Ero già a me n° 44

For HN steel sheets, voices and plasterboard walls

Every motion or state of mind is also, to a certain extent, a motion and state of body.
We all know this.
An action of the body that produces sound, therefore, creates the possibility for an experiential contagion, whose vehicle is the sound itself: what I hear – plunged in the action imbibed with sound – you hear too – struck by the sound imbibed with action.

I compose assuming as central focus both my own bodily act and that of the interpreter (and often the two things coincide, making me the executor of my compositions). I try to enhance the experiential intensity of every act, deconstructing it in parameters that I reconstruct according to the unfolding of my vision.

It is not a banal transmission of what I feel inside me. That would simply end there.
It is about finding a bodily (and therefore interior) rapport with the physical body and the acoustic body of the instrument. And – as in the erotic encounter – not only expressing myself, but also aspiring to grasp, furrow and modulate the encounter itself, extending it to obscure, limpid and numinous extremes.

So may the essential affective resonance of the sound emerge.

It is necessary to identify the right instrument. An object outside the body. Or an internal function of it. The further the chosen object is from musical origins, the more defiantly virgin and free the encounter will be (for us and for those who listen to us: two relentlessly distinct realities that must be treated paradoxically – as if they were the same thing). And the richer the object in acoustic forces, the greater the psychic load of the compositive and performative device. Malleability and specific resistance, then, will be the qualities brought by the material to our encounter.

Steel sheets, vocal chords, plasterboard walls. It is not a question of extracting many sounds from these materials and arranging them in rich combinations. In Ero già a me n°44 there are far fewer inventions than those which would be required by the tedious protocol of experimental displays. On the other hand, there is so much subtle invention within each executive act, to make it live.

I prefer to repeat:
To make it live.

The bare bodily act lives, but it is not enough. The bare sonic matter lives, but it is not enough. Or perhaps they are enough – as long as they denude and veil each other. A simplicity difficult to pursue but, once reached, so easy. Once again: as in romantic encounter.

The steel sheet, with its gush of harmonics, at the slightest touch already tends to transcend its dull material obviousness.
Transcending the obviousness means: transcending the obviousness. Transcending the dullness means: allowing itself to be traversed and permeated by me. Steel can do this, more than iron or other metals that I have tried out.

The voice is traversable, permeable matter par excellence. I have distilled vocal actions that already in themselves vibrated with seductive force. Around the latter I have tried to create compositionally the appropriate void, so that this force radiated and resonated.

The plasterboard walls (alongside the steel sheets) lend their surfaces to the rubbing of rubber balls (Zectron “SuperBalls”), treated with sandpaper and mounted on thin PVC sticks. The rubbing action, modulated in pressure and speed, encounters transparencies and opacities which are completely different when it is applied to the steel sheet or the plasterboard wall, giving opposing but internally analogous results.

In conclusion, here is the ulterior, refined instrument that makes of this disc a universe of sound which is greatly different from what I usually offer during my concerts.
The microphone…
I have used different types of microphone, regulated on very high or low sensitivities, positioned far from or very close to the vibrating objects, imposing on me and drawing from me different bodily and compositional behaviours and reactions[1].
Not only then the realistic capturing of my sound.
Again, that would simply end there.
But, instead, bending a fresh and uncorrupted ear to the forces within my music. Establishing a new affective and sensual rapport and letting this suggest or deny the forms of the encounter, to my faculty of invention.

The significance of these forces and these forms will then be determined by the listener – and therefore by me too.
Absolute subjectivity always has a chance to meet true universality.

Because each body plunging into despair or gushing with joy is both solitary and collective.
It is corpo nostro.


[1] The sound obtained derives exclusively from the relation between sheet and microphone, without the use of any electronic processing.

Copyright © Dario Buccino 2006 | Translation Cynthia Bull, Eleanor Clements