Over the past couple of decades or so, there have been a number of noteworthy creative audio artists from the Italian electro-acoustic/soundscape/ambient scene, who have produced a large body of some of the most high-quality music in these genres. Outstanding among them are:
After about a decade of recording and releasing dozens of exquisite albums, it appears the Oöphoi project has either ended or slowed, but there are an enormous number of great records to hear from this prolific artist. Down through the years I’ve bought a large portion of his output – even the re-issues – and this is music that has weathered the seasons and been able to endure repeated listening; having that elusive, difficult to describe, and no doubt largely subjective quality, that can be extremely challenging to achieve as an artist.
Artists that I first became aware of through the Hic Sunt Leones label, who have also produced consistently beautiful music, and continue, even with their most recent work, to refine their craft and raise the creative bar for what may be done in this style.
A long running multimedia project that encompassed electronic music, video art, photography and graphic design. Just recently it came to light that the TU M’ project was ended by the artists in January 2012, but fortunately, they have left a large archive of their audio and visual works available on their website. Some of the music – and their process – brings to mind the style of William Basinski, of The Disintegration Loops fame, although the artists bring their own distinctive expression to the form, which was embodied in their wonderful record, Monochromes Vol. 1 (2009). Visual Works
A highly prolific and unbroken twenty years of recording and releasing exquisitely beautiful records – including collaborations with other incredible artists such as just-intonation composer Robert Rich, Dirk Serries and Mathias Grassow – distinguishes the artist Stefano Musso, and his Alio Die project, as a creator of one of the most compelling – and uniformly high quality – bodies of work in the genre.
The music and style of these artists is generally characterized by the masterful use of acoustic and electronic musical instrument timbres, field and found recordings, and digital signal processing, which may often prominently feature phrase and textural repetition through the use – and juxtaposition of – delay lines (aka looping) of varying time periods.
What is of potential interest about all of these amazing artists for listeners, musicians and composers who are curious about exploring the vast expressive frontiers of microtonal and xenharmonic music, is that their music often features microtonal inflected melodies and electro-acoustic textures that are far from the pitch grid of the twelve-tone-equal-temperament, although it is never explicitly stated by the artists that they systematically use specific alternative intonations (perhaps for the better even if they do). A good showcase for this kind of sound-world is evident in the latest Alio Die record, Deconsecrated and Pure; a masterwork of exquisite audio art…
Beautiful minimalism all around. Check it out.