography, or the audio equivalent of photography, field recordings capture the native sounds of a place. For the Postcards From Italy project, the collective AIPS (the Archivio Italiano dei Paesaggi Sonori, or Italian Archive of Soundscapes) gathered the ambient sounds of a particular place, as designated by specific latitude and longitude coordinates, and swapped them with another member for processing and manipulation.

Part ambient, part minimalist improvisation the sounds suggest a place, then expands that location into imagined and perhaps unimagined situations.

Fabio Perletta's "40º 51' 9.284" N, 14º 14' 4 4.695" E" begins with a rumble, is it an earthquake in Naples (or just the wind)? The sound defies recognition then abruptly switches to the hiss and pop of sine waves that could be imagined as rescue beacons. The nine sound artists heard here deliver a sense of place then ultimately disguise the sound by manipulation. Enrico Coniglio's Rome "41º 53' 19.522" N, 12ーº 29' 11.432" E" begins with the static of an LP's grooves before jump-cutting to a street scene full of voices, children playing, and birds. He jumps again into waves of noise and industrial clatter.

Each piece draws from a specific place, like Pietro Riparbelli's (Catanzaro) "46º 7' 14.186" N, 9º 27' 36.004" E," which is actually from a mountain north of Catanzaro. Birds sing as the sound artist slowly introduces the whoosh-whoosh of, is that helicopter blades? The sounds vary from industrial noise to rushing water to cathedral-like passages. Each piece is both real and imagined, the distinctions ultimately don't matter.

Track Listing: (Naples) 40º 51′ 9.284″ N, 14º 14′ 4 4.695″ E; (Ravenna) 44º 45′ 66.9″ N, 12º 24′ 45.2″ E; (Rome) 41º 53′ 19.522″ N, 12ーº 29′ 11.432″ E; (Venice) 45º 26′ 25.859″ N, 12ー 19º 15.583″ E; (Siena) 43º 18′ 52.12º N, 11ー 20′ 12.70″ E; (Roseto Degli Abruzzi) 42º 42′ 22.287″ N, 13º 59′ 8.115″ E; (Livorno) 43º 09’ 21.5” N, 10º 33’ 28.14 E; (Milan) 46º 7′ 14.186″ N, 9º 27′ 36.004″ E; (Catanzaro) 39º 4′ 13.428″ N, 16º 34′ 6.124″ E.

Personnel: Fabio Perletta: electronics; Giulio Aldinucci: electronics; Enrico Coniglio: electronics; Attilio Novellino: electronics; Alessio Ballerini: electronics; Giovanni Lami: electronics; Alberto Boccardi: electronics; Barbara De Dominicis: electronics; Pietro Riparbelli: electronics.

Title: Postcards From Italy | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Oak Editions

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