OPEN TO THE SEA
Enrico Coniglio & Matteo Uggeri – Dronarivm 2017

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“Open To The Sea” is the result of fruitful email conversation between two italian artists Enrico Coniglio and Matteo Uggeri. Sweet and minimal melodies on piano, organ and guitar of Enrico meet the efforts on trumpet and drums by Matteo, whose electronics treatment and delicate beats provide the solid ground to a music that seems a perfect match, unusual and at times brilliant, of the two artists’ sensibility. “Open To The Sea” explores a variety of merging organic sounds where the calm and intimate feel of the album is disrupt by incursions of gentle noises and sometimes curious juxtapositions. The contribution of several guests, including vocals by Comaneci, Lau Nau, Violeta Päivänkakkara and British actor John Guilor, enrich the acoustic palettes of the record. Drops of additional brass by Fabio Ricci (Vonneumann), electronics by Giulio Aldinucci and Stella Riva (Satan Is My Brother), along with James Plotkin accurate mastering are the final details to the frame of “Open To The Sea”.

REVIEWS

Indie Rockmag

N’y allons pas par quatre chemins. Open To The Sea est l’un des disques essentiels de ce cru 2017 en matière d’ambient hédoniste. Le mérite en revient évidemment à ses deux auteurs, Enrico Coniglio et Matteo Uggeri, mais également à l’incontournable label Dronarivm pour avoir rendu cette collaboration accessible aux initiés.

Clairement, Open To The Sea n’est pas assez consensuel pour s’attirer les faveurs du grand public. Certes, de manière quasi-permanente apparaît un piano dont les accords espacés et évanescents contribuent à ce rythme lent qui ne rend l’ensemble que plus mystique. Mais il n’y a pas de chaloupe dans les enchaînements, pas plus que d’apparition d’arrangements de cordes qui n’auraient d’autre objectif que de décrocher des larmes fantaisistes chez l’auditeur.

De la même manière, les apparitions vocales féminines, à l’instar de celle qui voit Violeta Paivankakkara émerger contre vents et marées – ou plutôt contre trompette et batterie – sur I Am The Sea, ne jouent pas la carte de la sensualité. Le charme opère pourtant, mais il touche l’auditeur comme le font ces esprits discrets qui ne sont pas tout à fait conscients de leur inestimable valeur et qui ont alors tendance à se dévaloriser.

Open To The Sea est-il le disque de deux génies qui s’ignorent ? De deux artistes qui manquent de confiance en eux ? Ou tout simplement de personnes humbles ? La vérité contient probablement un soupçon de chacune de ces hypothèses. Toujours est-il que les Italiens ont accouché de ce disque suite à un long échange de mails qui leur a permis de définir la couleur de cet enregistrement.

Celle-ci est assurément claire. Parfois même transparente à défaut d’être anecdotique. Légères, les nappes analogiques et synthétiques se superposent et flottent dans l’air, défiant le temps qu’elles suspendent sans rougir. Membre de la formation de post-rock électronique Sparkle In Grey ou en duo avec Icci au sein du projet Der Einzige, le batteur-trompettiste Matteo Uggeri épouse le savoir-faire électronique d’Enrico Coniglio pour ce qui constitue leur première collaboration.

Open To The Sea s’ouvre surtout sur le cœur de l’auditeur. Elle ne le frappe pas, mais le caresse. Elle se dirige en tout cas directement vers lui en multipliant les approches, allant du jazz-ambient industriel sur un Floating Metal Sheets dominé par trompettes et trombone au minimalisme tourmenté par les violons de Dutch Street Theatre en passant par les drones néoclassiques hantés par des field recordings vocaux du brillant Jessaias De Reduire Mes Medicaments dont l’orthographe du titre constitue finalement la seule approximation de cet enregistrement essentiel.

http://www.indierockmag.com/article29362.html

Drifting, Almost falling.

Dronarivm return to the musically fertile country of Italy for their latest release. Although the release is credited to Enrico Coniglio and Matteo Uggeri there are a decent amount of collaborators on this release such as vocals/lyrics coming from Francesca Amato’s (aka Comaneci), Lau Nau, Violeta Päivänkakkara and British actor John Guilor.  Extra brass from Fabio Ricci (Vonneumann), electronics from Guilio Aldinucci and Stella Riva (Satan Is My Brother) and mastering by James Plotkin rounds out the collaborators.

The label describes the collaboration as s result of fruitful email conversations and describes the collaboration as “Sweet and minimal melodies on piano, organ and guitar of Enrico meet the efforts of trumpet and drums of Matteo whose electronics treatment and delicate beats provide the solid ground to a music that seems a perfect match of the two artists sensibility.  “Open to the Sea” explores a variety of merging organic sounds where the calm and intimately of the album is disrupted by incursions of gentle noises and sometimes curious juxtapositions.”  

Coniglio describes himself as a Guitarist, environmental sound recordist and sound artist with an interest in the landscape aesthetics. He has previously appeared on labels such as Fluid Audio, Crónica Electronica, Taalem, Glacial Movements as well as co-running the digital label Galaverna.

Matteo Uggeri is a frequent collaborator with releases with artists such as Andrea Ferraris, Maurizio Abate and Christiano Deison on labels such as Hibernate, Time Released Sound and Scissor Tail to name a few.

“Open to the Sea” starts off with Francesca Amato’s sweet sounding double track voice reciting the title. Ambient tones and granular glitches start the track which is no hurry floating at a gentle pace. Lau Nau’s haunting vocals float over the soundscape which is building in intensity ever so slightly before violin cuts through and field recordings of possibly a market place enter that are crisp enough to make you think they are there in the room with you. I would file this under electroacoustic sound art than as ambient per se.

“Jessaias de reduire mes medicaments” begins with Scanner-like recording of a phone conversation/ interview which is joined by melodic ambient tones and musical saw like drones which are peppered by glitchy electronics that are pulsing and phasing. This short track combines the experimental elements alongside the more the melodic electronica and fuses them together well.

“Up Over The Harbours Lights” Coniglio’s guitar opens the track in a blues like style alongside ambient drones that coincide with the final strum of the guitar before piano, industrial sounds, field recordings and samples enter the sound mix. The track shows the musicians soundtrack-esque construction to create a sound palate of dissimilar origins to work together.

“I Am The Sea” features Violeta Päivänkakkara on vocals and lyrics and starts with her ethereal vocals before melancholy minimal piano, guitars, synths, distant percussion, bells, electronics and trumpet fuses together to form a track that is so many genres mixed into one. The haunting trumpet that cuts through mixed with Päivänkakkara’s vocals, alongside piano and electronic and traditional percussion works so well as it covers post rock, electronica, Electroacoustic and soundtrack works so easily.

“Floating Metal Sheets” this experimental sounding track sees assistance from fellow Italian and Dronarivm artist Guilio Aldinucci. This track starts with acoustic guitars and some sort of background percussive noise source that I can’t get my head around. Some crackling electronics start and flutter with drones lightly covering them as a rolling noise pans left and right. Trombone joins the track with an effect similar to a car slamming on its breaks, before changing to slow mournful blowing over the acoustic guitars while electronics scatter about.

“Dutch Street Theatre” features UK voice over artist and actor John Guilor who has worked on Dr Who. Guilor’s narration is laid over piano, drones and violin and field recordings of people talking. I am not sure where the narration comes from and whether it is related to the theme of this album, but it doesn’t personally work for me.

“Now I’m Silent” starts with an electronic heart beat sound paired with darting drones, piano and percussive noise with electronic whistling, before venturing into jazz territory with wailing trumpet and electric guitar, disjointed gunshot drums. It’s a track of two quite separate halves that work well separately, but take time to get used to the differences.

“Allarme” begins with a broken piano like opening, before alarm sounds pan in and out and glitch electronics, cymbals and piano are gently caressed. Field recordings, possibly of radio or loud-speaker transmissions traverse the piece that is being slightly held together by piano while non traditional percussion rattles and rolls with brass instruments and intermittent sounds. Again Coniglio and Uggerri manage to fit a lot of source material in a piece that while at times seems like a juxtaposition, but also compliments one another.

“I Say I May Be Back” sees radio samples and static overload piano with a hint of paning banjo, guitars and percussion that has a nautical feel with Francesca Amato’s vocals that bring the album full circle with the recurring title line. The instruments one by one break down leaving Amato’s voice to finish out the album much like she started it.

“Open to the Sea” is not a straight forward album to get a handle on. There are so many constituent parts that make it up and it covers Ambient/Drone/Post Rock/Experimental/ Electroacoustic genres, sometimes in the same track. The thing it has going for it is it’s unpredictability and it’s depth is that it’s not a release that can be easily glossed over. Most of the tracks work extremely well and the depth that James Plotkin has gotten in the master allows for that richness and shows why he is one of the most popular masterers around.  There is a special version of the release limited to 50 copies which comes with a jigsaw and bonus digital ep.

https://driftingalmostfalling.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/enrico-coniglio-matteo-uggeri-open-to-the-sea

Beach Sloth

Enrico Coniglio & Matteo Uggeri celebrate the majesty of unwieldly worlds with the spacious “Open To The Sea”. Utilizing avant-garde techniques alongside elements of folk, classical, and drone the way the songs pass makes them feel alive. Highly detailed the songs are fully immersive, with each song representing yet another chapter in a life. A poetic quality dominates the album, the way the sound ebbs and flows akin to waves. Such a loose design, the songs teem with incredible energy. Instrumentally rich, the duo lets a wide variety of emotional moods inform the sound.

Eerie breathy vocals introduce the title track “Open To The Sea”. With a dusty, ancient approach to the sound the way the song unfurls reveals vibrant layers. Post-rock elements float into the airy summery spirit of “Up Over The Harbours Lights”. Various pings come into play on the giddy textures of “I Am The Sea”. Hushed whispers sweep over the surreal scope of “Floating Metal Sheets”. Hard to pin down is the disoriented wave of “Dutch Street Theatre”. Quite serene is the no wave inflected jazz rock of “Now I’m Silent” whose noir-like style has considerable flair. Small rumbles emerge out of the experimental lullaby of “Allarme”. Ending the album off on a high note is the meditative “I Say I May Be Back”.

“Open To The Sea” goes for something truly beautiful, a vibrant colorful album that draws the listener in and displays the uncanny knack for pacing of Enrico Coniglio & Matteo Uggeri.

http://www.beachsloth.com/enrico-coniglio-matteo-uggeri-open-to-the-sea.html

 

Philippe Blache, Igloo Mag

Matteo Uggeri is one busy man and extremely prolific sound artist, no matter if it is under his own name, in collaboration, under the moniker of Barnacles or with his chamber experimental rock ensemble Sparkle in Grey. This new collaborative work features the presence of Enrico Coniglio for a beautifully creative, dreamily evocative and inspiring album welcomed by the Moscow based label Dronarivm (responsible of many soundtracky droning modern classical music artifacts from Anne Chris Bakker, Dag Rosenqvist, Celer et al). Enrico Coniglio is one guitarist and sound sculptor who has published a handful of colorful minimal ambient releases for Silentes and Psychonavigation. The alliance between the two creative minds is really harmonious and all soundscapes are beautifully designed, spontaneous and immediately catchy. The enigmatic, retro-ish and dada-esque drawing (from Flavio Parrino) used for the visual artwork perfectly illustrates the electronic onirism / poetical weirdness of the music.

The musical ambience introduces the listener in an enchanting world of acoustic sounds punctuated by discreet electronic scintillations and free-form improvs. Detached piano chords interact with minimal jazzy atmospheric touches, ethereal vocals, narratives, punchy electro grooves, sonic aleatoric experimentation and bizarre guitar tricks. The music navigates with pleasure between effective, cinematic then emotional ambient minimalism (with a sense of decay and melancholy) and complex instrumental orchestrations (thanks to the presence of numerous guest artists). This hybrid of styles is somewhere between Jean Cohen Solal, Loren Connors, The Kilimanjaro darkjazz ensemble, Lech Jankowski and Sparkle in Grey.

One original, introspective, fairy-like and curious album that will ravish fans of challenging, unconventional, post-classical and experimental music.

http://igloomag.com/reviews/enrico-coniglio-matteo-uggeri-open-to-the-sea-dronarivm

 

Michele Palozzo, Ondarock

Pur conoscendo la curiosità musicale e la profonda sensibilità di Enrico Coniglio e Matteo Uggeri, io stesso mi sono stupito di ciò che hanno voluto realizzare in questo nuovo progetto per l’etichetta Dronarivm. Entrambi grosso modo afferenti all’ambito sperimentale e alla sound art – l’uno più specificamente nel field recording, l’altro in vari progetti di matrice dark – con il loro primo album in collaborazione decidono di assecondare un’ispirazione più melodica, pur senza rinunciare alla cura del dettaglio e muovendosi liberamente tra le stanze della loro immaginazione.

“Open To The Sea” è un percorso narrativo disseminato di elementi astratti e familiari al tempo stesso: a fianco delle note dominanti di chitarra e pianoforte, reminiscenti del post-rock acustico dei Rachel’s e del folk da cameretta dei Padang Food Tigers, compaiono man mano brevi estratti strumentali e sample di voci recitanti ricontestualizzate, come oggetti sonori recuperati da una soffitta e rimessi a nuovo. Le atmosfere essenziali e la preminenza di suoni “tangibili” simulano un’esperienza simile alla dormiveglia, una realtà appena alterata dove anche le suggestioni verbali sono soltanto frammenti perduti nel tempo e attinti per caso dalla memoria subcosciente.

Se gran parte delle tessiture si dipana per mano dei due autori, molti altri contributi (diretti o “catturati”) provengono da amici artisti italiani e internazionali quali Giulio Aldinucci, Francesca Stella Riva (Satan Is My Brother), Fabio Ricci (vonneumann), Franz Krostopovic (con Uggeri negli Sparkle In Grey) e Violeta Päivänkakkara; una varietà di timbri e di stili che conferisce all’opera un carattere corale, benché il merito della sapiente giustapposizione vada riconosciuto ai firmatari e, in seconda battuta, alla comprovata qualità del mastering di James Plotkin.

Ancor più che un album – nell’accezione nostalgica di collettore d’immagini – quello di Coniglio e Uggeri diviene uno spazio d’ascolto in cui abitare confortevolmente, uno state of mind delicato come le geometrie elementari del dipinto in copertina di Flavio Parrino, una sorta di Luigi Serafini non ancora avvezzo alle strampalerie dell’indecifrabile Codex.

http://www.ondarock.it/recensioni/2017-conigliouggeri-opentothesea.htm

 

Raffaello Russo, Music Won’t Save You*disco della settimana dal 10 al 16 luglio 2017

Chi segue le ormai durature attività creative di Enrico Coniglio e di Matteo Uggeri ne conosce l’approccio al comune campo del soundscaping ambientale, tanto che vederli lavorare a un progetto artistico condiviso potrebbe indurre a immaginare quest’ultimo collocato proprio in quell’orizzonte espressivo. Vi è tuttavia un altro significativo denominatore proprio delle personalità di entrambi gli artisti, ovvero l’eterogeneità dei contesti nei quali si sono trovati a operare nel corso degli anni, che abbracciano folk ed elettronica, melodie e dissonanze, paesaggi elettro-acustici e tenebrosi abissi dronici.

Sulla base di tali premesse, il loro dialogo a distanza che ha portato alla realizzazione di “Open To The Sea” non poteva che essere estremamente articolato e, appunto, aperto a una vasta varietà di spunti sonori, stilistici e persino concettuali. Le nove tracce del lavoro rappresentano infatti una significativa ridefinizione delle coordinate espressive di un paesaggismo ambientale e “culturale”, applicato non alla manipolazione dei suoni concreti bensì alla costruzione di un microcosmo auditivo nel quale trova pieno diritto di cittadinanza una prevalente strumentazione cameristica in miniatura, nonché la melodia, incarnata anche dall’elemento vocale.

Non che lungo l’intero corso di “Open To The Sea” manchino samples e field recordings, ma il cuore della collaborazione tra i due artisti italiani è, da un lato, essenzialmente acustico e, dall’altro, inteso a definire ancora una volta uno spazio, in senso fisico e figurato, il secondo dei quali perfettamente rispondente all’ampiezza dell’immagine dell’orizzonte marino suggerita dal titolo.
Tutto ciò è declinato in una sequenza mutevole dal punto di vista compositivo, nella quale si alternano senza alcuno iato le incantate armonie vocali di Lau Nau e di Francesca Amato (Comaneci) sulla title track d’apertura e sulla conclusiva “I Say I May Be Back”, vibrazioni e loop di avvolgente narcolessia (“Jessaias de reduire mes medicaments”, “Allarme”), beccheggi e pulsazioni di latente inquietudine (“I Am The Sea”, “Now I’m Silent”).

Componente saliente del lavoro resta comunque quella acustica, incarnata da austere aperture d’archi e tromba, cadenzate note pianistiche e gentili pizzicate di corde di chitarra e banjo, che nello spettro espressivo del duo introducono contemplativi sentori folk. Il tutto è comunque quasi sempre incorniciato da minuti detriti elettronici e interpolato da samples concreti, rumori e spoken word, intimamente saldati nella definizione di uno spazio sonoro nel quale naturale e umano si fondono in un’osmosi che ne proietta la rappresentazione a un livello empatico sorprendente, ma non certo per chi conosce l’attitudine e la sensibilità di due artisti protagonisti di simile incontro, straordinariamente riuscito.

https://musicwontsaveyou.com/2017/07/10/enrico-coniglio-matteo-uggeri-open-to-the-sea/

Sowhat

Sognante e denso di prospettive come un pallone aerostatico che sta per spiccare il volo, dolcemente malinconico e privo di limiti come l’irraggiungibile orizzonte che delimita il mare senza mai riuscire ad ingabbiarlo. È riassunto perfettamente nella sua immagine di copertina, un dipinto di Flavio Parrino, l’essenza del caleidoscopico paese delle meraviglie disegnato da Enrico Coniglio e Matteo Uggeri in “Open the sea”.

È un luogo in cui ogni cosa può accadere con somma naturalezza, rendendo possibile l’incastro di racconti eterogenei uniti da una costante dimensione melodica definita da fragili stille pianistiche e minimali cadenze chitarristiche combinate a incostanti pulsazioni e preziose incursioni di fiati e archi, capaci di dilatare ulteriormente uno spettro espressivo già ampio. Ci si ritrova così a navigare attraverso tracciati cullanti dai quali emergono evanescenti le voci di Lau Nau (“Open to the sea”), Violeta Paivankakkara (“I am the sea”) e Francesca Amato (“I say I may be back”), che catturano come l’irresistibile canto delle sirene o ad abbandonarsi al fluire di frammenti che sembrano giungere dal passato, rievocato da polverose modulazioni e voci distanti (“Jessaias de reduire mes medicaments”) o da silenti combinazioni elettroacustiche che accolgono il contributo dei ceselli sintetici di Giulio Aldinucci e le sghembe apparizioni dei fiati di Francesca Stella Riva e Fabio Ricci (“Floating metal sheets”).

“Open to the sea” è un disco che fin dalle prime note ha la capacità di spiazzare chi conosce e segue il lavoro di Coniglio e Uggeri, lontano dai paesaggi sonori abitualmente frequentati. Ma il disorientamento dura soltanto un attimo, il tempo necessario a ricordarci quanto in fondo i due hanno sempre dimostrato di essere costantemente alla ricerca di tracciati inesplorati.

Non resta che mettersi comodi e cominciare a sognare ad occhi rigorosamente spalancati.

https://sowhatmusica.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/enrico-coniglio-matteo-uggeri-open-to-the-sea/


ASTRÙRA/SOLÈRA – Bragos series (2xLp)
Enrico Coniglio – 13/Silentes 2016

 

BUY ASTRÙRA – BUY SOLÈRA

Astrùra’ and ‘Solèra’ are the “Bragos series”, two new Enrico Coniglio works dedicated to the lagoon of Venice. Named after the Venetian for two seabeds, the pieces are field recordings collected at the mouth of the harbor during a foggy spring day back in the 2009, on the northern edge of the lagoon. The environmental narrative is enhanced with both natural and mechanical drones, alluding to modern crisis and with a very precise aversion to nostalgia. The project goal of redefining a locative identity is achieved by highlighting the inherent contradiction in the overlapping stream of sound. The journey has been split into two separate 10 inch vinyl releases in a limited edition of 25 copies each, ‘Astrùra’ in April and ‘Solèra’ in May, with photographs by Stefano Gentile, printed on Forex. [Charlie Sage]

BEACH SLOTH
Industrial hued field recordings take hold on Enrico Coniglio’s immersive “Solèra”. With two pieces perfectly intersecting, the songs feel akin to two separate suites. Noises are implied in weird and wonderful ways, the way that they unfold gives them a sense of exploring the unexpected. Layer upon layer of sound is added with true grace and care, for the songs shimmer with metallic hues. Much of the collection flirts with outright cacophony and a few times allows itself to dive headfirst into such territory.

The hush of the A side introduces the collection. Hesitant at first, the song ebbs and flows refusing to be in one place for long. Gradually Enrico Coniglio allows the song to come into greater focus. Melodic shards permeate the beginning at least, for the gentler moments come out of the industrial churn that dominates much of the first half. For the latter half, things get a whole lot stranger. By the second half Enrico Coniglio lets the noisy origins rear their ugly head, for the tactile quality of the sound takes over in full force. Moving further and further away from the discernible, the song becomes surreal. On the B side Enrico Coniglio gets into a more spacious world, for the sound at times has a droning quality to it. Growing ever more potent, the cyclical nature of the sound works to his nature, as the piece unspools as it becomes emotionally affecting towards the end.

Rather beautiful in its exploration of the world that surrounds and goes so often overlooked, Enrico Coniglio’s “Solèra” is an entrancing piece of work.

“Astrùra” shows Enrico Coniglio neatly merging together elements of the real and the imagined. Over the course of the two highly intricate pieces Enrico Coniglio allows for a great deal of sound to remain in flux. Love for the surroundings dominates for the pieces at times sound akin to be swept out to sea. By opting for such an approach the songs gain an emotional resonance, one that speaks to the uncertainty that exists on a regular basis. Besides the exploration of the regular there are those moments where Enrico Coniglio brings moments of Gas-like elements of bliss, ones that hint at more classical pastures.

Not a moment is wasted with the A side, where Enrico Coniglio introduces the piece with walls of noise. Gradually the sound shifts towards slightly kinder territory. Around the halfway mark the song focuses merely on the gesticulations of the lower bass rumblings, as the sound almost evaporates away. Random transmissions occur a little later, with a high-pitched tone giving the song a suspenseful element. While the aural universe unfurls, it reveals almost a static transmission. Easily the highlight of the collection rests on the B side, where Enrico Coniglio utilizes a gentler touch. Akin to the previous piece, it too includes a static sheen of sound, but unlike the A side the B side lets this static transform into something closely approximating shoegaze.

With “Astrùra” Enrico Coniglio sculpts new lands from the world around him, resulting in great beautiful swathes of color. 

A CLOSER LISTEN
There are different schools of thought when it comes to the production of “soundscapes.”  There is R. Murray Schafer, who coined the term, and his World Soundscape Project, which approaches the soundscape as “acoustic ecology.” Some have criticized his approach as nostalgic, with romantic notions of pre-industrial life, constructing a division between nature and culture that is untenable and outdated. One might put phonographers such as Chris Watson in this category, though his close miking technique often reveals an attention to sounds that goes beyond mere documentation. Luc Ferrari’s soundscapes predate this approach and offer a compelling counterexample, capturing the sounds of human activity alongside natural occurrences. Ferrari’s classic Presque rien No.1 – le lever du jour au bord de la mer (1967–70), which reduced the real-time sounds of daybreak in a small Dalmatian fishing village to a 20-minute montage, seems to feature very little embellishment. Though all the sounds occupy a similar prominence within the mix, and therefore in our attention, this anecdotal approach – in which the sounds are more or less recognizable and unobscured by processing – presented an important break with the dominant method of electroacoustic composition at the time.

Art is an appropriate domain for exploring the fantastic and the impossible, and each of these approaches embrace fantasy in their own way.  These examples are perhaps exaggerated in their minimalism, and far more often than not the imaginary landscapes that come to mind when we think of “soundscapes” are more abstracted and processed, using edits, loops, and additional sounds structured into a narrative. Such works use signal processing and musical elements to narrative, perhaps one might even say “cinematic,” effect. Ferrari’s Place des Abbesses (1977), for instance, was strictly imagined rather than utilizing recordings from the actual site, suggestive more than documentary. The results are psychoacoustic environments that are often impressionistic and might be compared to the soundscape equivalent of “magic realism.” Though more committed to obscuring the source of his sounds, or otherwise downplaying their origin, Francisco Lopez might fall under this heading as well, particularly uncharacteristically-titled works such as La Selva and Buildings, which inherently acknowledge the futility of adhering to a strict separation of concepts such as natural or cultural.

Some field-recordings function best as abstractions of a place, while others are rooted in the specificity of a place or event, in which being there lends the recording some additional power. Some, like Aki Onda, may wait until enough time has passed that the specific memories of a recording have become hazy or lost, while others such as Matteo Uggeri or Kate Carr produce musical compositions which depend upon their personal relation to a space and the memories embedded in a particular recording.  Others focus on acoustics, on listening as a response to the unique vibrations of a particular space. Think of Toshiya Tsunoda capturing the sound of cicadas through a cracked window or birds from within an automobile’s muffler.

Enrico Coniglio is a Venetian native whose work has long revolved around documenting the lagoon of Venice.  The “Bragos series” is his latest work, one which can’t be divorced from the particularities of the lagoon of Venice it explores. Coniglio’s music often reflects the uncertainty that comes with living in a medieval city that is slowly sinking.  But unlike his classical-inspired  arrangements and folk-centric compositions as My Home, Sinking, or the more glacial ambient and drone landscape studies of earlier works, the “Bragos Series” seems to be a more pure realization of a soundscape. These two 10” records  Astrùra and Solèra, named after Venetian seabeds, consist of recordings made at the mouth of the harbor on a foggy spring day back in 2009, on the northern edge of the lagoon. Even if one has no knowledge of the city, the sounds of lagoon assert themselves very directly. Water sounds may be the most overused field-recording after bird song and church bells, and yet the sounds of water is unavoidable in a place such as Venice, where one is constantly surrounded. Venice by boat completely transforms the experience of the city, and similarly the sound of water in this context takes on new characteristics, not just the sound of water lapping but the way its reverberations tell a story of the surrounding architecture and landscape.

Venice has a very unique relationship with its history. Put aside electricity and modern plumbing and the city hasn’t changed all that much over the centuries. Though one will hear outboard motors more than oars, the absence of cars has a profound effect on the soundscape of the city.  Floating through the canals after dark or wandering the labyrinthine alleys one can easily get lost in dark fantasies, and as such time there feels much less linear. It makes little sense to speak of nature, culture, or technology as discrete entities, particularly  in a city such as Venice.  As the sounds that make up the “Bragos series” move from one to the other they ambiguously intermingle, paralleling their conceptual blurring. The entire lagoon doesn’t exist any longer as a natural entity, but one carefully monitored and managed by administrators for centuries. The mudflats that exist outside the city, with tall grass and little else, provide a view into the past, before the future Venetians drove wooden piles into the mud and built a great city on top of them. The means of administering the lagoon have predictably grown more complex as modern science has evolved, and these techno-mediated cycles become part of the larger ecosystem of the lagoon.

Astrùra’s A-side moves from the distinct rhythmic sound of waves crashing forcefully before moving into more abstract territory, likely a hydrophone capturing underwater noise. Higher frequency tones persist even as we move above the surface again. Just as the city itself survives through its constant management, here sounds are revealed through a process of technological mediation.  The B-side is perhaps the strongest of the entire series. Beginning slowly with arrhythmic bumping and banging, filtered through the water, it builds into a piece of more glacial ambient noise. Gently flowing clouds of static drift into a pendulum of cries streaking across the stereo-field, culminating in the unprocessed sounds of waves.  There is an occasional feedback spike, or perhaps the horn of a ship, situating the listener again on the imagined lagoon. This return to a more documentary soundscape encourages an endless loop between the two sides.

By contrast Solèra has an almost minimal-industrial style, with a rhythmic panning of mostly static white noise, an undulating rhythm, and other sounds gradually vying for attention as the levels gradually shift. If Astrùra begins with the natural and slowly uncovers its hidden relations, Solèra departs from the technological and excavates the natural forces flowing through it. Electronic beeps and the reverberation of lapping water interact, without ever abandoning the noisiness which permeates the entire track.  Recognizing the origins of the sounds here are less important than the narrative gestures. The B-side is defined by the rumbling hum of boat motors and machines, the technological sounds most a part of everyday life for Venetians.  Their rumbles come and go as perpetually dripping water serves as a constant reminder of where we are located. Near the halfway point a low melodic tone steadily rises, adding not so much a romantic grandeur to the piece but instead just another oscillating mechanical drone that is part of the soundscape.
Coniglio’s recordings are at times very stark, like the city itself when one looks beyond the throngs of tourists.  Recordings of the lagoon can’t escape the sounds water lapping, the sea breeze, boats, engines, motors, electrical hums and buzzes. But the “Bragos Series” is not so much defined by the sum of its parts but the patient way it connects these interconnected movements. The lagoon and the city are intertwined in such a complex way that the people who live there are as inseparable from the city as its lagoons, canals and the ecological systems which flow through it. Coniglio claims to be highlighting an inherent contradiction, and what these records make clear is that this unresolvable contradiction is a productive one, firmly at the center of what Venice means to the people who call it home. [Joseph Sannicandro]

FLUID RADIO
Within the vast canon of field recordings, the sounds of water probably stand as one of the most frequently abused clichés, together with birdsong, to the point that it is now difficult for them to emerge from the sinking sands of platitudes they have fallen into. This does not mean that thought provoking and original works can no longer be produced with water as their central theme. I am thinking, for instance, of Ennio Mazzon’s “Celadon” (2010), which played on the idea of decontextualization of sounds and mental images while investigating the river Piave in northern Italy.

However, for a Venetian like Enrico Coniglio, water is strictly interwoven into the fabric of his daily life and naturally ends up serving as a source of inspiration in much of his output, particularly in his early works. The two 10” vinyl recently released in a limited collector’s edition on Stefano Gentile’s Silentes label, “Astrùra” and “Solèra”, are named after the Venetian for two seabeds, and are composed from field recordings collected at the mouth of the harbor during a foggy spring day back in the 2009, on the northern edge of the lagoon. Both works are closely related to “Sabbion”, released by Green Field Recordings in 2010, and were produced within a similar context using binaural and hydrophonic microphones that captured, amongst others, the sounds of the propeller of a small boat approaching the island of St. Erasmo and a semi-submerged pipeline on the shore.
From the outset, Enrico Coniglio makes it apparent, that neither album aims to be an prettified rendering of a pristine aural world. As his work on the label Galaverna, which he co-runs with Leandro Pisano, testifies, Coniglio, is not interested in nostalgia and is not prepared to erase human presence in order to offer an idyllic, but inevitably fake, sonic image from yesteryear. There is as much artifice as there is nature in this diptych, labeled as the Bragos series, with an equal ratio of ebb and flow from the lagoon and mechanical sounds from boat engines and various other sonic products of manmade intervention. Notwithstanding the melodic undercurrent that runs through both works, Coniglio is not afraid of injecting occasional abrasive sonic elements into the proceedings uncovering the fragility of an aural world trapped in a liminal state. [Gianmarco del Re]

MUSIC WON'T SAVE YOU
Quando si tratta di soundscaping ambientale, ricorrente è il termine “esplorazione”; tuttavia, in pochi altri casi come in quello di Enrico Coniglio l’applicazione di tale pratica coincide con una ricerca fisica, sospinta dal desiderio di andare “oltre”. Oltre l’apparenza esteriore e, letteralmente, sotto la superficie dell’elemento caratterizzante la sua Venezia, corre il lungo itinerario di ricerca sonora che trova manifestazione nella coppia di 10” a tiratura limitata “Astrùra” e “Solèra”. Entrambi i lavori constano di due brani dalla durata di poco inferiore ai dieci minuti, che uniscono suoni naturali e artificiali, i primi dei quali raccolti “sul campo” – anzi, sotto la superficie acquatica – in una giornata primaverile di ormai sette anni fa. Caratteristiche comuni dei due 10” sono l’irregolarità delle matrici sonore naturali, catturate nella loro essenza impetuosa piuttosto che in quella statica, e di conseguenza le articolate dinamiche attraverso le quali gorgogli liquidi si trasformano in sferzate di rumore inquieto, echi quasi post-industriali come quelli esplorati dallo stesso Coniglio in “Songs From Ruined Days” (2010). L’elemento dronico compare quasi solo nella sola seconda parte di “Astrùrà”, regalando un placido scorcio contemplativo, appena prima, però, che disarticolati detriti sonori proiettino l’ascolto nuovamente al centro della materia, una materia tanto liquida e inafferrabile quanto imponente nella sua consistenza percettiva.
ELECTRONIQUE - Solèra
<<Amo Venezia, odio Venezia. C’è moltissimo da dire sulla laguna ma, al di là delle descrizioni storiche, naturalistiche e morfologiche, rappresenta per me una dimensione di fuga dal caos del turismo di massa del centro storico. La laguna è il lato B di questa faccenda. Le barene, le velme, i canneti, le isole abbandonate, gli edifici in rovina. Molta malinconia, una condizione comune a tutte le stagioni, ma la laguna è bellissima d’inverno. Io e mia moglie abbiamo una barchetta, con quella esploriamo, facciamo il bagno, peschiamo molluschi.>> Conoscere i fondali è come conoscere il proprio io. Sommerso. O duro e compatto come il tipo di fondale ‘solèra’ dove, in genere, non vi cresce vegetazione e la sabbia è ricchissima di frammenti di gusci e di conchiglie. La breve narrazione di Enrico Coniglio su 13 riparte da qui. Il 10” intitolato “Solèra” (2016), e ugualmente limitato come il precedente a un pugno di copie, continua a far luce su quel rapporto d’amore tra l’artista, non a caso membro dell’Archivio Italiano Paesaggi Sonori (AIPS), e i luoghi che più lo affascinano. Suoni inclusi. <<Era una mattina di maggio del 2010. C’era una nebbia assurda, tutta la città era totalmente invisibile. Esco di casa dopo aver brevemente progettato un ‘field trip’ ed eccomi pronto con il mio equipaggiamento, microfoni binaurali, idrofono e un registratore digitale portatile. Ero a bordo di una motonave, tra mare e laguna. Di quella giornata, ricordo una grande solitudine, così come la sensazione di star bene, di vivere un’esperienza unica, nella sua ordinarietà, assai intima. La nebbia così fitta fa quest’effetto.>> Echi lontani sul lato A. Un battello in avvicinamento. Il suo motore è acceso e diviene la chiave di volta di Solèra (Part 1). Sbuffi, fruscii, le pale di un’elica che non da tregua. La pioggia sul tetto e, poi, un gran baccano. Distorsioni soniche s’inseriscono in un ambiente già abbastanza saturo. La nuova stratificazione in atto diviene un complesso insieme di rumori, spesso assolutamente discordi, ma capaci di creare una sorta di ritmo alternativo. Una composizione che, così come nel precedente “Astrùra” (2016), s’interrompe quasi senza alcun segnale di preavviso. Anche Solèra (Part 2) sembra prendere le distanze da quell’atmosfera sorniona del precedente lavoro. L’inizio è tutto in salita, o meglio, è collocato proprio nell’occhio di un temporale. Un rumore imperioso, supportato da costanti raffiche di vento, emerge con vigore dai solchi del lato B. Il cigolio dei cardini di una porta è stridente. Una volta chiusa, c’è solo acqua che cola. A diverse intensità. Un barlume di aria e luce filtra allo scemare della tempesta. Alcuni oggetti vengono spostati da una superficie all’altra. I tuoni, sempre più frequenti, non fanno più paura. Sovrapposti a un quasi unico segnale acustico, divengono la colonna sonora dell’ultimo minuto e mezzo. La tensione si allenta. Non resta che un flebile suono, continuo e destinato a esaurirsi. Field recording del genere sintetizzano squarci di vita. E ne colgono le sfumature più struggenti. [Marco Ferretti]
ELECTRONIQUE - Astrùra
<<Una volta, facendo alcune ricerche, sono incappato in un sito che classificava i tipi di fondali. Ho pensato che fosse un tema suggestivo da sviluppare. Tutto è cominciato con l’uscita digitale “Sabbion” (2013), soundscape composition con registrazioni sull’isola di Sant’Erasmo>>. La coppia di 10” “Astrùrà” e “Solèra” (2016) i successivi approfondimenti del progetto di Enrico Coniglio, a metà strada tra naturale e artificiale. Due interessanti lavori dai nomi improbabili, sconosciuti ai più, e pubblicati, a distanza di un mese, entrambi sulla 13 di Stefano Gentile. Quattro tracce tra field recording, sperimentazioni e, soprattutto, suggestioni di chi ama la propria terra, o meglio, la propria acqua e le sue profondità. Il tipo di fondale ‘astrurà’ è tipicamente marino e frastagliato. Così come il sound che contraddistingue il vinile, limitatissimo a venticinque copie. Un’edizione speciale, abbellita dalle immagini del proprietario dell’etichetta, per celebrare la bellezza della laguna di Venezia e, intervenendo con suoni ad hoc, divenire testimoni della sua carica evocativa. Questa l’idea dell’artista, da sempre curioso e altrettanto rapito da località simili. Il desiderio di catturarne l’identità sonica una costante della sua ricerca, i cui risultati sono stati già pubblicati dalla casa madre Silentes: impossibile non ricordare il suo lavoro più celebre, “Sea Cathedrals” (2010), con la collaborazione di Manuel P. Cecchinato e Massimo Liverani. Le stesse registrazioni per “Astrùra” e “Solèra” risalgono a quel periodo, tra onde da brividi e una risacca fiera. Le prime si abbattono sulle sponde della laguna veneziana da tempi immemori. La seconda è conseguenza inesorabile. La potenza dell’acqua. Il suo scorrere. E un doppio suono, tanto impressionante quanto magnetico. O, semplicemente, ciclico. Materia prima ideale per field recording. L’artificio umano consiste, prima di tutto, nel farlo proprio per sempre, imprimendolo su nastro o registrandolo, più comodamente, come file digitale. Il passo successivo è trasformarlo in parte, adattandolo alla propria arte, e in certi casi persino decontestualizzandolo. Tutto questo è Astrùra (Part 1). Una dimensione in costante evoluzione per uno spazio la cui superficie non sarà mai del tutto mai immobile. Mutatis mutandis. Il lato A è, dunque, un concentrato di attesa e curiosità, fruscii e silenzi abbozzati, perché puntellati anche dalle voci di insetti in assoluta libertà. La natura quasi senza filtri, o la proiezione sonora di un ecosistema familiare, probabilmente, soltanto a chi pratica un certo tipo di pesca costiera. Colpi vivi. Sottofondo di bollicine. Oggetti non in equilibrio. Il preludio al disordine improvviso, al caos elettronico. La parte centrale del lato B è dominata da toni eterei e misteriosi. Astrùra (Part 2) si pone, diametralmente, in opposizione con il suo inizio. L’elemento drone prende il sopravvento. Il ciclo, però, si compie solo tra le onde. Lì, dove la vita ha inizio, si conclude anche la musica. La narrazione s’interrompe con uno stacco netto. E l’ambiente extra-sonoro appare, immediatamente, meno sognante, perciò il desiderio di riascoltare il tutto diviene una vera e propria necessità. [Marco Ferretti]
SOWHAT
Non una semplice mappatura sonora, ma una riflessione profonda sullo stato di un territorio, sulle sue contraddizioni e sui suoi punti critici. La narrazione costruita da Enrico Coniglio attraverso il dittico delle “Bragos series” è interamente incentrata sulla sua Venezia e non a caso i due capitoli che la compongono prendono il nome da due fondali della città, che ormai da troppo tempo è costantemente in bilico tra la meraviglia di una condizione paesaggistica unica al mondo e la presenza di un’industria invasiva e fagocitante. Questa problematica compresenza emerge costantemente dalle trame del lavoro, pubblicato dall’etichetta Silentes e completato da una significativa controparte visiva curata da Stefano Gentile. “Astrùra” si apre con il rumore isolato della risacca che, introducendo l’elemento principe della laguna, dà l’avvio ad una narrazione circolare che si concluderà tornando allo stesso suono con una consapevolezza differente. L’acqua che inizialmente da l’accesso ad una dimensione contemplativa in cui è la natura a dominare, si scontra e si fonde lungo il percorso con sonorità cupe, organiche interferenze  che rimandano al mondo alienante delle macchine. Le vaporose modulazioni della seconda parte di questo primo capitolo creano lo spazio necessario per elaborare il senso del percorso prima di tornare al punto di partenza. L’atmosfera di “Solèra” è decisamente più fredda e claustrofobica, incentrata su stratificazioni ruvide e taglienti che lentamente si spogliano dell’iniziale moto ipnotico ritrovando nella parte conclusiva il suono dell’acqua, che però qui diventa parte di un processo ormai lontano dalla rassicurante e avvolgente bellezza del paesaggio naturale. È un lavoro prezioso di cesellatura di field recordings e suoni sintetici quello creato da Enrico Coniglio, capace di produrre una peregrinazione emotivamente profonda e spiazzante, la cui efficacia viene rafforzata ed esaltata dal lavoro di Stefano Gentile, che attraverso le sue foto riesce perfettamente a dare corpo alle sensazioni innescate dal percorso sonoro.[Peppe Trotta]
THE NEW NOISE
Parlo di due dischi, uno in uscita adesso, l’altro a maggio: mi sembra opportuno trattarli insieme perché sono un dittico (“Bragos series”), per di più edito in venticinque copie e in formato vinile dieci pollici (una traccia per lato), una cosa per collezionisti che andrà via subito, probabilmente pensata per il giro ristretto dei fan storici dell’etichetta Silentes. Conosciamo Coniglio, dato che – tra le altre cose – è finito nell’unica compilation da noi pubblicata anche fisicamente, in compagnia di altri sound artist a lui vicini, con la maggior parte dei quali sta sotto l’insegna dell’Archivio Italiano Paesaggi Sonori. L’interesse di Enrico per la sua città, Venezia, è chiaro a chiunque lo segua, specie quello per la sua laguna (“Astrùra” e “Solèra” sono nomi di due fondali e adesso anche il titolo dei due vinili in questione). Un esempio potrebbe essere Sea Cathedrals, imperniato su Porto Marghera, o Songs For Ruined Days, uscito per Spire (una “divisione” della Touch di Wozencroft), nel quale si passava dai suoni sempre di Porto Marghera a quelli di una chiesa. Tra l’altro, il materiale di partenza raccolto da Coniglio e poi inserito nelle Bragos Series risale allo stesso periodo in cui uscivano gli album che ho citato. Anche qui il tema sembra essere l’incastro tra i diversi ambienti acustici compresenti a Venezia, coi suoi inevitabili attriti: c’è un mondo naturale placido e rasserenante rappresentato dall’acqua e dal fondale, poi ci sono “le macchine”, l’industria, il cui suono più cupo e tagliente comincia prima a erodere la propria “controparte” e poi si ferma temporaneamente, causando lo scivolamento continuo tra una dimensione e l’altra. Ci sono anche frangenti quasi disancorati dalla realtà, che almeno per quanto mi riguarda hanno svolto la funzione di sollevarmi dal riflettere sull’aspetto più “ecologico” del lavoro. Si tratta di qualcosa di simile a quanto succede nel progetto di Enrico con Giovanni Lami, ribattezzato Lemures, nel quale a un certo punto si cade fuori dallo scenario ricostruito fino a un secondo prima attraverso i field recordings. Penso che questo impacchettamento di lusso sia il riflesso visivo e tattile di un punto di arrivo della ricerca di Coniglio. Mi piacerebbe ora che lui si rimettesse in marcia e facesse di nuovo un disco lungo, cercando di crescere ancora. Intanto noi mettiamo in ascolto integrale il lato B di “Astrùra”.[Fabrizio Garau]
ROCKERILLA
L’acqua è il legame che ti tiene uniti a ciò che rimane di questa città stabilmente sull’orlo del collasso, Venezia. Un elemento sempre presente nei racconti sonori di Coniglio e ancor più in questi due preziosissimi 10” in edizione limitata a 25 copie da collezione che respirano di salsedine, barena e silenzio che solo la Laguna può donare. Maestro riconosciuto nell’uso del field-recording, Coniglio ha incontrato le onde della Laguna Nord instaurando con esse un dialogo che va oltre la semplice registrazione dei rumori sui quali mixare elementi di modernità sonica. Ciò che si ascolta è il respiro in affanno di una fragile creatura al collasso, forse le sue ultime volontà. [Mirco Salvadori]
LOOP.CL
“Bragos series Astrùra/Solèra” are two separate 10-inch vinyls belonging to the “Bragos” series and it is limited run of 25 copies each. These records have as its backdrop the soundscapes that arise from the environment of the city of Venice.
The field recordings were collected back in 2009 in the mouth of the bay that lies on the northern edge of the lagoon where are located two seabeds “Astrùra” and “Solèra”, and therefore overlapping sounds are recorded.
“Astrùra” has a layer of drone and other synthetic sounds and noises and some metals blows hit each other that seem to be submerged in water. Also appears an ambient layer with a gorgeous melody line already recorded.
On “Solera” static sounds are blended with the clicking, abstract sounds of electronic devices and processed recordings of water currents.

PLUNDERING THE ANCIENT WORLD (Single)
Enrico Coniglio – 13/Silentes 2015

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“Plundering the Ancient World” and is a long-drone track made with electric guitars, clarinet duduk and electronics devices, part of a limited edition collection titled “8+8″, a series of 8 different visions by Stefano Gentile (photo size 8″).


inner frost (Ep)
øe + enrico coniglio – taâlem 2013

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The album is inspired by the idea that the “cold” is an existential, psychological and social state of being, not just a climatic and landscape characteristic of some geographical areas of the planet. The remoteness, detachment from everyday life, from the ordinary world, is a tension of the soul. As the searching for isolation, for a greater introspection and better understanding of the relationship between oneself and other. Since the new way of being alone, today, is likely to be together with others.

FEAR DROP n. 17
AMBIENTBLOG.IT
21 Minutes (2 Tracks) of Glacial ambient created by ∅e (Fabio Perletta: guitar, loops) and Enrico Coniglio (guitar, field recordings, sampler). The (december 2013) release was especially postponed because the music perfectly fits the winter season. The opening sounds of a harsh winter storm might give you some extra chills. But in summer, this wide musical landscape full of fascinating details may help you cool down when desired!
A CLOSER LISTEN
Taâlem’s latest batch of CD3″s arrived at the end of the year, but all are suitab e for winter. Tone Color‘s entry is cool and sleepy like a long hibernation; Øe (Fabio Perletta) and Enrico Coniglio’s is cold and dry like Antarctic wind; and Babylone Chaos’ is as disturbing as a stir crazy Jack Torrance. They are available together or apart; the first editions are in digipacks, later editions in jewel cases. […] By title and tone, Øe and Enrico Coniglio’s Inner Frost is intended to be a winter recording; little imagination is needed to feel the frost in these currents. The chords accumulate like snow drifts, intimating a deep winter, dangerous enough to chill the marrow. The higher pitches resonate like pinging icicles or tinnitus. As the frost sets in, it penetrates the psyche; this inner frost is a cold heart, a suspicious mind, an unmotivated body. Like a mountain climber suffering from hypoxia, it offers strange aural delusions: a growl toward the beginning of “A White Place” may be that of a polar wind advancing through the wind. And yet, the music itself never falls into torpor. Swirling, drifting, falling or rising, it continues in motion, a blizzard that stills everything in its path without itself becoming still. [Richard Allen]
VITAL WEEKLY
Of Enrico Coniglio I heard before, through his releases on Silentes, Psychonavigation, Glacial Movement and his collaboration with people like Oophoi and Giovanni Iami. Here he works with Fabio Perletta, known from his own Farmacia901 label, and his work with Richard Chartier, Yann Novak, Lawrence English, Simon Whetham and Fabio Orsi. Together they use guitar, field recordings, sampler, laptop, loops and acoustic guitar. These two men connect more to the music of Tone Color, or perhaps with the whole genre of ambient music in general, or perhaps better: the kind of ambient music Vital Weekly deals with a lot. Dark, sustaining, working with overtones generated from a simple and single sound source and then slowly expanding into this whole universe of sounds, but never really tacky, in a new age sense. In ‘A White Place’ a nasty high end sort of sine wave peeps around the corner which makes this most certainly stranger than any new age record would ever do. On this grey and sombre December morning, this is the best kind of music one can hope for. A bit desolate, a bit grey, but also nicely warm enough, and, to be honest also, not the kind of thing I haven’t heard before. But who cares about that? [FdW]
SWIRLS OF NOISE
Is this not an intriguing cover artwork? Does not it come over as strange and confusing? How should one interpret this odd formation, this weird arrangement of snow and ice? And how does the music play into this? Questions, ever more questions.

Uncertainty? Is this the way this release should be read? Uncertainty? The intense wind with which the release opens, the strange noises that enter later and the rather mystic otherworldly sound of the ambient, whose part dominates this release, are these the facets that cannot be neglected with a cover like this? Is it mandatory to remind the listener to the harshness of an environment in which ice and snow dominate over everything else? At least it appears to be the case on Inner Frost. First the setting of the stage, then the reward for keeping attention and following the band. Somehow as if the listener had to wander through a snow storm and had to seek shelter in a cave or some sort. Then something happens: either the winds break down and a magical scenery lays bare in front of the listener or this person might have entered some kind of cave, whose play with light and sound creates an otherworldly atmosphere.

Whatever may be the truth is actually not important. Those sounds and textures can be interpreted in numerous kind of ways and each of them might have their own merit. Two tracks appear on this release and together they have a length of over twenty minutes; but these are not equally shared among them. Roughly two-third belong to the opener and his intense collection of atmospheres, while the other one is comparably shorter as well as focussed. Both have things in common but nevertheless differ clearly from each other.

The arrangements and the style are what can be expected from music with a focus on such a scenery. On the one hand there is the definite sound of what persists and what sets most of the stage and then there are those small elements which change and alter what can be seen, felt and experienced: maybe a small avalanche, maybe some alteration in the setting of the light. Broad textures of ambient and drone on the one hand with playful short noise fragments on the other. The contrast of what you know and of what you hope for. It is icy and cold as well as warm and providing comfort at the same time. Those powerful textures create a certain sense of comfort and stability.

All in all an interesting release.


DIALOGUE ONE (Lp)
Enrico Coniglio/Under the Snow – Silentes 2011

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This album comes as a split work between Enrico Coniglio and Under the Snow (Stefano Gentile/Gianluca Favaron). Nearly an hour of suggestive “border” music, equally divided between the relaxing and ambient atmospheres contaminated with experimental elements created by Enrico Coniglio, and the low-fi/rough sounds and atmospheres crafted by Under the Snow (Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron) built on deep drones stratifications, often hard and cutting, with a wide collection of noises, electronic hassles, ununderstandable wispherings, concrete moments… A perfect join-venture, a mix among two different music projects that gather coherence and inspiration to “sustain” a split album that showcases a not to be missed fusion of styles among the involved artists, oriented on parallel patterns, clearly increasing the value of their own personal and somehow different sonic directions.

CHAIN D.L.K.
I already had evidence about Enrico Coniglio’s skills as a landscape musical painter since the times when he issued Topofonie on the Irish label Psychonavigation, a sort of transposition of Venice lagoon, his inspiring birthplace, whose musical “encoding” perfectly sticked to the best ambient and contemporary classical standards thankls also to some important featurers such as Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Nicola Alesini (to mention just of a few of them). In the following releases he just confirmed such an attitude as well as his preferences for wintry suggestions and glacial sonorities and his particular approach to ambient music based on a combination of concrete elements which are often wrapped up in warm or ethereal melodic blankets reoccurs in this split release co-signed by the Italian project Under The Snow for a “dialogical” series of recordings marked by Silentes label. The first of the four tracks signed by Enrico looks like something close to a field recording grabbed by a microphone placed in the middle of a winter windy night or the bugging of an electrical storm, a white noise turning solid, interrupted by occasional sounding lead’s bleeps and sputters. You can enhance the listening experience by imagining that Enrico’s initial above-described track, titled “Long Distance”, is just the necessary musical foreword whereas all the crevices, the sonic ripples, the slight chinks on an imaginary drift ice by whom the composer violates the apparent uniformity of an arctic pack ice become the gates for the following psychedelic breezes’s gushing: on “Calls of the White”, Rachele’s delicate trilling (some of you could think to a sort of quote of vangelis’ “Rachel Song”) mingles with the entrancing gusts of sonic winds, whose crystalline exhalation make that voice similar to an angelic chant while the gentle sonic melting of “Century Dome” and the harmonic flood of the final “Kingdom Of Her”, whose lithe undulations could sound similar to the ones by Fennesz, properly highlights the intimate beauty of this mental journey over icy landscapes. The second half of this record signed by the Italian duo made up of Gianluca Favaron and Stefano Gentile (owner of Silentes): their explorations are equally catching, even if considerably less “enraptured” and more restless than the ones offered by Enrico Coniglio. They prefer to unify different moments of their digging into one very long track they titled “Resonant Cuts”, but they choose to run on an imaginary ascending path as well so that the dim lights where they look like roaming a subterranean world under layers and layers of snow (!) rich of many fascinating and disquieting moments, gradually get radiant and radiant. [Vito Cammaretta]
KATHODIK
Premetto che non conoscevo Enrico Coniglio, né Under the Snow (duo composto da Gianluca Favaron e Stefano Gentile), e non sono particolarmente ferrato in fatto di musica ambient, per cui ho ascoltato il lavoro con curiosità, aumentata dall’elegante confezione del CD. Forse favorito dal mio amore per il “grande Nord”, dal fatto di aver visitato una terra magica e lunare come l’Islanda, o semplicemente a causa dell’inverno appena sopraggiunto, ho ben recepito i suoni e le suggestioni trasmesse dall’opera; ascoltando il CD non è difficile immaginare e rivivere gli scenari musicali ispirati dal freddo e dal ghiaccio, come lapidariamente riassunto in una nota nel retro della copertina: “This album is inspired by cold and frost”. Per un’ora circa (equamente suddivisa tra Enrico Coniglio e Under the Snow) si viaggia verso lande gelide e imbiancate ma, ancor più, si ha l’impressione di fluttuare tra gli elementi primordiali della natura, in primis quelli liquidi e gassosi. Il viaggio prosegue per concludersi, senza brusche interruzioni o cambi di direzione, nella quinta e lunga traccia realizzata dal duo Under the Snow, che in circa 30 minuti racchiude una vera e propria opera musicale completa. Non poche sono anche le suggestioni cinematografiche, che in particolare rimandano all’immaginario lynchiano e di registi dalle simili attitudini oniriche e sospese. In definitiva, ‘Dialogue One’ non sarà forse un disco sconvolgente, ma nel sottoscritto ha sortito un suo effetto, non ultima la curiosità di approfondire il lavoro musicale degli autori e, perché no, attendere un ‘Dialogue Two’. [Luca Brecciaroli]
KULTURTERRORISMUS
“Dialogue One”, the first split work of Unter The Snow, who are Stefano Genile and Gianluca Favaron and Enrico Coniglio comprises nearly an hour of suggestive “border” music, equally divided between the relaxing and ambient atmospheres contaminated with experimental elements created by Enrico Coniglio, and the low-fi/rough sounds and atmospheres crafted by Under the Snow. Not so different but with a more dramatic, dense and hypnotic doom – built on deep drones stratifications, often hard and cutting, with a wide collection of noises, electronic hassles, opaque whispers and concrete moments… A perfect joint-venture, a mix among two different music projects that gather coherence and inspiration to “sustain” a split album that showcases a not to be missed fusion of styles among the involved artists, oriented on parallel patterns, clearly increasing the value of their own personal and somehow different sonic directions. Dialogue One – an excellent mixture of drones, ambient and music concrete, which invites for mind cinema of its best, is available as cd on Silentes. [MACU]
ONDAROCK
La prima uscita della serie di split album dell’etichetta Silentes vede protagonisti il compositore veneziano Enrico Coniglio e il nuovo progetto collaborativo di Stefano Gentile e Gianluca Favaron, Under The Snow. Comune la matrice concettuale sottesa a “Dialogue One”, parzialmente diverse le interpretazioni rese dagli artisti impegnati a rendere in suono la propria declinazione di quell’ambient ghiacciata con la quale Coniglio si era cimentato già nel progetto Aquadorsa. L’ora scarsa di musica, equamente ripartita tra i protagonisti di questa condivisione a tema, vede Coniglio offrire un contributo di quattro tracce a cavallo dei sette minuti di durata, nelle quali saturazioni magmatiche e movimenti particellari descrivono affilate fenditure ghiacciate (“Long Distance”) e una miriade di screziature, crepitii e folate ipnotiche conferiscono riflessi più limpidi ed evanescenti a profonde astrazioni droniche, saltuariamente sporcate di rumore. Tutt’altro che uniformi e anzi assai vitali, le composizioni di Coniglio permangono niente affatto aliene da un’emozionalità molto umana, peraltro ben testimoniata dai vocalizzi distanti di “Calls Of The White” e dalla più evidente emersione armonica di “Kingdom Of Her”. I quasi ventotto minuti firmati Under The Snow consistono invece di un’unica lunga traccia (“Resonant Cuts”), pur frazionabile in più segmenti, che muovono da un iniziale universo di suoni in espansione, per poi immergersi in saturazioni nebbiose e field recordings distanti, giustapposti secondo un piglio più asetticamente sperimentale e infine svaporanti in un finale di luminose derive interstellari. [Raffaello Russo]
MIRCO SALVADORI's quote
“Il bardo Coniglio ed i due abitanti del ghiaccio”, così si potrebbe chiamare la nuova produzione della Silentes dedicata al suono di ricerca. Il musicista veneziano si produce in quattro tracce che proseguono nel cammino iniziato tempo addietro, quattro storie nelle quali la componente ambient si esplica utilizzando la ricerca e la sperimentazione disseminata uniformemente attraverso tutto un percorso che si espande lungo una distesa nella quale il candore del noise assume sembianze di dronica infinità e la quiete dell’animo si trasforma nel flusso sonico in divenire. Diverso è l’approccio che Stefano Gentile (owner della Silentes) e Gianluca Favaron hanno in veste di ricercatori. Il loro vagare sotto la neve si sintetizza in una suite dalle sembianze più cupe e solitarie, quasi un vagare affamato alla ricerca dell’espressività sonora più adatta incrociando sibili in frequenza e loop alla deriva in una desolata, fredda distesa. “Cold and Frost”… [Mirco Salvadori]
AUDIODROME
Sul veneziano Enrico Coniglio ci siamo soffermati spesso, ormai, mentre Under The Snow è progetto relativamente nuovo, considerato che dietro a esso si celano Gianluca Favaron e Stefano Gentile, cioè il label manager Silentes, una delle migliori realtà che abbiamo in Italia, capace di gettar luce su tutta una serie di sound artist locali di gran pregio. Enrico mostra una mano sempre più sicura nel costruire tracce ambient e sperimentali: qui propone una cupa e severa “Long Distance”, una sognante e roach-iana “Calls Of The White”, che sarebbe stata buona anche per i suoi trascorsi su Glacial Movements, poi tocca a “Century Dome” e “Kingdom Of Her”, che congiungono un passato fennesziano ad alcune suggestioni heckeriane. Vario e maturo, ora ci si aspetta l’album che lasci la cicatrice profonda, in una discografia di assoluto rispetto. Gli Under The Snow costituiscono una felicissima sorpresa: una mezzora gelida, tesa, con drone che entrano pian piano sottopelle, voci sussurrate che creano confusione, in un classico lento crescendo di volume e minacciosità, seguito da un progressivo spegnimento e un colpo di coda finale. Un progetto da seguire, dunque, e un dialogo (uno) da ascoltare con grande attenzione. [Fabrizio Garau]
FURTHER NOISE
The Italian ambient scene has been blessed with an evolving group of labels that reached cult status worldwide, valiant producers like Umbra and Glacial Movements. One of the pioneers, the Amplexus label and its spinoffs eventually became Silentes and its spinoffs, who continue to document a large spectrum of contemporary Italian electronica composers. The most recent album on their primary label is the first in an announced series of split releases with the electroacoustic duo Under The Snow, aptly entitled Dialogue One. Here their partner is Venetian phonographer and sound artist Enrico Coniglio. The exact nature of the dialogue is unspecified, but the album’s inspiration, corroborated by the photos adorning the cover art, is specifically “cold and frost.” For many listeners, invocation of cold and frost may conjure featureless, bleak winterscapes, exemplified by Berlin artist Thomas Köner or the Arctic photographs adorning the album covers from Glacial Movements. But winter in Scandinavia is very different from winter in northern Italy, where the snow softens the angles of the houses, changes the contour and color of the roads, and blends the forest into a dappled white. Breath and condensation from the inside observers fog the windows, removing another layer of focus. So also the music on this album. Enrico Coniglio’s four short pieces that open the album are abstract and static, almost like excerpts from installations. Transitions between material, sometimes even between tracks, can be abrupt, with textures alternating between harmonic, rolling electronic drones and more noisy organic textures. Pops and buzzes coalesce into a steady filtered noise, like a jet engine, on “Long Distance,” and glitch electronics become prominent near the end of “Century Dome.” The cavernous reverb and expansive spectral registers, assisted by ethereal vocal contributions from ‘Rachele,’ make “Calls of the White” a more obvious, and ominous, harbinger of winter. Underneath all of the electronic haze remains a melodic core that retains a wistful poignancy characteristic of much of Coniglio’s work. If Coniglio’s pieces are frosty snapshots, the single long piece from Under the Snow is the narrative of the season. From the opening murky sonic territory to its conclusion with a suggestion of a harmonic resolution, “Resonant Cuts” is a series of environments that evolve within themselves, gradually creating large scale transitions. Some of the scenes include whistling winds and voices snatched from the ether, and the overall effect is a restless searching with a little touch of sinister. Many of the sounds reminded me of bowed or brushed cymbals and various other percussive gestures, but the group’s website credits only guitar, field recording and processing. Whatever the sources, “Resonant Cuts” is an impressive long form piece that bodes well for the series. [Caleb Deupree]
TEXTURA
Italian composer Enrico Coniglio enhances his reputation considerably with two outstanding new releases, one a solo cassette-based affair and the other a split work with Under The Snow. Out and About, the Hypnos-released work Coniglio recently produced in collaboration with Emanuele Errante and Elisa Marzorati under the Herion name indicated that the music Coniglio was creating had advanced to a higher level of refinement, and these latest releases provide additional confirmation of same. Coniglio’s four tracks on Dialogue One don’t differ radically in style from those on I, though the former are in spots perhaps louder and more texturally wide-ranging. Next to no details are provided about sound sources (save for a thanks to Rachele for lending her voice to “Calls of the White”) so once again impressions must be based on listening, pure and simple. One of the recording’s most attractive aspects is the contrast between Coniglio’s four tracks (all of which are in the seven-minute vicinity) and the twenty-eight-minute opus by Under The Snow duo Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron. Coniglio’s “Long Distance” largely presents itself as a monotone stream of electrical sputter and fuzz that might very well have started out as an outdoors field recording, though a modest array of musical pitches do penetrate the track’s rippling fog during its final minutes. Rachele’s aforementioned voice is transformed into ethereal exhalations of angelic character during the comparatively soothing “Calls of the White,” while the gaseous “Century Dome” inhabits an equally celestial sphere before plunging into a prickly bath of seasqualls and electrified smears. The generous running time of “Resonant Cuts” gives Under the Snow ample opportunity to play with its lab equipment and to do so unhurriedly. As a result the piece grows ever more hypnotic as its myriad sounds accumulate, and the listener quickly surrenders to the music’s organic flow of lo-fi electro-acoustic sounds and extreme juxtapositions. Burbling voices, echoing bell tones, wheezing harmonicas, and grinding motor engines swim in a seething and always dense mix that experiences multiple twists and turns during its abstract journey. In short, Dialogue One shows Coniglio and Under the Snow to be kindred spirits of the first order.
THE SILENT BALLET
The grass is growing, the flowers are blooming, the leaves are sprouting, and the women of the town are wearing shorts. What a sumptuous time is spring, when the south wind pushes the salt air from the bay to the olfactory nerves. The brutal winter is but a distant memory, and – wait, what’s this? An album inspired by cold and frost? Noooooooo! The following statement is a compliment, although it will require an explanation. Listening to this album in mid-May feels wrong. But because it feels wrong, it’s clear that the artists involved got it right. Too many winter-themed albums claim to be about the cold, but reflect the season only through cover art. This split disc is the real deal. Enrico Coniglio’s field recordings were made at a glacier on the Pale di San Martino (here’s a cool photo for proof!), while Under the Snow’s wind and rain were captured in the Dolomites (specifically, Falcado). The latter duo (Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron) stirred in the sound of found tapes salvaged from Italian flea markets, and all three artists added guitar and processing. The result: a winter album that actually sounds like winter. The purest, most unadorned sample arrives at the end of Coniglio’s “Kingdom of Her”: the sound of footsteps in the snow. I’d have placed this sample at the beginning of the album, but in its current spot, it neatly separates Coniglio’s half-hour from that of his counterparts. Coniglio’s contribution is a lovely quartet of processed ambience. Opener “Long Distance” is the album’s grittiest piece from start to finish, boasting a low avalanche rumble, a funneled, single-speaker drone, and static that sounds initially like snow and eventually like radio interference. The track brings to mind the best of BJ Nilsen, specifically his work on Fade to White. It’s one of Coniglio’s finest compositions, holding back any glimpse of recognizable musicality until its final 90 seconds, then ending in a swift retreat. His other tracks are more tundra-like, the sound of an aftermath more than that of an impending storm. A voice is credited on “Calls of the White”, so processed that it sounds like another instrument, or perhaps a hapless traveler caught in white-out conditions. The artist’s final high point arrives in the closing minutes of “Century Dome”, as a sheet of field recordings is laid atop a bed of ambience, then removed to reveal a hidden layer of electronics: a sharp technique that deserves further investigation on future recordings. Under the Snow’s “Resonant Cuts” is a fine companion to the preceeding tracks. Although it is clearly the work of a different artist, it occupies the same timbral region and helps the split to function as a whole. Distinguishable notes are present from the start, along with the same static that haunts Coniglio’s work. A sleepy wind begins to blow, carrying spectral voices in its grime. Foreign objects rattle like trinkets pinned to a shed. Rustles and shimmers vanquish the guitar strings; the wind reappears at a higher frequency. By the midpoint, ambience is abandoned for drone, an extremely effective maneuver that connects “Resonant Cuts” to “Long Distance”, unifying the album. Enrico Coniglio and Under the Snow have created an album that belongs to winter. This isn’t the sound of gentle flurries, but of bifrost and all the danger it entails. It’s not an album for noon, and certainly not for summer, but those in the Southern Hemisphere may find that its timing fortuitous. Dialogue One’s locational authenticity will guarantee its durability; I’ll be visiting it again when the first frost falls. [Richard Allen]
AMBIENTBLOG.NET
I first learned about Enrico Coniglio on the “Underwater Noises” compilation and from there found his fascinating “Salicornie (Topofonie Vol. 2)”, dedicated to the city of Venice. Compared to “Salicornie”, this latest release, “Dialogue One ” is quite different: one hour of abstract soundscapes and mutually attracting opposites. “Dialogue One” is a ‘split’ project with Silentes label artists Under the Snow (Stefano Gentile (guitar, field recordings) and Gianluca Favaron (field recordings, processing)). Although there is no ‘dialogue’ between the artists in the tracks itself – the first four tracks are performed by Enrico Coniglio, while the last, performed by Under the Snow, ‘takes up the other half of the album – “Dialogue” is a title well chosen. All tracks show a caleidoscopic display of sounds that seem to be quite different but merge very well. It’s a dialogue between harsh and soft sounds, hi-fi and lo-fi, sawtooth and sinus, shouting an whispering, comforting and frightening. But, different as they are, all parts adds up to a fascinatingly coherent universe of electronic sounds. [Peter van Cooten]
VITAL WEEKLY
Enrico Coniglio is a recent busy man when it comes to releases reviewed in Vital Weekly. His split CD with Under The Snow is, how appropriate, ‘inspired by cold and frost’. Now I am very glad winter time is over and spring has arrived, and I was mistaken with ‘Long Distance'; is this really Coniglio? On a low rumble noise base? Luckily in the other three pieces he is more on par with his usual ambient atmospherics of electronics, guitars and effects. ‘Kingdom Of Her’ is the nicest out of four, moving from mighty cliched synths to radio active fall out crackles. Under The Snow, a duo of guitar and computers, of Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron, have one piece that lasts twenty-seven minutes, even when they move through stages inside the piece. More nicely processed guitars, which seem to have disappeared in the battle of zeroes and ones inside the computer. Nice enough I guess. [FdW]
OLTRE IL SUONO
Spilt album che vede protagonisti Enrico Coniglio, di cui, sempre in “casa” Silentes, abbiamo già recensito il recente “Sea Cathedrals”, e Under the Snow, nuovo progetto collaborativo di Gianluca Favaron (già metà dell’altro progetto “Lasik Surgery” insieme a Pierpaolo Zoppo/Mauthausen Orchestra) e Stefano Gentile, della cui musica avevamo potuto fino ad ora avere soltanto un piccolo “assaggio” nell’uscita su cassetta siglata semplicemente “W”, parte integrante di una collana di 26 tapes di vari artisti (tra cui anche Enrico Coniglio) pubblicata da Silentes Tapestry (Collezione del Silenzio – Free Interpretations of Silent Sounds). Le prime quattro tracce del CD, firmate da Enrico Coniglio, sorvolano i territori di un’ambient music abbastanza “classica”, dalle sonorità morbide ma profonde, dall’andamento quieto e dilatato, seppure abbastanza abbondantemente “sporcate” di suoni di matrice più “rumorosa” e sperimentale, quindi sibili, scricchiolìi, fruscìi, crepitìi, talora di origine elettronica, talora derivanti da registrazioni ambientali, sovrapposti o alternati a rumori concreti, naturali o di imprecisate attività umane. Quindi un’ unica lunga traccia di Under the Snow, che pur percorrrendo sentieri “paralleli”, evidenzia approcci e sonorità che da una parte palesano un’impronta di carattere più sperimentale che non più tradizionalmente ambient, e dall’altra, per contrasto, si ricompongono intorno a strutture compositive più tese e drammatiche, sfociando talora in atmosfere e passaggi dal coinvolgente e prepotente sapore cinematico. Un album/dialogo di sicuro fascino e vivamente consigliato, nel quale Enrico Coniglio propone una musica che è sicuramente al vertice rispetto a quanto prodotto dallo stesso in passato, e nel quale Under the Snow inizia a “segnare” con un’impronta abbastanza definita e riconoscibile il proprio stile e l’interessante percorso sonoro che questo nuovo progetto ha appena intrapreso. [Giuseppe Verticchio]

I (Ep)
Enrico Coniglio – Silentes 2011

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“I” is a two long-drone tracks release made with guitar, percussions and field recordings, recorded live in studio using the ‘Lovedrone’ Ableton Live set made by Enrico. This work is part of “Collezione del Silenzio”, a series of 26 cassette tapes by Silentes Tapestry.

CHAIN D.L.K
The format placement of this release under cassette class is not a mistake, as this sonic stuff coming from the talented Venetian composer Enrico Coniglio’s archive belongs to an interesting series on tape by the label Silentes, whose Collezione del Silenzio project is going to associate each issue (hand-numbered and strictly limited to 100 copies) with each letter of the alphabet in order to give voice to the visions of silence by some of the most renowned Italian electornic music producers, such as Fabio Orsi, Maurizio Bianchi, Giancluca Becuzzi, Simon Balestrazzi, Under The Snow and Opium. The first thinning by Enrico sounds like a drone, whereas the typical swish of the tape merges with expanded frequencies, ghostly voices – whose presence seems to suggest that silence is sometimes a so unknown dimension that it could be thought as coming from another world – and tolls of a sort of nylon guitar, which turns gradually louder into a kinf of chorus which emphasizes the immersive sound experience. Even if the one on A-side is a very powerful ambient-drone suite, I prefer “I”‘s B-side as it sounds more chilling: some nice noisy tears have been wisely inserted into what appears to be the recording of a white noise radio transmission and softer sounds close to that sonic intertwining proposed by some musicians devoted to the concept of the so-called staedtizism such as Kit Clayton or Jan Jelinek. One possible and impressive way to point out the evidence silence is something to be listened to. [Vito Camarretta]
TEXTURA
Italian composer Enrico Coniglio enhances his reputation considerably with two outstanding new releases, one a solo cassette-based affair and the other a split work with Under The Snow. Out and About, the Hypnos-released work Coniglio recently produced in collaboration with Emanuele Errante and Elisa Marzorati under the Herion name indicated that the music Coniglio was creating had advanced to a higher level of refinement, and these latest releases provide additional confirmation of same. He’s a natural fit for Silentes Tapestry’s Collezione Del Silenzio project, which involves allocating the twenty-six alphabet letters to a corresponding number of Italian experimental acts (Fabio Orsi & Flushing Device, Under The Snow, Maurizio Bianchi, and others). The music, issued in cassette tape format (hand-numbered and limited to 100 copies), is designed to capture the artist’s vision of silence, and Coniglio’s impressive two-track result shows him to have elevated his sound-generating abilities to a new level of sophistication and sensitivity. I have no details about sound sources in this case but presumably guitar, electronics, and digital treatments form at least part of the originating materials. Regardless, the two long-form pieces–seventeen and nineteen minutes, respectively–find Coniglio creating elegant swathes of deeply textural ambient-drones that develop with assurance and deliberation. Coated in soft layers of hiss, wave-like masses drift in slow-motion, sometimes with subtle hints of industrial noise creeping in to expand the drones’ dimensional character. Though the material is primarily concerned with textural depth as opposed to melodic development or narrative trajectory, it’s immersive nonetheless, the second piece especially, which brings its textural elements–crackle, smears, rumbles–into even sharper relief than the first. Muffled horn tones billow on the distant horizon as near-phantom presences, while metallic shapes surge insistently amidst a thick stream of crackle and hiss. The piece as a whole exudes a nebulous and ghostly quality that only makes it all the more satisfying as listening material.
AMBIENTBLOG.NET
Another Coniglio release (also on Silentes) is part of a cassette series called “Collezione Del Silenzio ” : 26 audiocassettes (one for every letter in the alphabet) containing “Free Interpretations of Silent Sounds”. For this series, Coniglio takes care of the letter “I” with two tracks, resp. 16:43 and 18:52 in length. Backed with the familiar analogue hiss of the cassette tape, Coniglio slowly unfolds his drones. In this almost industrial hiss, it is hard to distinct his sound from the carrier’s distortion. There’s a lot of clicks and short eruptions, as if the tapes catches environmental radiation in sound. It’s a fascinating array of sounds, always changing, always moving on. For those that can feel the vibe, silence simply does not exist. [Peter van Cooten]
VITAL WEEKLY
Luckily there is Enrico Coniglio to bring back ambience and ambient into the room. More the kind of music I expect from this series. Coniglio is a member of Herion and recently (see Vital Weekly 769) had a solo CD reviewed. Here he stays in ambient land with both feet firm in the ground. Glacial like tonal drifts on side A, and on side B, low humming bass sound hovering closely over the surface. Whereas its unclear what the soundsources are on the first side, the second side seems to have heavily processed guitars. It sounds altogether made in the digital domain, which may take a bit of warmth away… certainly a delight to hear. [FdW]

SALICORNIE – topofonie vol.2 (Lp)
Enrico Coniglio  – Psychonavigation Records 2010

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“SALICORNIE – topofonie vol.2″, is the new album by Enrico Coniglio, the follow up to “AREAVIRUS – topofonie vol.1″ with a new collection of “sound tales” dedicated to Venice.

“SALICORNIE” is an eclectic and multi-varied album, ambient first of all, and then classical, pop, dark and experimental… full of field recordings collected strictly in situ and enhanced, among others, by the collaboration of the trumpeter Arve Henriksen (Rune Grammofon, ECM) and the pianist Gigi Masin (Sub Rosa, Ants records).

“SALICORNIE” is the sound of the Venice Carnival, crowds celebrating, as the lagoon and its slow and lonely flow of water join up. A polymorphic portrait of what Venice is today, one moment decadent and melancholy, then romantic, rowdy, colourful and chaotic. Postcard of a thousand postcards, photos of a thousand photos…

Other musicians in the album are Nigel Samways (drones, electronica) and Patrik Monticelli (cello).

BLOW UP
L’opera di indagine dei paesaggi sonori di Venezia intrapresa da Enrico Coniglio in una serie di progetti e pubblicazioni in serie, tra le quali il recente “Songs from Ruined Days” (Spire/Touch), conosce un nuovo episodio con le “Salicornie”. Questa volta però, la rilettura dei luoghi della città natale dell’autore non avviene attraverso la lente del field recording nudo o quasi, ma in una rievocazione, a tratti magniloquente, romantica e decadente, a tratti animata da uno spirito documentaristico inesorabile, nutrito di curiosità entomologica per voci e piccoli angoli di città, in cui alle registrazioni d’ambiente si sovrappongono una serie di partiture strumentali per tromba (Arve Henriksen) e pianoforte (Gigi Masin). Ma c’è anche la chitarra dell’autore, a fare a tratti da contrappunto a queste topofonie veneziane, in una mescolanza di bozzetti ambientali (Angels of San Marco), flussi di pulsazioni minimali (Alper Tower Vol. 2), riverberati interludi strumentali (Salicornie, Interlude, per pianoforte e violoncello), cupe immersioni nei fantasmi ambientali (Fondamenta Nove incl. 130 s.m.l.) o filiformi suite texturali (Pastor et nauta). Un lavoro ricco di spunti, complesso per costruzione perchè interiorizza impressioni e tonalità assai variegate, amalgamate però da una visione coerente in cui il paesaggio acustico si mescola a quello del ricordo e della suggestione fotografica in un quadro d’insieme affascinante e lungi da ogni possibile vagheggiamento oleografico. [Leandro Pisano]
VITAL WEEKLY
Over christmas I was zapping away at the idiot box called TV, and I fell into a live concert of Andre Rieu, The Netherlands best selling music export product, who conducted Maurice Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, rendering it just below five minutes. What a shame. It was almost as bad as Eric Random half-hearted attempt on his ‘Earthbound Ghost Need’. The ‘Bolero’ also pops up in the title track of this new CD by Enrico Coniglio, who is a ‘guitarist, environmental sound recordist and sound artist’ and his album is dedicated to the city of Venice. It uses sounds from the carnival of that city, as well as music by Coniglio, who also plays synthesizers, bells, breathes, radio, toy glockenspiel, mini gong, glasses, farfisa mircorgan, clavietta, harmonica psalterium and ‘a plenty of other little stuff’, and gets help of trumpeter Arve Henriksen, pianist Gigi Masin, cellist Patrik Monticelli and field recordings by Nigel Samways. Its been forty or so years since I visited Venice (as a little boy of five years old), so I don’t recall any of that, and all I know from Venice is what I read or heard about it. Coniglio, recently getting more and more active, is a man of ambient music, with a strong sense of both ends of the musical spectrum: on one hand the pop end, and on the other the classical end, especially when he uses his guestplayers. Over the weekend I was reading a book on Brian Eno, meanwhile playing some of his records and this morning I thought I was still listening to Eno, when in fact I had moved on to Enrico Coniglio. A similar interest in using real instruments playing melodic tunes, the addition of field recordings of sea sounds, from the Laguna of Venice obviously, and sometimes more abstract electronic soundscapes and sounds from an acoustic source. It’s all quite pleasant music, and Coniglio keeps his music concise and to the point. I am not sure where Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ fits into an album about Venice, but its nice to hear it in this new context. As you may have guessed, the music is not alarmingly new in the world of ambient music, but Coniglio does a great job. Relaxing, easy music, but with enough bite to be noticed – not as disposable as Eno would have thought ambient to be… [FdW]
AMBIENTBLOG.NET
Most ambient music deals with more or less imaginary landscapes -like, for example, the two compilations recently reviewed: “Hidden Landscapes” and “Underwater Noises”. This is definitely not the case for both Topofonie albums by Enrico Coniglio (who also contributed to the Underwater Noises compilation), that are inspired by Venice and its lagoon . “A polymorphic portrait of what Venice is today, one moment decadent and melancholy, then romantic, rowdy, colourful and chaotic. Postcard of a thousand postcards, photos of a thousand photos…” But, just as Venice is not like any other city in the world, Salicornie (and its predecessor: Areavirus ) is not like any other ‘ambient’ album. “Enrico Coniglio (1975) is a musician with an interest in the aesthetic aspects of the landscape. Starting from his curiosity in experimenting within tonal variation of ambient and atmosphere music, with a particular referral to the soundscape of the Venetian lagoon, his music aims at investigating the loss of identity of places and the uncertainty on the evolution of the territory.” Triggered by his track on “Underwater Noises”, I noticed some of the artists Coniglio has worked with. An impressive list, with names like Joachim Roedelius, Emanuele Erante, Oophoi, Janek Schaefer and Arve Henriksen. Arve Henriksen’s heart-melting trumpet marks the opening title track of the album, quietly introducing the rhythm pattern sampled from Ravel’s Bolero. Using this emphatic rhythm on an album that can (partially) be classified as an ‘ambient’ album is of course a remarkable statement in itself. Apart from ‘ambient’ music, this album also includes ‘jazz’ music (‘Usaghi Blues’), and quite a lot of ‘environmental’ recordings (‘Angels of San Marco’ ). Some of the tracks, like”The Girl from Murania” would do very well in a movie soundtrack. Coniglio’s instrumentation,which defines the overall sound, is considerably different from most recent ambient-electronic albums: “Farfisa MircOrgan, clavietta, harmonica, psalterian and a plenty of other little stuff.” Like the city it is dedicated to, Salicornie is definitely worth multiple visits. By the way: of course it’s best to check it out together with its 2007 predecessor “Areavirus – Topofonie Vol.1″. [Peter van Cooten]
SENTIREASCOLTARE
Se artisti come Fennesz rielaborano l’ambient in micro-porzioni di elettronica che si accavallano per generare un nuovo tessuto sonoro, musicisti come Enrico Coniglio vanno in tutt’altra direzione, scegliendo invece la scenografia e la narrazione come linguaggio privilegiato. Nessuna vena sperimentale o tendenza avanguardista, insomma. Semmai lentezza e sviluppo nell’ottica di una musica rarefatta ma profonda, capace di giocare con le suggestioni che nascono dall’unione di classica, jazz e looping. In Salicornie: Topofonie Vol. 2 (seconda puntata di una serie di opere ispirate alla laguna di Venezia) si sommano chitarre minimali, pianoforti, violoncello, tromba, organi, glockenspiel, mini gong, synth e field recordings (il vociare e le campane in Angels Of San Marco, le funi che si tirano e il legno di Fondamente Nove Incl. 130 cm s.l.m.). Per dar vita a un’opera “suonata” che ha un sapore orchestrale tutto particolare, nel suo essere disciplinata, corposa (settanta minuti per tredici brani) e a conti fatti piuttosto conservatrice. [Fabrizio Zampighi]
AMAZON (customer's review)
Except the collaboration with Oophoi on outstanding Aqua Dorsa “Cloudlands” album, the work of Enrico Coniglio remained unknown to me for a very long time. Shame on me!!! With several albums released on Psychonavigation, Silentes and Velut Luna, Enrico returns here with exciting sound collage dedicated and influenced by the magical city of Venice. Painted with all the essential colors of Enrico’s home city, we are experiencing here all the beauty, majesty and entertainment of Venice. Compositions on “Salicornie” are as much colorful as it is everyday’s life of this city. Enrico, who uses variety of instruments, “other little stuff” and numerous field recordings, is joined by guests (Arve Henriksen, Gigi Masin, Patrik Monticelli and Nigel Samways) on trumpet, vocals, synths, piano, cello, loops … who are adding to his already colorful textures another fresh wind of sounds and moods. After boiling all these ingredients together, we get here a quite eclectic acoustic ambient based journey full of joy and attraction. Sunny and cloudy, happy and sad, loud and calm, celebrating and relaxing, majestic and simple…, “Salicornie” is a “live” postcard from Venice, a must have not only for every fan of experimental ambient, but also for all those who have ever experienced this wonderful city. I guarantee all your memories will relive once again!!! Molte grazie to Enrico and all his guests, this is a pure magic!!! [Richard Gürtler]
ROCKERILLA
“AMBIGUITA’ DI UNA MAGIA ISPIRATRICE A RISCHIO D’ESTINZIONE”, a special monograph on the city of Venice edited by Isabella Rivera. Contributions by Serena Nono, Enrico Coniglio, Gigi Masin, Mirco Salvadori, Lorenzo Isacco. Photos by Donato Gagliano and Isabella Rivera. Go to the PDF here.
ROCKERILLA
Dipingere le mille sfumature di una città unica al mondo usando un colore che profuma di Ravel con decadenti mescolanze vocali un tempo appartenenti a Steven Brown e compagni. Questa la prefazione ad un racconto costruito magicamente con il suono e con i suoni: quei rumori, quelle voci, quei momenti di vita che solo un microfono binaurale sa fermare e rendere vivi per sempre, ascolto dopo ascolto. “Salicornie” è la rincorsa senza speranza di un romanticismo che ancora trasuda dai muri in rovina di una Venezia oramai trasformata in un desolato ed abbandonato parco giochi acquatico, un’alternanza tra sogno e realtà esplicitata in modo magistrale attraverso il suono nel quale vengono inseriti i fields che appartengono alla realtà quotidiana: fotogrammi continui che trasportano l’ascoltatore fin dentro una Piazza San Marco gremita all’inverosimile di varia umanità travolta dall’eco di una Marangona (l’antica campana) che tutto annienta con il suo fragore, un maestoso riverbero che nasconde il sottile malessere creato dalla modulazione data alle sirene dell’acqua alta o dal lento e ripetitivo strepitio della corda che segue l’andamento delle onde mentre stringe l’imbarcazione alla fondamenta. Rumori/suoni di vita alla deriva che vengono colorati con la maestria di autori quali Arve Henriksen alla tromba, Gigi Masin (che offre il suo splendido ‘Blue Venice’ in free download dal sito della label) al pianoforte, Patrik Monticelli al cello, con i loops di Nigel Samways e soprattutto con il sentimento, strumento maestro nelle mani di Enrico Coniglio. [Mirco Salvadori]
ONDAROCK
Dai luoghi della memoria post-industriale di “Songs From Ruined Days” alla memoria di luoghi conservati in un cristallo musicale, Enrico Coniglio prosegue le sonorizzazioni di un ipotetico percorso in una Venezia vagheggiata o scomparsa, tanto nelle cattedrali industriali abbandonate quanto nelle cartoline romantiche e atemporali di “Salicornie”, secondo volume delle “Topofonie”, inaugurate nel 2007 con “Areavirus”. Non è nuovo il legame del compositore veneto con la sua città, così come non lo è il suo intento di “riempire” di suono i luoghi, anziché semplicemente descriverli; e in questo senso i quasi settanta minuti di “Salicornie” incarnano l’essenza stessa di luoghi, suoni e frammenti sospesi in un altrove temporale e rappresentati in miniature astratte, realizzate a mezzo dei consueti filtraggi e manipolazioni di field recordings ma anche attraverso un articolato impianto strumentale, che comprende la tromba di Arve Henriksen e il pianoforte di Gigi Masin. Non più solo saturazioni, dunque, ma un ritorno a un ampio spettro compositivo, che trae l’abbrivio da mesmeriche intersezioni con fiati e pianoforte per confezionare, appunto, topofonie più o meno estese, avvolte da un fascino arcano, romantico e decadente al tempo stesso. “Salicornie” rappresenta infatti una fedele narrazione musicale dell’essenza e della storia di luoghi, momenti e tradizioni, che ora si innalza in progressioni graduali, supportate da una qualche forma ritmica, ora si rifugia in liquide profondità ambientali, appena solcate da pulsazioni e screziature minimali. Sotto il primo profilo, sono già emblematici gli otto minuti della title track iniziale, la cui solennità pianistica viene prima puntellata dai fiati e poi completata da ritmiche jazzy e da vocalizzi tra post-coralità e vaporose ambientazioni nordiche. L’accurata giustapposizione dei suoni reca con sé un’idea di lenta perfezione orientale, che talvolta si percepisce nel ricorrere di sentori caldi e speziati, nonché soprattutto nella ricca leggiadria di un brano come “The Girl From Murania”. Coniglio applica tuttavia i suoi “origami sonori” non solo alle parti acustico-cameristiche del lavoro ma anche a quelle – non meno ingenti – improntate a declinazioni ambientali che nell’occasione spaziano dal dark ambient dei nove minuti di “Fondamente Nove incl. 120 cm s.l.m.” ai suoni granulari di “Pastor et nauta”, dai picchiettii nelsoniani di “Alpen Tower pt.2″ alle spesse nebbie idrofoniche di “Salicornie (reprise)”. E ancora, l’interludio per pianoforte e violoncello “Salicornie (interlude)” e l’aura rinascimentale del dialogo tra drone, voci. violino e campane di “Angels Of San Marco”; insomma, un universo sonoro estremamente vario, le cui molteplici sfaccettature compositive e strumentali incorniciano di un senso di distanza spazio-temporale l’omaggio tutt’altro che banale a una Venezia idealizzata nella preziosa immutabilità del ricordo. [Raffaello Russo]
ATTILIO NOVELLINO's quote
Enrico ha una cifra personalissima, molto particolare, in cui l’avanguardia più ricercata si fonde con suoni classici, concreti; questo genera una sorprendente atmosfera di contaminazione ambientale che vive sul dialogo tra linguaggi apparentemente distanti, ma che i brani comunicano alla perfezione: disintegrations loops, campane, glitches, pianoforte, violoncello e chitarra disegnano un bolero emozionante, vivo, ricco di forza descrittiva, venato di quella malinconia tipica dei posti dove si incontrano i viaggiatori delle più svariate provenienze, nei quali, non serve parlare una stessa lingua per comprendersi, perchè sono i luoghi stessi a risuonare. [Attilio Novellino]
THE SILENT BALLET
Salicornie is a marvelously engaging exploration of Venice. The disc operates as a sonic postcard, and is so evocative that it should be sold in airport kiosks to outgoing tourists wishing to extend their experience. The only drawbacks are non-musical: an unwieldy title and a cover that fails to accurately represent its contents. Salicornie is the classic case of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Memoirist André Aciman often writes of the nostalgia present in remembering a city that one has left. The mind plays tricks: reorganizes geography, truncates chronology, glosses over imperfection. In much the same way, Salicornie presents an idealized Venice, preserved in amber: a slice of life that operates as a microcosm of the whole. Enrico Coniglio knew that he’d be unable to capture all of the city’s allure, but he’d be able to open enough windows to provide an engaging view. Coniglio’s recent works have been incredibly varied in nature, ranging from the watery ambience of Sea Cathedrals to the organ-drenched religion of Songs from Ruined Days. On Salicornie, he calls upon the assistance of some mighty fine collaborators, including Arve Henrikson on trumpet, Gigi Masin on piano and Patrik Monticelli on cello. Their work is spread throughout the disc, which provides variety; it is as if they are walking in and out of the camera’s frame. The trio lends the album a languid jazz vibe, similar to that of its predecessor, 2007’s Areavirus: Topofonie Vol. 1. But while the former album relied on the inspiration of a lagoon, its sequel benefits from a more complex muse. While the sounds of the lagoon can still be heard, they are joined here by the revelry of the Venice Carnival and the bells of the San Marco Basilica. Much of the album seems to have been recorded around the Piazza and Piazzetta. We hear water lapping, pigeons cooing, children playing, crowds laughing, and occasionally, the sound of distant troubadours. To listen is to stroll the pavement, south to north and back again, to breathe the enchanted air, to pause before the cafés, the clocktower, the statues of St. Mark and St. Theodore. There’s much more to Venice than gondolas and glass. Strangely, even a monkey seems to make an appearance on Track 10. Coniglio’s synthesizer, shells, “psalterium and a plenty (sic) of other little stuff” provide many tiny protuberances that prevent the album from being overly glossy. These welcome guests help to shift the album from the ambient to the experimental. The title track (and its reprise) even contain samples of Ravel’s Bolero. While assigning mood to music is subjective, Salicornie seems to be an album of late summer tumbling into autumn. It’s an outdoor album with a twinge of melancholy. The happiest moments arrive during the opening tracks, after which the voices fade, the effects grow increasingly solitary and the instrumentation turns wistful. As the closing piano piece unfolds, each note seems to forestall the onset of fall. When the last note echoes, we involuntarily shiver. For the first night since spring, the windows will have to be shut. The first leaf is about to descend. [Richard Allen]
TEXTURA
SALICORNIE – Topofonie vol. 2, Enrico Coniglio’s follow-up to his 2007 Psychonavigation collection AREAVIRUS – Topofonie vol. 1, is fashioned as a tone poem to Venice, and as such is designed to convey the full spectrum of experiences associated with the city–its decadent and romantic sides, its chaos and rowdiness. Coniglio draws upon field recordings of water, church bells, children’s voices, and the cacophany of overlapping conversations to generate rich mental postcards of a busy locale. Musical sounds drift out a cafe’s doors to join a mix that’s already teeming, and the creak of a gondola wending its way through the city’s water routes also surfaces. Adjoining such elements are thick ambient webs Coniglio builds from a mini-orchestra of guitar, synthesizer, bells, toy glockenspiel, clavietta, harmonica, psalterium, and a host of other materials. Some pieces are shape-shifting settings of collage-styled design; others are more song-shaped. “Alpen Tower pt. 2,” for example, adheres to a conventional structure in nicely underlaying piano tinkles and revereberant electric guitar figures with an understated beat pulse. For every excursion into darkness (e.g., the murky, watery depths plunged during “Fondamente Nove incl. 130 cm s.l.m.”), something sweeter emerges to offset it. Not surprisingly, the material receives a considerable boost from the presence of Arve Henriksen, whose trumpet playing adds personality to whatever project he’s contributing to. The title piece (and its later reprise) stand out for the way in which Henriksen’s signature breathy tone floats overtop the lulling backdrop Coniglio provides to him. Collectively, the sound verges on symphonic as see-sawing piano chords, violins, cellos, and a martial drum pattern (sampled from Ravel’s Bolero) conduct their slow and steady ascent. When Henriksen and cellist Patrik Monticelli voice a yearning theme halfway through the piece, it feels like a quintessential ECM moment, even if Coniglio’s album appears on Psychonavigation. Monticelli also has a lovely solo spot on “SALICORNIE (interlude),” where the piece’s haunting main theme is prominent. The playing of Henriksen and Monticelli, abetted by the piano of Gigi Masin (who gets the closing track “Usaghi Blues” all to himself), also elevates “The Girl from Murania,” whose lush and pretty five minutes might be the album’s most uplifting. The impact such guests make on the album can’t be overstated, as without them its seventy-minute running time would start to feel overlong; it would be easy to imagine listener fatigue setting in by the time the ninth and tenth settings, “Pastor et Nauta” and “Bateon dei Morti” appear, for instance. But by adding such distinguished voices to his material, Coniglio ensures that the album holds one’s attention despite its length.


SEA CATHEDRALS (Lp)
Enrico Coniglio feat. M.P. Cecchinato & M. Liverani – Silentes 2010

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Five superb tracks of deep and evocative ambient music, enriched with echoes of ancient ritual suggestions. The immense spaces and the abyssal deepness of the sea, but also the sound of the bowels of the Earth, the colour of the sand of the desert, the energy of the wind, the strenght of all the Elements, the infinite cycle of day and night, of life and death… A long circular journey through interchanging atmospheres that shake and capture, dragging with energy, then leave room for more quiet and soothing introspective “stasis”, and again become dramatic and overwhelming, A great, unmissable album of “classic” ritual ambient music.

CLASSICAL-DRONE
Enrico Coniglio first came to my attention in his collaboration with one of my favorite drone ambienteers, Oöphoi (whose work deserves a couple of articles here, but another time&hellip). He has been kind enough to keep me apprised of his work, and some time ago I received a couple of packages of CDs from him containing releases from different projects. Coniglio has deep roots in Venice, and he continues to project a strong sense of place through field recordings and album imagery. But through his work I have discovered a larger collection of ambienteers from Italy, a sense of place that comes from the community of musicians. His release Sea Cathedrals on Silentes(an affiliate of the classic Italian ambient label Amplexus) is a collection of five drone works, ranging in duration from six minutes to twenty. His collaborators include his cover photographerManuel P. Cecchinatoplaying crystals, singing bowls, and a custom-made analog synth with Paul Klee’s Archangel drawing engraved on copper as its touchplate; Massimo Liverani on guitars, loops and treatments; and Manuela Bruschini singing wordlessly on the title track. The two tracks featuring Liverani’s loops are the two shortest on the album, set in the middle between longer, more atmospheric works. On Till, a muffled phrase repeats with added resonance developing into little melodic fragments that gradually supplant the loop’s original focus. Similarly, on The Lost Cargo, the resonance from a single crystal stroke slowly takes on a life of its own as overtone whistles trail into flute sounds. Coniglio’s drones and field recordings provide a gauzy curtain around the loops and extend the album’s continuity to the longer soundscapes. The twenty-minute title track, which opens the album, combines isolated chords in a synth drone with single percussive strokes and processed (or perhaps electronic) seagulls. The drifting harmonies and languid pace that encircle monumental blocks of sound recall Debussy’s sunken cathedral, a century-old parallel evocation of underwater temples. Sandbanks combines distant wavering microtonal clusters and processed crickets into a rich buzzing, propelled by arhythmic techno-style blips and a whistling reminiscent of the bird calls from the title track. Sylos, the album’s closer, is another long stretch of murmuring drones punctuated with deep crashing events and layered with the album’s most recognizable field recordings. Single bell strokes, like temple bells, introduce sections with cavernous voices, reverberating in a public space like a train station. Spacious and unassuming yet filled with tiny details, Sea Cathedrals is a release in the classic ambient framework, honoring varying levels of attention. If Sea Cathedrals is Coniglio’s pure ambient release, on the second volume of hisTopofonie project,Salicornie, he indulges his romantic and melodic side. An extended paean to Venice released on the Irish labelPsychonavigation,Salicornie is framed by the gorgeous title track, which begins with a gentle Debussy chords rocking back and forth, then features the breathy trumpet of Arve Henriksen, cello by Patrik Monticelli. The rhythm picks up, sounds familiar, and like a sudden parting of the curtain everything is accompanied by orchestral samples from Ravel’s Bolero. This song could fit comfortably on softer mainstream instrumental radio. But the theme disintegrates back into hazy, languid echoes of Gershwin, which in turn become the background for a stroll around the Piazza San Marco, with tourists, strolling musicians, church bells. This in turn fades into “disintegration loops” from Nigel Samways, a blurry conclusion to the first four tracks. The theme from Salicornie later appears in an interlude led by Monticelli, and at the end with a full group calm and melancholic reprise. The melodicism continues across the entire album, from the wistful chords on Alpen Tower pt. 2 (a continuation of a song from the first volume) as well as The Girl From Murania, a beautiful standalone piece which features Henriksen and Monticelli alongside of Coniglio’s bent-note guitars and gentle percussive beats. This track, like the main theme, could easily be a strong candidate for radio play. But the field recordings aren’t buried in the mix, as they are on Sea Cathedrals, they’re prominently displayed. Fondamente Nova incl. 130 cm s.l.m. includes creaking wood and ropes from a sailing vessel that could fetch an unsuspecting, lulled listener back from the brink of slumber. Often the phonography is subordinate to the music, yet still communicating strongly a sense of place, as when the sustained, melodic synths of Bateon dei morti float on layers of water and sea birds. The combination of field recordings, ambient layers and romantic melodicism make Salicornie considerably more dramatic and conceptual than Sea Cathedrals, a more structured and post-classical side of Coniglio’s music. Besides performing and composing, Coniglio is also a curator of a collection of ambient tracks from various Italian musicians on the theme of Underwater Noises. Aside from Coniglio, most of the names are new to me, although I reviewed an album by Obsil forfurthernoise.org a few months ago. There is a nice variety across the compilation, from Ennio Mazzon’s dreamy rain-soaked drones to Cop Killin Beat’s glitchy atmospherics and submerged loops. I liked Paolo Veneziani’s Inside the Edge, where a thin melodic thread traverses a cavern of watery drips and rustling percussives. Obsil’s sudden transitions between field recordings, squiggly electronics and poignant piano loops stands out from the sustained drones featured prominently on several tracks. Everyone’s taste will determine which tracks will be the favorites, but I found the entire compilation very listenable throughout. Underwater Noises is a joint release between the Lost Children netlabel and Ephre Imprint, where it is available as a limited edition CD-R. My only complaint about the comp, a minor one, is that none of the web sites have links to the artists, which defeats one of the purposes of the collection. To close this survey of Enrico Coniglio’s recent work, let me also mention a composition of raw field recordings he recently made available on the Portuguese media label Crónica. Recorded with binaural microphones in one of Venice’s Basilicas on a typical feast day, it combines random group noise, prayers and organ music as Coniglio wandered the crowd. The twenty-minute composition, in three parts, is available here as part of Crónica’s podcast series. Check out some of the other pieces while you’re there. Sea Cathedrals is available directly from Silentes. Salicornie is more widely distributed as a CD and is also available as a download from all the usual suspects. [Caleb Deupree]
AMAZON (customer's review)
The work of Enrico Coniglio is getting recognized more and more with each release and it’s well-deserved. “Sea Cathedrals”, on which he is teamed with Manuel P. Cecchinato and Massimo Liverani, is no exception. Manuel P. Cecchinato is new to me, but I remember well Massimo Liverani from outstanding tracks “Stalking Venice” and “ExistenZ Minimum” on Coniglio’s “Areavirus: Topofonie Vol. 1″. Apart from his previous releases on Psychonavigation and Velut Luna labels, which were by far more acoustic and eclectic, on “Sea Cathedrals” Enrico and his fellow musicians explore darker and drifting realms, dedicated to industrial area known as Porto Marghera, located on the mainland of Venice. So no surprise they have landed this time on Stefano Gentile’s Silentes label. The album opens with monumental title track “Sea Cathedrals”. Blend of dark drones, on-site recordings and some vocals of Manuela Bruschini makes from this 20-minute track a pure gem, what a masterpiece!!! More please!!! “Sandbanks” keeps its tense mood, while being less drifting and more experimental, but amazing too! “Till” remains in the same terrain, but adds glitches/hiss to its drones. This one would easily fit also Aqua Dorsa project, another remarkable piece! Mysterious “The Lost Cargo” attracts with its bell sounds while the last 19-minute piece “Sylos” submerges us with its deep abyssal sounds timely spiced by singing bowls, a grandiose journey and perfect album closer! “Sea Cathedrals” is another masterful sonic sculpture of Enrico Coniglio (and his guests) released during 2010, so watch out for this talented and potential Venetian composer!!! [Richard Gürtler]
MAURIZIO PECCHIA's quote
Come i Titani dal fondo dell’Inferno dantesco: sylos, ciminiere e l’altoforno si innalzano, coperti di ruggine, possenti e minacciosi lungo la costa. Sì, vi è qualcosa di numinoso, una fosca, ancorchè inane, aura di sacro, in queste costruzioni che sembrano sorte dal fondo del mare. Per me, cresciuto a Piombino, ascoltare SEA CATHEDRALS è stato come rivivere la meraviglia e, soprattutto, l’inquietudine da sempre provate di fronte a questi giganti di ferro ed acciaio. [Maurizio Pecchia]
CONNEXIONBIZZARRE
The name Enrico Coniglio is not new to this scene as well as to me. In the past I had the pleasure of reviewing another CD with him being one of the collaborators. The album “dyanMU” was released on the Irish label Psychonavigation Records and for “Sea Cathedrals” Enrico chose to stay closer to home as it was released by fellow countrymen Silentes. The album’s imagery and its music is conceptualized around ‘Sea Cathedrals’ or the great heritage of the coastal industrial archeology of Porto Marghera. Part field recordings, part guitar loops, bells, vocals and synths – this album gathers sounds from as much different origins as what was brought into the harbor. Just like on the before mentioned “dyanMU” which was a collaboration with Elisa Marzorati, “Sea Cathedrals” is again a collaborative effort. On the cover and in the books it says Enrico Coniglio feat. M.P. Cecchinato and M. Liverani and within the liner-notes we also find the additional vocals being credited to Manuela Bruschini. Sadly I couldn’t find any more information about the other persons, so the review will focus on Mr. Coniglio himself. And why try to rewrite what is told so perfectly on his website. “Enrico Coniglio is a musician with an interest in the aesthetic aspects of the landscape. … his music tries to explore the loss of identity of places and the uncertainty of the evolution of the territory.” This feeling of forgotten memories and places that ‘once were’ very well depicts the atmosphere that is created on this album. Long stretched sounds with slow movements – which sometimes take a bit ‘too’ long like on the title-track – and at other moments the activity within the sound-spectrum is very high. An example from this can be heard in the gorgeous second track “Sandbanks”. “Sea Cathedrals” is a well executed piece of ambient music which will appeal to more then just the usual target audience for this kind of works. [Bauke van der wal]
CYCLIC DEFROST MAGAZINE
The spectre of Thomas Koner looms large on Sea Cathedrals, a five-piece dark ambient work by Enrico Coniglio with Manuel P. Cecchinato and Massimo Liverani, but not in a derivative way. Coniglio applies the slowed down cushioned hiss present in Koner’s music to more placed-based recordings, dense drifting pieces built from synth, voice, ‘drone’ and field recordings captured along the Industrial coast of Porto Maguera near Venice. This latter component provides the album with concept and direction whilst – thankfully – avoiding ecological preaching, approaching the geographic soundscape from a position comparable to that of Francisco Lopez, with more interest in overt sound manipulation and instruments. Despite the varied elements going into these pieces, they’re all rendered indistinguishable through processing, serving only the vast resultant drones. The title is appropriate, as there is something grand and mythic at work here, and sub-aquatic, a deep sound that floods the space like gas. Traces of location recording hint at both nature and industry, and while the synthesis is complete it’s hardly a happy union. The presence of bells in ‘Till’ and ‘The Lost Cargo’ brings a faint Fourth World air, but the bleakness remains, like the work of Paul Schutze. A strong, dark, and impressive album. [Joshua Meggitt]
AUDIO DROME
Dopo Glacial Movements e Touch, Enrico Coniglio, qui coadiuvato da Massimo Liverani e Manuel Cecchinato, ottiene di essere pubblicato da Silentes, casa di tanta sperimentazione elettronica e ambient italiana, specie di quella più legata al genere industrial (in catalogo troviamo Mauthausen Orchestra, Maurizio Bianchi, Hall Of Mirrors, Deison, Cria Cuervos…). Sea Cathedrals è più scuro e meno glitch di Cloudlands (pubblicato assieme a Oophoi a nome Aquadorsa), nonostante tra i due dischi ci siano punti di contatto (certe reminescenze di Roach), ed è meno concettuale di Song From Ruined Days, nonostante il paesaggio di riferimento di Enrico resti quello industriale in rovina di Porto Marghera, sempre costruito anche su field recordings, questa volta però apparentemente più manipolati. Situazioni sospese, momenti soft anche se non solari (soprattutto i primi venti minuti della title-track, ingentiliti dalla voce di Manuela Bruschini), drone che vengono lasciati espandere il più possibile, loop che compiono il loro ciclo in intervalli di tempo amplissimi: Sea Cathedrals non ha fretta e non ha bisogno di colpi ad effetto, bensì gira intorno a chi ascolta e piano piano gli costruisce attorno un nuovo mondo. Certi suoni più obliqui di “Sandbanks”, “The Lost Cargo” e “Sylos”, però, nel contesto di un disco dal respiro così calmo, aumentano il desiderio di ripetere l’esperienza. Come spesso capita con l’ambient, poi, una volta entrati – magari faticando un po’, proprio come in Cloudlands, in un buon album, difficilmente se ne esce. Gli appassionati del genere hanno definitivamente (se ne erano già accorti in parecchi) un nuovo nome da seguire. [Fabrizio Garau]
VITAL WEEKLY
Enrico Congilio already worked with Oophoi on a CD for Glacial Movements (see Vital Weekly 683) and here works with his drones, field recordings, bells, programming with two musicians (not on every track together) Manuel P. Cecchinato (arc-angel synthesizer, treatments, crystals) and Massimo Liverani (guitars, loops, treatments). The five pieces, ranging from six to twenty minutes, are excellent examples of ambient drone music. Dark, atmospheric, spacious, all those keywords of what ambient and drone music is, apply to this music. Much of this kind of music has been said and done before, but Coniglio does a mighty fine job here. Excellent wonderful production.

BLOW UPField recordings colti da Enrico Coniglio sui bordi di Porto Marghera costituiscono la fonte digitalmente elaborata che, con il contributo degli accreditati Cecchinato e Liverani, ma anche di Manuela Bruschini la cui voce, come divina luce che traffigge plumbea volta, è nelle tessiture della title track, erige “Sea Cathedrals”, requiem all’utopia acritica del benessere garantito teorizzato senza remore dai fautori dell’industrializzazione euforicamente indiscriminata. Il presupposto dell’album, dedicato alle ‘cattedrali sul mare’, simulacri di archeologia industriale, inevitabilmente ammanta di dolenti tonalità il susseguirsi dei cinque brani, dall’ambient smarrita e navigante con inesistente visibilità di Sea Cathedrals, al mare aperto colmo di interrogativi e di oscure suggestioni che si para davanti infinito, fornendoci preziosa chiave per comprendere come anche alle spalle è altrettanto immenso il nulla di Sandbanks, dalle maree crescenti che sommergono parole e finzioni di Till agli esoterici riverberi che s’agitano in lontananza nell’immota The Lost Cargo, sino a quasi venti minuti di Sylos, cupo post-industrial dal passo compassatamente lugubre che si sfilaccia in mille diramazioni che si riavvolgono inestricabili avvinghiandosi alle antenne del tetro complesso industriale che si staglia nella distanza. [Paolo Bertoni]

ROCKERILLA n. 361
Cattedrali sul mare oscuro della fantasia per Enrico Coniglio e suoi complici in azione manuel P. Cecchinato e Massimo Liverani. Il paesaggio sonoro di Sea Cathedrals non chiede altro di essere viaggiato nella totalità dei suoi 5 brani a lunga durata cullati dalla voce delle onde e dal canto delle sirene. Non resta che farsi portare alla deriva di questi flutti arcani mossi da armonici sussurranti, ma anche solcati da vibrati profondi e scie di droni elettronici che scandagliano gli spazi ignoti degli abissi marini, mentre altrove disegnano le lagune blu di un mondo incontaminato lontano nel tempo. Ma queste cattedrali sul mare suggeriscono un’altra chiave di lettura meno serafica e più prossima al tema della salvaguardia ambientale nell’era degli imperi industriali. Da ascoltare tra le righe. [Aldo Chimenti]
OLTRE IL SUONO
Affascinante album in “classico” stile ritual-ambient dalla matrice oscura, costruito attraverso cinque tracce dalle sonorità profonde ed evocative, ora più statiche, fluttuanti, “quiete” e dilatate, ora più incisive, drammatiche, “trainanti” e coinvolgenti… Nonostante la collocazione stilistica all’interno di un filone piuttosto “collaudato” e, solitamente, abbastanza “standardizzato”, c’è da evidenziare che le sonorità appaiono comunque molto ricercate, le strutture compositive finemente elaborate, e il missaggio di suoni ed elementi vari sicuramente ben riuscito ed efficace, tanto da far decisamente “spiccare” questo album, non solo dal punto di vista tecnico ma anche da quello prettamente “emotivo” rispetto a tanti altri di genere analogo. Un CD che, nel suo lento e progressivo evolvere, sembra via via “crescere” anche dal punto di vista “qualitativo”, quasi come se, corrispondentemente allo sviluppo temporale, in fase di realizzazione progredissero parimenti le buone intuizioni, l’originalità delle idee, la perizia tecnica e l’abilità nel ricercare suoni, combinarli insieme, e costruire attraverso essi atmosfere sempre più efficaci e coinvolgenti. Un album sicuramente consigliato a tutti gli amanti del genere. [Giuseppe Verticchio]


dyanMU (Lp)
Enrico Coniglio & Elisa Marzorati – Psychonavigation Records 2008

BUY

Enrico Coniglio presents his second album on Irish label Psychonavigation Records. A slight change of style from the Italian producers critically acclaimed previous work “AREAVIRUS – topofonie vol.1″. This time around in between Coniglio’s abstract ambient soundscapes were greeted by short piano pieces from the talented musician Elisa Marzorati. The album also boasts a sample from the legendary producer Robert Fripp.

Thanks to Rena Jones, and very special thanks to Discipline Global Mobile for the sample used on the track ‘Timepiece’, taken from “The Outher Darkness” performed by Robert Fripp (The Gates Of Paradise, 1997).

THE BIG CHILL
OK, so I’m working on a hunch here rather than reporting on the findings of a thorough investigation, but I’m pretty sure that the classical (or ‘art music’ if you prefer that term) composer Claude Debussy has left his mark more clearly than any other on the popular electronic music of the last few decades. Given his ‘whatever pleases my ears’ maxim, his harmonic palette has had most to offer songwriters and instrumentalists alike, and his soft, shimmering tonalities which are strange but also beautiful to most ears, have permeated the soundscapes of all our lives from clubs to concert to living room armchair. He has also been explicitly referred to in recent years: Isao Tomita’s stunning electronic arrangements, Snowflakes are Dancing, which appeared in the seventies, through to the Art of Noise’s beautifully crafted and very clever, but ultimately pointless and slightly ridiculous Seduction and Reduction of the composer’s life and works, released at the very end of the same century that was only eighteen years old when he died. Some of his piano pieces, such as those in Images and the Preludes, contain music and sounds that are, in the instant that they are heard, so aromatic and evocative that they really are the antecedents of ambient and down-tempo (Debussy’s contemporary Satie called some of his pieces ‘furniture music’). If I had one desert island disc of beautiful music to think and unwind to, my ‘ambient’ choice, it would be a recording of his first book of Preludes. Another piece of evidence for my opening gambit is the latest release on Psychonavigation from Enrico Coniglio, dyanMU, which draws directly from those Preludes. It is very much in the ambient-glitch-soundscapes tradition of his previous release, Areavirus: Topofonie Volume 1 which was probably the standout release of its kind last year. On this disc Coniglio is joined by the pianist Elisa Marzorati whose free improvisations are based on extracts from some of the twenty four pieces that comprise the two books of Preludes. It’s an interesting and well executed album, the arrangements and treatments of the material (particularly the contribution of Rena Jones on the first track) are subtle but fascinating in their own way. There are recognisable snatches of the composer in amongst the drones and textures but, although both coexist quite happily alongside each other, there is not much that the musicians have done to link the two which is a shame. That said Loss (part 1) does extend and illuminate the strange melancholy longing that runs through Footprints in the Snow (one of the most striking Preludes). Perhaps, because it is closest to his style and presentation, Foliage is the standout track, but everything here is interesting listening. It’s just that where his influence is most strongly felt, he (unsurprisingly) steals the show. If you’re after quality ambient then it’s here in abundance, if you’re a fan of Debussy too then this album should definitely be in your collection. [Jez Wells]
WHITE LINE
This release comes out on Northern Ireland’s Psychonavigation imprint. Taking a position somewhere between the ambient ramblings of Boards of Canada, with a little Biospshere, and FSOL added for good measure.  This neat release is capably handled by one Enrico Coglio ably assisted by Elisa Marzorati on piano. Whilst this release didn’t float my boat in terms of originality, it did what every ambient recording should do, and left me chilled, and suitably calmed..film music for the mind I would say, and none the worst for it. For those of you that are still looking for sonic sedation in the form of synthesised ambience..this will have your name on it..
DGM LIVE.COM
A Sample of Paradise – Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jun 8, 2008 Venetian guitarist and composer Enrico Coniglio has an album utilising a sample from Robert Fripp’s 1998 toe-tapper, The Gates of Paradise. Entitled dyanMU, the record also features the playing pianist, Elisa Marzorati. The album is out on the Irish label Psychonavigation Records and you can listen to samples of the album over on Enrico’s myspace site and here…
THE SILENT BALLET
Take a stroll through any film house that is having a sci-fi drama/romance film festival and you will hear songs akin to those on dyanMU by Enrico Coniglio. Tension from ethereal pads and metallic accents coexist with traditional piano melodies to provide a space that is harmonious as well emotional. It is exotic but also traditional. The backgrounds are very reminiscent of Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works Volume II, where one can’t help but feel something “spooky” about the sounds that move in no apparent direction, yet subconsciously feel like there is a pattern to the chaos. It is slow and arrhythmic, which lends to the alien nature, but the ability to find peace amongst the mysterious is what lends a supernatural essence to the music. The piano melodies are generally simple and well played – almost too well played. I get the air of classical training when I listen to the piano, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I bring it up because it is borderline non-sequitur; it almost sounds like it doesn’t fit. The ambience has such a dramatic textural element but the piano is played in such a clean and pristine way that it sounds like two albums together; a piano album played over an ambient album. The electronic, ambient only tracks are quite delightful as the textures have large dynamics and sweeping flow. This again leads to the feeling of two albums smashed together. On that note, if this were really a soundtrack to a sci-fi romantic drama, track five, “Bell-Ringer,” would be the act II reunion between the robot-killing detective and his once alien, blond haired mistress. It is so cheerful, with its staccato upper octave plinking and falling major melody line it seems completely out of place on the album. However, it’s short, sweet, and perfect for a romp through a sunny meadow. Then the dark ambience rejoins the crowd and all is back to “normal.” A feeling that can’t escape me is that dyanMu sounds like the graduate project for a composition major at some University. It is not to say that it is poorly done, but the piano elements sound a little too heavy handed compared to the ambience. The piano is the undeniable lead instrument, but it sounds as if the album was written for piano by a pianist, and then ambience was added to make it more “modern”. If this is the case, the contrary is true. The album feels a little behind the times if it is intended to be an avant-garde piece of music. The pairing of heavy piano pedal tones amidst fuzzy background ambience is something that has been going on since the days of Stockhausen which in turn have been synthesized into modern music and cinema, hence the reference to film music; the music sounds mainstream-ized. This would be a fantastic film soundtrack, or a fantastic new-age piano album, but as a single piece of experimental ambient music it feels a little too simple. This being said, the album is still fairly enjoyable and something worth listening to or using in your next film project – whether sci-fi romance, slasher, or avant-garde – give it a try. [Greg Norte]
CYCLIC DEFROST
Enrico Coniglio is a thirtysomething post-Fennesz producer/musician based in Venice. He deals in a warm, soothing blend of guitar drones, field recordings and digital post-production. dyanMU is his fifth album, and this time around he’s joined by Elisa Marzorati on piano. Coniglio works as an urban planner by day, and it is perhaps no coincidence that his music evinces a strong sense of place and landscape. Opening track ‘Brushwork’ features contemplative piano chords and runs layered over heavily syncopated programmed drums (from guest Rena Jones) and chilled synth atmospheres, with indecipherable spoken word samples floating in and out of the mix. However, this opening track is deceptive, as the rest of the CD dispenses with drums altogether. Coniglio says that he was freely inspired by Debussy’s piano preludes in the making of this record, and ‘Foliage’ is a solo piano instrumental which seems to hang in the air like a latter day ‘Clair de Lune’. ‘Birds Delight’ is an Eno-esque melange of swooping bass drones and haunted electronics. ‘Timepiece’ samples Robert Fripp in a cinematic soundscape of richly reverbed piano, drifting synth strings and Alva Noto-style bass glitches. This album is a must for all fans of intelligent, richly-textured ambient music. [Ewan Burke]
THE TICKET part of the The Irish Times newspaper
Italian electro-ambient composer Enrico Coniglio’s second release on the fine Dublin Psychonavigation label sees him team up with Swiss-Italian piano virtuosa Elisa Marzorati. It was Marzorati’s 2006 recording of Debussy’s 24 Preludes for Solo Piano that inspired dyanMU’s experimental mingling of impressionistic (and sometimes sassily jazz-inflected) piano figures with minimalist loops, samples and drones. Coniglio is clearly more than at home on Planet Plugin, but he doesn’t distract overmuch with ostentatious noodling. And his tact is not lost on Marzorati, who offers rich, whole-tone atmospherics rather than acrobatic busyness. There are even entire tracks where the two musicians, as if in mutual homage, stay out of each other’s way altogether. A low-key beaut, well worth your euros. [DARAGH Ó’DÚBHÁIN]
THE VIBES
Dopo le apprezzate Topofonie, torna il musicista elettronico veneziano Enrico Coniglio, questa volta accompagnato dal delicato tocco pianistico di Elisa Marzorati, per l’annunciato progetto (sempre edito dalla sorprendente etichetta irlandese Psychonavigation) dyanMU, che stimola la nostra curiosità fin dall’eleoquente packpaging. Sulla cover è riprodotto un monolite cubico, simbolo in alcune culture del raccordo fra la terra e l’empireo, ma traslato dalla cinematografia come simbolo del misterioso intreccio fra naturale e artificiale, che sembra eroso ma non del tutto consumato dal tempo e dall'”ordine” random della natura che lo circonda in relativo contrasto con l’ordine geometrico della figura. Una potente immagine che sintetizza l’incontro fra la musica classica e quella elettronica, intersecate in vari modi nelle undici tracce del disco, secondo una rivisitazione dei canoni divenuti quasi un dogma introdotti da musicisti come Brian Eno (con la sua ricerca sonora nella cosiddetta “musica ambientale”, ovvero musica atta a “descrivere” un ambiente senza il ricorso delle parole o di rigidi schemi classici, e al contempo a far parte dell’ambiente in cui è suonata) o Robert Fripp (pertinente la citazione in Timepiece di The Outer Darkness, una dei lavori più “miltoniani” del suo repertorio) filtrata dalla logica della preservazione dell'”errore” alla base del glitch. Conforme ad una confluenza che ha ripreso a risuonare nelle sale da concerto e nei salotti di molte cose con sodalizi come quello fra il noto pianista Ludovico Einaudi e Robert Lippok (una gamba dei To Rococo Rot), ma propenso a quella cinefilia e alle immagini mentali prodotte da musicisti come Fennesz o lo stimato pianista anglo-tedesco Max Richter, dyanMU sposta l’ago del bilancino di precisione verso esperienze sonore che ben si adattano anche a spleen emotivi da cameretta, riuscendo nel corso degli oltre 40 minuti di riproduzione a dare l’illusione che le lancette dell’orologio si fermino. Camei minimalisti e fulgide schegge di trasognato intimistico che fanno percepire quasi all’ascoltatore il cigolare dell’anta di un armadio eroso dai tarli o il fluttuare di tende mosse dal vento nella penombra di una camera, ideale profilassi che separa la quieta stasi dell’ascoltatore dalla dinamica immobilità della natura si avvicendano in delicati equilibri in cui il rifiuto dei canoni non è mai troppo vicino all’idiosincrasia. Coinvolgente fin dall’iniziale Brushwork, in cui oltre ai pennelli musicali di Enrico ed Elisa, vi è anche quello della brava violoncellista Rena Jones, attivissima esponente della scena downtempo che recentemente ha impreziosito il suo palmares con collaborazioni di gran pregio e attualmente impegnata sul suo quarto album. Dopo il crepuscolare ronzio di Mothlight, segue l’ottima Foliage: l’ago si sposta decisamente verso la vena classica del progetto e verso i colori e le temperature tiepide dell’autunno, miste al senso di placido risveglio della natura. I fraseggi pianistici sembrano provenire da una dimensione lontana, irradiando la stessa tensione e lo stesso senso di temporaneo distacco all’ascoltatore, preso per le coclee e accompagnato nella fievole luce di un’alba surreale nel giardino di stimoli dell’avvolgente Birds Delight, in cui un drone subtonale si confonde con suoni sibillini dal movimento circolare di sequenze che si fanno via via più ipnagogiche su sporadici backings che ci ricordano per l’uso che se ne fa certe obnubilate sequenze degli eterei Boards Of Canada. Transitando per la leggiadria di Bell-ringer molto simile a certe cavalcate mentali tra le nuvole dei Nova Nova sospinte dalle corde di martelletti del pianoforte e per le suggestioni umbrifere della rarefatta Cableway, si giunge ad uno dei momenti in cui il predetto ago ritorna a propendere verso le macchine di Enrico: in skip to eXit, da cupe sinosoidi di basso emergono un suono sintetico acuto, messo a contrasto con i gravi rintocchi di note di piano delle prime ottave, prima di aprirsi e rinchiudersi in un interessanti gioco di scomparse e riapparizioni sul radar sonoro. Levare e accenti che richiamano le didascalia sonore di Satie o i leziosismi del più lunare Debussy di Walking Distance fanno da arioso corridio che conduce nelle due parti di Loss, in cui i rintocchi del piano e le crepuscolari tonalità elettronica fanno quasi da frangiflutti gli uni delle altre e viceversa fino a quando – nella seconda parte – sembrano quasi compenetrarsi in una oscura sinfonia che fa da eco al solipsismo più impenetrabile, richiamandoci alla mente la narcosi notturna del Rupert Huber nelle vesti di pianista. Chiude il nostalgico sfilacciamento di Timpepiece. [Vito Camarretta]
TOKAFI
The journey begins with a thought and a questionmark: “Play it soft?”, Enrico Coniglio asks in the digipack, while Franco Marzorati claims in the preface to the album that “Ambient music swallows not only the world with its noise but also silence with its thoughts. Perhaps it realizes the extreme desire: deadalive”.The music hasn’t even started yet and one already feels that this is by no means an ordinary release. Of course, Enrico Coniglio has made a name for himself in that respect. His previous effort, “Areavirus”, was a work which bulged out in every direction imagineable, a record which effortlessly moved from crisp electronica to richly tectured soundscapes and from solo pieces to band-like constellations. Coniglio is the kind of musician who’s not eclectic for the sake of it, but simply because his field of interest is so wide. Indecisiveness, one could say, is a virtue here. This is also why his fifth album, a collaboration with Swiss-born pianist Elisa Marzorati, has such a completely natural ring to it. “Freely inspired by the piano Preludes of Claude Debussy”, it says, but the smell of pretentiousness which easily pervades such lines is softened by the fact that this is truly the meeting of two musicians who enjoy reaching out beyond their own nose and who have finetuned the details of their vision over the course of more than a full year – “dyanMU” is not only the album title, but the name of their joint project as well, a “meeting between two artists coming from very different traditions. Almost by default, these 42 minutes will therefore fail to satisfy both the demand for sonic purity of die-hard classical fans and the desire for seamless smoothness often voiced by Ambient listeners. Marzorati neither strives for an organic sound in her playing (lots of pedal) nor in her choice of instrument (most likely an ePiano), her elegant melodies on rhythmic opener “brushwork” are rather influenced by electronica than by the Vienese school, her disqueting clusters on “skip to eXit” and her harmonic language on “walking distance” by midnight Jazz and nervous breakdowns. Coniglio’s atmospheres, meanwhile, take turns at being ethereal and lightflooded, obscured by clouds, ominous and abstract. Despite its many tonal, timbral and stylistic variations, “dynMU” does settle into a groove, albeit an unusual one. Dense moods are continously juxtaposed with solo piano pieces, leaving a lot of free creative space to the listener, while sucking him in through the backdoor. Only the final three tracks deviate from this path, when Coniglio builds crackling and clattering beats from tiny bits of binary code and immerses himself in field-recordings to come up with a modern-day version of Debussy’s impressionism on “loss (part I & II)”. Even in its more disturbing passages, the album remains contained, never fully releasing the tension and merely easing it slightly when Marzorati is allowed to gently stroke the keys. This may be, why dyanMU” is a work which demands to be appreciated through repeated listening, but which is not too heavy or burdensome to be consumed several times in a row. Quite obviously, however, it risks disappearing into your subconscious without the necessary dynamic thrust: We strongly recommend playing this loud! [Tobias Fischer]
BARCODE
Coniglio’s second album for Psychonavigation sees a fragile blend of acoustic and ambient sounds at play. The album begins with the track Brushwork, perhaps one of the busiest on the album, combining faint vocal samples with light, spattering ‘beats’ and cleverly sequenced piano tones. The remainder of the album is, however, rather different. Mostly based on deft piano chords – in fact three of the tracks are wholly piano pieces – Coniglio surrounds the melodic tones with a variety of ghostly ambient synthesiser passages and granular atmospheres. The results inflict a variety of subtle emotions, but many of the tracks do tend to drag on a bit. In all honesty it’s the sole piano pieces, such as the lovely, Budd-like Foliage and wandering Bell-Ringer that light up the album most. I guess they would not be as effective if not cocooned by the drifting drones of much of the surrounding music. Therefore this is an album that needs to be listened to in its entirety to garner full satisfaction. An ambitious work that almost falls under the avant-garde category, dyanMU contains some highly inviting portions of music, but its abstract polarity distracts too much to make it a truly pleasurable listening experience.
GOTHRONIC
Just about two years ago Enrico Coniglio and Elisa Marzorati started the “dyanMU” project. With instruments ranging from samplers, filters, computers and a piano they created a true masterpiece which can be mentioned in one breath with the works of someone like Biosphere or Fennesz. Heavy minimal ambient, on times with minimal technoid beats and patterns, in which the piano dictating the melodic parts in most compositions. If you compare this release to for example the collaboration between Alva Noto and Ryuchi Sakamoto, “dyanMU” is accessible to a way larger audience. On the one side this is because of the less incoherent way she plays piano, but it’s definitly also because this release contains less weird and hurtful frequencies. But concerning the amosphere, both collaborations are quite close to eachother. The label on which this album is released – the artwork reminds me quite a bit of Touch releases with pictures by the hand of John Wozencroft – is an Irish label and “dyanMU” is release number 22. Most of the mentioned artists are unfamiliar to me, but i was pleasently surprised to read the names Lackluster and Hans-Joachim Roedelius. Worth researching! [Bauke]
MORPHEUS MUSIC
ith impressionist piano embellishment and some chilled beats. This is an unusual album – Enrico Coniglio has created a series of absorbing ambiences that have a moody enigmatic quality about them – dark, deep morphing pools of sound crackling in places with electrical damage – these are overlaid with delicate piano melodies by Elisa Marzorati “partly based on the piano Préludes of Claude Debussy”. The resultant combination is a delightful movement between dappled light and thick shadow. Eerie passages of fractured drones and sustained metallic ringing swell ghost-like, indistinct whilst the gentle buoyant romance of Marzorati’s ivory dances wistfully across the surface. Track one has a sparse digital beat that effortlessly carries the introduction into weightless, breezy motion – the remainder of the music is pretty much free of percussive rhythm. A tasteful twin panel digipack holds this CD – delivering the same balance of light and shadow explored through the music. On the front cover an improbable cube sits in a scrubby woodland – littered with dead leaves and shattered sun light, pale against the gloom of the undergrowth behind. On the rear cover we find a compact tracklist and brief credits set out on a densely tenebrous arched corridor photo scene. Inside another woodland image holds a printed quotation from Franco Marzorati and behind the disc itself is an extended list of credits and sample sources. This is the second album on Psychonavigation Records from Venice based guitar player/composer Enrico Coniglio following a series of earlier releases. Here the artist further develops his interest in ambient electronica – his muted environmental creations minimal and evocative – suggestive motes and minutiae crawling in the depths. Yet the introduction of Elisa Marzorati’s piano playing completely transforms the overall tenor of the collection – his soundscaping illuminated by her grace, her fingering haunted by his static and gloom. Add to this some drum programming from Rena Jones and a couple of well chosen samples including one from Robert Fripp and you have a truly stand out album.
LOOP
Italian artist based in Venice Enrico Coniglio, on programming, sampling and looping along with Elisa Marzorati on piano released his second album on the Irish label Psychonavigation Records.

‘dyanMU’ is a project that started in 2006 between these two artists and also collaborates multi-talent Rena Jones on drum programming and synths. In 1996 Enrico Coniglio participates in several rock and psychedelic bands and since 2001 he started his solo recordings. On the other hand Elisa Marzorati is a classic trained musician. Coniglio delivers abstract soundscapes whilst Marzorati plays beautiful piano notes. [Guillermo Escudero]

THE STAR
Enrico Coniglio teams up with pianist Elisa Marzorati on a record that possesses an elegance reminiscent of artists like Debussy and Sakamoto.The marriage of sampling and looping with classically-influenced piano is made in heaven,although the two styles do separate temporarily during the course of the record.
ARTISTS & BANDS
Ritroviamo Enrico Coniglio che avevamo gia avuto modo di ascoltare con piacere con il suo interessante affresco sulla laguna veneta intitolato Areavirus Topofonie Vol. 1 e già recensito sulle pagine di A&B. Questo nuovo progetto è il risultato dell’incontro e della collaborazione di Enrico con Elisa Marzorati, pianista veneziana di chiara formazione classica.

dyanMU è il titolo di questo loro incontro musicale, incontro che si annuncia enigmatico e particolare fin dal nome, ispirato ad una catena montuosa di Venere, ma di più lontana provenienza mitologica cinese; si tratta di un disco tipicamente ambient che mantiene come elemento comune delle 11 composizioni e come filo conduttore una grazie ed una delicatezza sonora, un approccio musicale minimalista e confidenziale in cui il piano di Elisa Marzorati infonde elementi armonici e melodici più lineari e classici all’interno delle strutture elettroniche, ai samples ed ai loop sperimentali di Enrico Congilio.

Il risultato complessivo, sicuramente interessante, al contrario del dettagliato racconto “geografico” di Areavirus ci trasporta ad una visione più estraniante ed immaginaria, un allontanamanto dalla realtà che ha molto di onirico e sognante.

Brani dai tempi lenti e dall’incedere liquido come ad esempio Cableway, Foliage, Bell Ringer o Walking Distance con il piano lento e quieto conduttore ci fornisce una visione più acustica e melodica ed al contempo meno elettronica del medesimo senso di distacco e si alternano a brani in cui è la sperimentazione e la libera improvvisazione elettronica la linea dominante, brani come la lunga Bird Delight, Skip to Exit o Loss, basate quasi interamente sulle sonorità sintetiche di Enrico, regalano sensazioni alienanti e drammatiche, una fuga, un distacco che invita al pensiero ed alla riflessione.

Brushwork rappresenta invece il culmine, il punto di risalto di questo connubbio elettronico-acustico, ottimo brano dal ritmo sincopato e robotico, quasi post-industriale, che si segnala come perfetto punto di incontro, complemento e completamento dei due artisti.

Da segnalare anche la partecipazione come guest di Rena Jones talentuosa protagonista della scena elettronica e down-tempo americana e dell’utilizzo in Timepiece di alcuni samples tratti da The Outer Darkness di Robert Fripp.

Enrico Coniglio questa volta è forse orientato maggiormente all’aspetto tecnico e sperimentale confermandosi sempre comunque molto abile nel realizzare atmosfere e suscitare sensazioni dal forte coinvolgimento emotivo, ambientazioni minimali ed astratte, suggestive ed evocative a cui Elisa Marzorati contribuisce in modo determinante regalando un tocco più classico, melodico ed acustico alla componente elettronica.

TEXTURA
Enrico Coniglio’s decision to collaborate with pianist Elisa Marzorati for his second Psychonavigation album is an inspired move which pays off handsomely. The two initiated the project in the summer of 2006 by merging his sampling, filtering, and looping techniques and electronic soundscaping style with her elegant etudes. The two are heard together in many pieces but also in solo settings. Representative of the paired pieces, “Brushwork” accompanies dancing piano notes with a lightly galloping percussive rhythm and waves of high- and low-pitched synth tones. In “Mothlight,” Coniglio’s vibrant electronics take center stage with Marzorati providing peripheral enhancements. Ample spaces separate the piano chords in “Cableway,” suggesting the huge expanse traversed by the cable car’s trip, while the droning tones echo resonantly throughout the cavernous open space. Coniglio’s haunted moodscape “Birds Delight” evokes mystery and unease as willowy tones and bass throbs seemingly drift through the corridors of a long-abandoned building. The focus shifts to Marzorati in the lovely “Foliage,” which nurtures a tranquil and dreamy mood, and “Bell-Ringer,” whose bright and vibrant piano melodies are in keeping with its title. Of course the “piano & electronics” concept isn’t without precedent—the most obvious example being the collaborations between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai. But a recording like Insen is far different from dyanMU; the former typically juxtaposes Sakamoto’s elegant playing on one side and Nicolai’s pristine electronic beat patterns on the other; though the concluding “Timepiece” does adopt that format to some degree, dyanMU generally blends the two realms more indissolubly. Classically-trained, Mazorati’s approach extends beyond a single style to embrace classical but also jazz-inflected improvisation, and Coniglio’s contribution isn’t primarily rhythm-oriented but instead rooted in atmospheric enhancement and sound design. That the album is partly based on the preludes of Debussy is clearly audible in the solo piano pieces which exude the refined elegance of the composer’s work; at times, however, Marzorati takes that idea and pushes it into the realm of free improvisation, resulting in the jazz-inflected “Walking Distance.” Picture Mazorati playing in a conservatory practice room and open windows allowing Coniglio’s myriad colourations to flood in and envelop the pianist’s performing space and you’ll have a fairly accurate impression of dyanMU sound.

AREAVIRUS – topofonie vol.1 (Lp)
Enrico Coniglio – Psychonavigation Records 2007

BUY

The album is inspired by the ambience in Venice lagoon. You could say it sounds like a night trip on a mysterious boat, or a flight over a land in the balance between waters and grounds, as a unique landscape running the risk to be jeopardized by the contemporary urban and industry development.

The kind of sounds in the work are rich, pieces never static but almost narrative, varied in drone and textures; arpeggio loops rarely sustained by some glitchy rhythmic patterns, sweet and distant melodies made by saxes or a brilliant piano; dense and not ever conciliating atmospheres, but sensitive in the forms and absolutely inclined to melancholy.

The album features Arve Henriksen at the trumpet, Roedelius at piano, Nicola Alesini at clarinet, Piero Bittolo Bon at bass clarinet, Guido Marzorati at piano and keyboards and then Massimo Liverani and Alvise Seggi.

TOKAFI
Everything about this record is soft – except its opening. “Stalking Venice” kicks off with nervously scratching rhythms, alien whistlings, brazen synthesizer stabs and electric sizzlings and retains a dark, moody ambiance throughout. Is this the soundtrack to a “Venetian lagoon”, which we were promised by the press release? Towards the end of the first track, however, the shuffling hihat patterns are counterpointed by flickering oscillations and a gradual slowdown towards a consoling finale. It is almost, as if Enrico Coniglio first needed to exorcise his demos, before allowing himself to drown in the beauty of the scenery, the nightly shades and salty smells of the city. And then the dream commences. “Areavirus – Topofonie Vol. 1″ has been named one of the ambient albums noone should miss this year and that is absolutely correct – if one allows for some explanations with regards to the terminology. Of course, large parts of this album can be listened to in the state between waking and sleeping, when the mind is still active enough to take in the audio information, but too hazy to rationally digest it. And yet, Coniglio defines “ambient” more as a music that searches to build environments itself, rather than filling existing ones with inobtrusive sound. As subtle as his pieces may be, they are always intended for concentrated listening and hold suprising twists and turns in arrangement or instrumentation. A sizeable amount of friends and colleagues has been invited to join the sessions, making for a colourful ensemble filled with clarinets, strings and trumpets. The polarities between electric and non-amplified instruments fades in tracks like “Murania” and “Olivolo”, which swing between agitated beats and atmospheric stasis, between harmonic rest and melodic energy and between the delicate drones of Coniglio’s Synth- and Guitarloops and the concrete timbres of his collaborators. The record is most clearly defined by its tranquil moments, but “Areavirus” keeps a sense of movement by juxtaposing them with slightly more edgey material and beat-oriented work, such as in the jazz-tinged aquatic fantasy “W&J theme”. Even then, however, everything remains dulcet and retained, each elemement carefully gauging its position in the overall composition. The result is a sonambulent style with strong visual characteristics, a music which relies mainly on moods, but builds them from very “musical” components. The density of “Areavirus” leaves a strong impression but what astonishes most is that it manages to award a huge importance to its guests, while integrating them completely into the album as a whole. Even Krautrock legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius (who has released with Psychonavigation Records only recently) is merely one of the names among many others on the backcover, instead of appearing like a trophy on the front. When the album’s over, the main feeling is not only one of softness, but of elevation as well – the dream is over, the body is rested and the mind filled with intense memories of what it has picked up over the last hour. [Tobias Fischer]
CHILLAGE IDIOTS XFM
This is a wonderful lp. Perfect for those planned quiet times when you justwant to let your brain breathe a silent breath. It helps dislocate you fromthe chatter of your mind and you can just be. [Paul Chillage]
THE BIG CHILL
Psychonavigation, based in Ireland, is a label that is making more and more of a noise these days (albeit a highly experimental ambient soothing one). Home of the Electric Penguins and David Bickley, their latest release is from Enrico Coniglio, a guitar player and composer based in Venice. ‘AREAVIRUS topofonie vol.1’ is a glitch-cum-ambient-cum-jazz album apparently inspired by the ambience of Venice lagoon. Although it bears little overall similarity to another Venice, that of Christian Fennesz, there seem to be similar techniques of sound capture and looping at work; but the tunes here share equal prominence with the sculpted sounds. This is a disc populated by evocative noises and languid melodies, occasionally propelled by glitchy percussion which gently erupts like ripples on water. Acoustic instruments play a larger role than in most records of this type, notably piano (especially on the wonderful ‘Lav(a)sciuga’ and Alpen Tower) trumpet and clarinet, which makes for a warmer sound. The piano on the latter track is played by Hans Rodelius, who recently released a collection of pieces on this label, and this piece is strongly reminiscent of Brian Eno and Steve Hillage’s most laidback seventies work. Another standout is W&J theme, with the sublime trumpet of Arve Henriksen (of the Christian Wallumrod Ensemble, amongst others) intertwining with Coniglio’s guitar. This is not an album that will grab your attention, rather it will soak into your consciousness. I’m guessing that’s the idea and it’s a beautiful downtempo album. Highly recommended. [Jez Wells]
21ST CENTURY MUSIC
Debbo dire che mi ci è voluto un po’ di tempo per assimilare al meglio questo nuovo lavoro di Enrico… La sua musica da sempre ha una sua personalità che la rende difficilmente etichettabile, la sua sensibilità e le onde della sua anima si muovono in territori inaccessibili alla massa, per questo la sua musica è un rituale acustico a cui pochi possono accedere… Certo, descritta così sembra una musica ostica ed ermetica, invece la qualità principale dell’arte di Enrico è il saper bisbigliare al cuore di chi l’ascolta con attenzione, di chi si lascia penetrare dalle note delle sue splendide e rarefatte composizioni lasciandosi alle spalle le banalità che intossicano i nostri sensi. Questa introduzione un po’ contorta mi serve per mettere in giusta luce la recensione che segue, per dare modo al lettore di seguire la giusta rotta dei miei pensieri ed evitare di fraintendere le mie frasi. Per iniziare dico subito che “Areavirus” è un lavoro bellissimo, sicuramente è il disco della maturità artistica di questo musicista veneto che ho avuto modo (e la fortuna) di seguire fin dall’inizio del suo cammino. Apre il disco “Stalking Venice” che marca in modo sempre più vitale il rapporto di Enrico con la sua terra e le sue radici, regalandoci un paesaggio acustico della sua città dai toni invernali e sfumati, piccolo quadro di grande potenza espressiva e poetica. Sulla seconda traccia “Lav(a)sciuga” inizia quello che, a mio parere, è un limite che in alcuni momenti si riscontra in questo disco (e da qui la mia introduzione di prima): pur essendo un bel pezzo, sembra sfilacciarsi nel suo incedere, come se l’uso di uno strumento a fiato (il clarinetto di Nicola Alesini) scompaginasse l’insieme della composizione, facendola sembrare alla fine come una improvvisazione (o forse lo è?). Invece la terza traccia, che dà il titolo all’album, è esattamente l’opposto: uno stupendo brano di elettronica che l’autore esegue in splendida solitudine, di una compattezza e di una liricità senza eguali, per me uno dei migliori brani in assoluto da lui composto.

La successiva “Murania” è un’altra topofonia della sua terra (ricordo che il sottotitolo del disco è “topofonie vol.1), perfetto equilibrio dei riflessi tra cielo ed acqua della laguna veneta che l’arte del vetro cattura nelle sue forme e che questa musica rende in modo divino e volatile. La struggente “W&J theme” nei suoi toni delicatamente jazzati ci porta in una sospensione dei generi creando una “musica assoluta” al di fuori di ogni schema: cristalli di suoni sospesi tipicamente ambient, circondati da caldi toni jazz ed una tromba raschiante, dal sapore di terra, a legare al suolo una composizione eterea e brumosa. “Waterphonics” è spazio aperto assoluto, silenzio rotto dal frusciare del vento. Ho avuto la fortuna di passare tantissimo tempo nella laguna veneta (ho abitato a Padova per quattro anni) e questo brano mi ha riportato alla mente in maniera vivida sensazioni che credevo sopite. Verso la fine la musica si incupisce e nuovamente mi assale la sensazione del progressivo sfilacciamento della composizione, come se nuovamente si perdesse una partitura scritta a favore dell’improvvisazione. “Alpen Tower” è un altro miracolo di equilibrio e poesia, armonia allo stato puro, cristalli di luce incastonati in coni di oscurità, sintesi perfetta tra immensità terrena e celeste. “Olivolo” è il brano che mi ha convinto di meno, troppo spezzettato, con poca definizione. “Velme incl. Groun One” ci riporta verso quel lato oscuro e profondo della musica di Enrico che a me piace tantissimo, canyon sonori bui e misteriosi, suoni scuri e concreti mai minacciosi o negativi, anche in tali atmosfere la sensibilità poetica dell’artista rimane una luce guida per l’ascoltatore. “ExistenZ minimum” chiude il disco alla grande, questa è la musica che permette ad Enrico di dispiegare tutta la sua immensa immagine sonora, la sua elettronica essenziale e rarefatta dalla grande potenza espressiva lanciata senza limiti… Questo brano finale sintetizza in pieno i (pochi) dubbi ed ombre che ho trovato in questo disco; secondo me le collaborazioni con altri musicisti e l’inserimento di altri strumenti nelle sue tessiture sonore a volte tolgono compattezza alla sua musica, la fanno disperdere in direzioni e toni che ne deviano lo spirito. Certo, può essere solo una mia impressione, ma io credo che un lavoro totalmente solista di Enrico Coniglio sia ormai maturo, la sua musica ormai ha una sensibilità e forza poetica che nel panorama mondiale della musica ambient (brutto cercare sempre di definire qualcosa) credo abbia pochi paragoni. “Areavirus” è un grandissimo disco, le collaborazioni tutte eccellenti (Guido Marzorati, Arve Henriksen, Piero Bittolo, Nicola Alesini, Massimo Liverani, Hans-Joachim Roedelius e Alvise Seggi), la registrazione ottima e, soprattutto, il grande cuore di Enrico Coniglio e la sua visione della musica che è una vera e propria dichiarazione d’amore per l’arte e non per la fama. Vi pare poco? [Carlo Camilloni]

THE VIBES
Non c’è niente di ironico nelle suggestioni giustamente impietose del veneziano Enrico Coniglio quando rievoca la “sua” laguna e lo scempio perpetrato negli anni dalla vorace industrializzazione e dalla conseguente urbanizzazione selvaggia che sta distruggendo un habitat di cui resta solo nostalgica memoria, a cui il musicista avvalendosi di un’invidiabile schiera di collaboratori (dal leggendario Roedelius a Nicola Alesini, dal sapiente pianista Guido Marzorati al trombettista Arve Henriksen, da Alvise Seggi all’abile Massimo Liverani e a Piero Bittolo Bon) sembra voler dar voce, evocando sensazioni provate da una dimessa contemplazione di uno dei casi più tristemente esemplari nella nostra Italia di sottocultura anti-ecologista o se si vuole di industrializzazione poco lungimirante e incurante delle conseguenze sull’ambiente.

E si potrebbe facilmente far umorismo dalle fosche tinte grigie sull’origine del nome Marghera, nel cui porto è sito un porto in cui trafficano ogni anno centinaia di petroliere. Mar-ghe-era, ovvero “mare che era” nel dialetto locale. Una volta c’era il mare… Poi a questo è subentrata la terra, lasciando il mare che c’era a propiziare un florido futuro, poi anche il mare si sta ritraendo idealmente, lasciando il posto a liquami evocati essi stessi dalle sonorità febbrili e fragili di queste Topofonie firmate con il nome collettivo Areavirus (“contaminalico” quanto basta….), che sembrano comunque voler una via di fuga forse intimista, ma splendidamente consegnata alle coclee degli ascoltatori che nella seconda parte del disco – dopo essere passati attraverso paesaggi sonori fatti di rabbia soffocate, di immaginifici giardini virgiliani a ridosso del mare, di peripatetici orizzonti in cui il pensiero si inerpica lungo gli scoscesi pendii delle possibilità – fa irruzione il sogno, interrotto dall’incombenza e dal gravame della realtà. Le atmosfere del disco sono curate quasi maniacalmente, risultando in un emozionante viaggio sonico non privo di discrepanze e disarmonie, che sembrano affiorare dalle stesse profondità in cui il suono sembra inabissarsi come presagi di ineluttabile logicità. Ancora una volta encomiabile lo sforzo discografico della quasi sconosciuta etichetta irlandese Psychonavigation, che forse inconsapevolmente sta riuscendo nell’intento di configurare e sospingere quello che qualcuno non esiterebbe a definire “neoclassicismo elettronico” per il potere descrittivo e talvolta “tragicamente” contemporaneo dei progetti proposti. Disco più che consigliato per audiofili e non. La precisazione che si tratta del primo volume fa sperare decisamente in un seguito… [Vito Camarretta]

E/I MAGAZINE
At the micro level, longtime guitar looper Enrico Coniglio purportedly uses his newly gathered ensemble Areavirus to set the composition Topofonie in and around an imagined lagoon in his native Venice. At the macro level, Coniglio prepares us for another in the long and growing line of creative treatises on nature vs. industrialization. There are a few occasions where Coniglio’s atmospheres alongside the rest of the Areavirus crew take on the psychosonic feel of a whirling blade; songs like “ExistenZ minimum” and “Stalking Venice” suggest helicopter or airboat rides searching for pristine land, or maybe investigating urban sprawl into it. “Areavirus” does this too, but in that song’s larger context its manufactured chime, insect and bird sounds also transform it into a dark paean to air and wind, nature’s native tongue. “Waterphonics”—like the album title, a word made to juxtapose sound and the elements—is a weird, winding abstraction that grows in intensity from a whisper to a wail to warped waves, possibly matching the Earth’s progression of its inhabitants from animal to man to machine. All of this thematic speculation is a wonderful thing, and in light of the actual music it very well has to be. Granted, the songs featuring Piero Bittolo Bon’s bass clarinet win the day: “Murania” becomes the forest’s spy music, suggesting something sinister in the woods near the water but leaving us to guess if it’s man moving further outward or the trees preparing to rise up in revolt. “Olivolo,” the song with anything close to basic rhythmic structure, sets off Bon against a slow keyboard shimmer, a treated string loop, and atypical drums and bass. “Lav(a)sciuga” has no clarinet, instead channelling a little of Cornelius’ aloof style in the sad jazz running underneath electronic whining and pinging. Beyond these, though, Topofonie is rife with sound decayed to the level of “contemporary instrumental” meanderings. If the medium is the message, Areavirus at this moment aren’t all that clear. [AB]
SENTIRE ASCOLTARE
A leggere le note stampa allegate a Topofonie Vol.1, si scopre che il disco nasce come un concept ispirato alla Laguna di Venezia. Una traduzione di suoni, atmosfere, colori, portata a termine mescolando dilatazioni spazio-tempo e “droni ambientali”, coraggiose indagini a base di sintetizzatore e patterns ritmici minimali, strumentazione classica – piano, tromba, clarinetto – e programmazione. Titolare del progetto Enrico Coniglio, chitarrista e compositore classe ’75 fortemente attratto dalla fusione tra le arti, che grazie all’aiuto di alcuni collaboratori – tra i tanti, Nicola Alesini, Joachim Roedelius, Guido Marzorati, Massimo Liverani, Arve Henriksen – confeziona sessanta minuti di musica raffinata, rarefatta, algida. Aggettivo quest’ultimo che potrebbe suonare antipatico in altri contesti, ma che in questa sede ben si adatta all’ambient con cui ci si trova ad interagire. [Fabrizio Zampighi]
VENEZIA NEWS N. 118
E’ un disco rilassante in tutte le sue tracce questo nuovo lavoro del musicista e compositore veneziano. Si colloca nell’ambient music, della quale, da tempo, Coniglio ha iniziato ad interessarsi per capire se essa appartenga alla dimensione del qui ed ora, o piuttosto a quella indefinita ed altra dell’altrove. Come afferma l’autore nel suo website (http://www.enricoconiglio.com) Areavirus, titolo dell’album e brano numero 3, è un neologismo di matrice urbanistico-architettonica che sta ad indicare la trasformazione di un terrain vague, un luogo soggetto all’abbandono, in qualcosa che sfugge alla volontà onnicomprensiva della pianificazione. In una metafora Areavirus è qualcosa che allunga i suoi tentacoli intorno, ai quartieri, alle strade, alle case. Qualcosa che si propaga sottopelle e diventa sommessamente tutt’uno con il corpo ospitante. La fonte di ispirazione della musica di Coniglio continua ad essere Venezia, ma non quella che tutti conoscono, bensì la città con le sue bellezze nascoste e con il suo lento, ma inesorabile, declino verso lo spopolamento e la morte. E proprio il primo pezzo Stalking Venice, è un incoraggiamento ad intraprendere il cammino dello stalking – un termine ripreso dal regista Tarkovskij, che significa avvicinarsi con cautela dove il perdersi, lo sparire, il divagare, costituiscono lo scopo stesso del viaggio – a Venezia e ovunque ci troviamo. Nel disco oltre al leader e ai sintetizzatori, alle chitarre, alla programmazione e ai loops, sono presenti una serie di ospiti tra cui il veneziano Piero Bittolo Bon al clarinetto basso in tre brani, e il romantico pianista austriaco Hans-Joachim Roedelius nella traccia Alpen Tower. [Giovanni Greto]
TEXTURA
On his oddly-titled AREAVIRUS Topofonie Vol 1, Enrico Coniglio directs the flow of ten perpetually mutating settings perched midway between electro-acoustic soundscaping and a distinctive ambient-jazz-electronica fusion. The Venice-based composer anchors the album with his own guitar playing, synthesizers, and programming but, wisely, also adopts a gentlemanly stance in allowing distinguished guests like trumpeter Arve Henriksen and bass clarinetist Piero Bittolo Bon to have their own moments in the spotlight. That the album apparently was inspired by the ambiance of a Venice lagoon is evidenced by dark ambient settings like the occasionally nightmarish “Murania” and “Areavirus,” a curdling, nocturnal gloomscape of tinkling bells and decaying noises. The explorative meander of certain pieces (“Stalking Venice,” “Velme inc. Ground One,” “ExistenZ minimum”) showcases the album’s evocative side, while the ballad settings bring the splendor of acoustic playing to the fore (Hans-Joachim Roedelius’s nuanced piano ruminations in “Alpen Tower”). The deep croak of Bittolo Bon’s bass clarinet intensifies the ethereal character of the dirge “Waterphonics,” an effect augmented further by the panning drift of a string sample that surfaces midway through, and the bluesy lilt “Olivola.” In “Lav(a)sciuga,” a lightly dancing rhythm forms a quietly jubilant anchor for Coniglio’s atmospheric guitar interjections, Nicola Alesini’s clarinet murmur, and Guido Marzorati’s elegant piano enhancements. The album’s peak moment arrives halfway through in the beautiful ballad “W+J theme,” largely due to Henriksen’s mournful, flute-like cry but the piece is distinguished too by Coniglio’s sensitive guitar accompaniment and Marzorati’s piano support. Coniglio’s multi-varied collection provides a rich and oft-surprising listening experience.
ARTISTS & BANDS
Enrico Coniglio è un chitarrista ed un compositore veneziano, dopo vari passaggi attraverso band di rock psichedelico e progressivo dal 2001 si dedica prevalentemente alla sperimentazione musicale ed alla ricerca sonora, alla musica di ambiente ed elettronica, molte sono anche le collaborazioni importanti, con musicisti come: Nicola Alesini, Joachim Roedelius, Arlo Bigazzi, Massimo Liverani, Rick Walker, Arve Henriksen e molti altri. Enrico Coniglio ha all’attivo già 3 album: Sprawl del 2001, Grammatologia del 2002 e COMbiCOM del 2005. Con questo suo ultimo lavoro appena pubblicato per l’etichetta irlandese Psychonavigation ed intitolato Areavirus Topofonie Vol.1, Enrico “racconta” o meglio “ci racconta” della laguna veneta, con un lavoro dallo svolgersi estremamente narrativo e carico di riferimenti emozionali; 10 istantanee o come si può evincere già dal titolo dell’opera: 10 “topofonie”, 10 mappe musicali in cui “la tavolozza” sonora dei “colori” e delle sensazioni che Enrico riesce a trasmettere si dimostra estremamente ricca ed elaborata, una laguna non esattamente da cartolina, una laguna in cui la realtà odierna, fatta di urbanizzazione ed industrializzazione si pone in contrasto con la natura liquida, surreale ed evocativa dell’ambiente lagunare in se.

E così ci troviamo subito di fronte all’apertura affidata alla ricchezza di effetti e di movimento che Stalker Venice immediatamente trasmette all’ascoltatore, un continuo senso di moto, di trasporto per cielo e per mare, che si placa solo “scavando” nelle note e nei loop, trovando finalmente, quando tutto tace, il mare e la risacca. Molto bella ed espressiva è la seguente Lav(A)sciuga in cui linee melodiche distese e patterns ritmici si combinano a dare un forte richiamo evocativo, estremamente triste e malinconica è invece la title track in cui le textures musicali hanno tutte colori scuri tonalità basse a creare uno spiccato senso di disagio di inquietudine che prosegue nella seguente Murania, riferimento a Murano, patria della soffiatura del vetro.

La chitarra apre W&J Theme accompagnata dalla tromba a dare una certa impronta vagamente jazz al brano, uno dei momenti che pur nella generale nota malinconica dell’opera di Enrico Coniglio si presenta come più aperto e melodico. Si ritorna a sensazioni più inquiete, notturne, nebbiose con Waterphonics quasi ad ascoltare cosa succede nelle notti scure quasi sentendo forse dei fantasmi ? delle creature mitiche ? o magari solo il semplice suono della natura.

Completamente e puramente evocativa col suo piano sognante ed etereo adagiato su textures estremamente d’atmosfera è Aplen Tower, mentre estremamente tecnico e complesso è Olivolo in cui tutto ruota attorno ai pattern ritmici ed al clarino basso di Piero Bittolo Bon, sicuramente il brano meno emozionale dell’album ed il più orientato alla ricerca sonora.

Nuovamente la malinconia come emozione dominante in un ambiente dilatato e vacuo dove volano stormi di gabbiani così ci appare la lunga Velme incl, Ground One che ci introduce alla conclusiva ExistenZ minimum dall’apertura ipnotica che, grazie al “gocciolar” di note ci riporta all’acqua, alla laguna ed all’ambientazione notturna, nebbiosa ed evocativa. La laguna veneta come forse non la si vede molto facilmente, una laguna dissimile dai clichè fotografici ma per questo una laguna più vera, una laguna descritta e narrata, con le sue ricchezze e le sue contraddizioni, musicalmente riportate con i suoi contrappunti tra atmosfere sempre vagamente malinconiche e spunti più vivaci, ecco forse talvolta eccessivamente melanconico e triste ma questa è la visione personale dell’autore e quella che intende trasmetterci, riuscendoci benissimo peraltro.

Rimane quindi un ambiente ottimamente descritto dai colori elettronici di Enrico Coniglio, rimane un opera di non semplice assimilazione, dato sopratutto il ricco “peso” emozionale, evocativo e descrittivo, un opera che è consigliata ovviamente agli amanti della musica di atmosfera ed agli estimatori della musica in cui ricerca, elettronica ed emozioni devono essere gli ingredienti principali, sicuramente per chi non si vuole limitare semplicemente ad ascoltare un prodotto ma come nella lettura di un libro vuole immergersi in esso ed immaginarsi, nella propria mente, la scena. [Salvatore Siragusa]

MIXMASTER MORRIS's quote
This is a must have for ambient djs!
ROAD RECS
A selection of 10 collaborative works from enrico coniglio on the irish based label psychonavigation, the album features contributions from guido marzorati, arve henriksen, piero bittolo bon, nicola alesini, massimo liverani, hans joachim roedelius and alvise seggi, the album features ten electronic based ambient pieces based around the sounds of the venice lagoon and calls to mind the minimal sounds of the likes of Christian Fennesz.
THE STAR (Ireland's national newspaper)
The latest album from the internationally renowned Irish exponents of ambient and electronica, Psychonavigation Records, is another quality CD. These lush soundscapes are soaking in introspective melancholy, interrupted only by occasional splashes of sweet jazz – all inspired by and recorded in Venice, the most beautiful city in Europe according to some.
CHILLAGE IDIOTS XFM
A deeply involving sonic tapestry, which draws you back again & again, but each new listen brings further hidden treasures… beautiful, stark & occasionally frightening “Areavirus” will sit proudly in my music collection… [Mick Chillage]