Murmur Records (mmr014) | 47’13” | CD Enhanced + Digital | Edition of 500 | August 08, 2012
01. February / Seek
02. Seadawn / .Kds
03. Sad / Jitter
04. Hatsuyuki / D Quant
The bits stream invades the whole human experience today, influencing the cognitive aspect, perception, learning and communication. Man is irremediably part of this paradoxical process that leads him to experience his emotions by interacting with 0 and 1 combinations, of which the digital videos, images and music are composed. The numerical representation of life and the sensorial stimulation, achieved by combining data into binary format, replaces human primordial needs; by tending towards an abstraction, man sees himself interacting with the machine. The most evolved cultural-technologic manifestation of this new human condition is depicted by the Affective Computing, which is the study and development of devices able to recognize, process and simulate human emotions. These machines should interpret the emotional state of human beings and adapt their behaviour to them: the detection of emotional information begins with sensors which capture data about human speech, facial expressions, psychological reactions, skin temperature and language. Giving to machines emotional capabilities makes it possible to establish and simulate empathy between humans and robots. Transfer is a sonic reflection about all affective phenomena which come out by the use of digital interfaces: the emotions are thus converted twice (reality-digital, digital-reality), creating a transfer between the artist’s original purpose and the users.
Transfer has been composed between July 2010 and March 2011. All the recording sessions were made in the summer of 2010 at the Gorges of Salinello (Abruzzo, Italy), a natural reserve located between two mountains, also known as the Monti Gemelli (Twin Mountains). This impressive valley is characterized by beautiful waterfalls, unusual rock patterns, caves, wild flowers and small life forms. Later on, all the organic sounds were processed using computer, audio morphing and re-synthesis tecniques.
Sound artist e graphic designer di base a Roseto degli Abruzzi, Fabio Perletta è uno dei nomi caldi nell’ambito della schiera di musicisti digitali avvezzi alle pratiche elettroacustiche ed attivi nella nostra penisola, impegnati in un significativo lavoro che coinvolge diversi aspetti teorici e pratici legati alla sperimentazione ed alla riflessione critica intorno al suono come medium artistico in relazione al dominio delle tecnologie. Ed è proprio a partire dalla lettura critica (“sonic reflection”) dei fenomeni affettivi legati all’uso delle interfacce digitali che si sviluppa il concept di “Transfer”, album dato alle stampe della giapponese Murmur, label dall’estetica ultraminimale che annovera nel proprio catalogo lavori di France Jobin/i8u, Yuki Aida, Mimosa|Moize, Yann Novak & Robert Crouch. Composto nell’arco di otto mesi tra l’estate del 2010 e la primavera del 2011, “Transfer” si avvale di una serie di registrazioni ambientali ottenute in luoghi ameni e siti naturalistici abruzzesi, che vengono introiettate nell’impasto del layering digitale e sminuzzati (processing digitale, audio morphing, ri-sintetizzazione), fino a diventare particelle galleggianti in un flusso liquido di suoni che talvolta si addensa in scenari cosmici ed oscuri (Hatsuyuki / D Quant), o apre soundscape compositi in cui gli elementi dronici sono sapientemente distribuiti nelle pieghe del processing digitale (Seadawn / .Ksd). L’approccio astratto e l’impianto strutturale delle quattro tracce sembrano rimandare ad un primo sguardo ai riferimenti del genere ambient/drone, ma il raffinato e scrupoloso trattamento di sound design che Perletta riserva alla gamma di sample a sua disposizione, avvicina piuttosto “Transfer” a certe produzioni della LINE o della Dragon’s Eye. Un lavoro che trova ideale compendio nell’omonima opera audiovisiva, recentemente sviluppata dall’autore e pensata per un’installazione, in cui i concetti del trasferimento dei dati e della frammentazione della natura per mezzo della tecnologia già sviluppati con il disco, si trasferiscono sul piano audiovisuale giocando, come afferma lo stesso Perletta “con l’ambiguità tra l’acqua (Drop) e gli errori di lettura dei dati, tipica dei programmi di montaggio video (Dropped Frames)”.
Fabio Perletta is a sound artist and graphic designer behind the moniker Øe, under which he has released music with Nephogram, Ripples Recordings, and Isolationism. His latest album “Transfer” comes courtesy of Japan’s Murmur Records, and features four slices of ambient, glitch-inflected drone made with processed field recordings, found objects, and acoustic guitar. Warm, enveloping chords pulsate with little energies, the crackle and hum evoking both the expansiveness and randomness of nature on the one hand, and artificial order and artefact on the other. Yes, this is ground that has been covered before by other artists, but it is also one with many hidden paths left to explore, and Perletta proves himself more than up to the task.
At issue is an area where two maps overlap. Perletta uses immersive ambient sounds to create a representation of a natural pastoral landscape; he then complicates this sonic picture by weaving in another layer of representation that points to digital artefacts and binary signals. The landscape may well turn out to be comprised using synthesisers, and the glitches and pulses composed from field recordings, but one is never sure; the listener’s ability to identify and categorise the source of each sound is disrupted. The juxtaposition of smooth, continuous sounds with jittering percussive ones is thus only the tip of a conceptual iceberg that ultimately questions what it is we think we mean when we use such terms as ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’, both in reference to music and in wider discourse. We reach a point where it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to separate human emotion and cognition from the environments that give rise to them, and to distinguish both from the technologies that allow for their recording and expression. It is at this point that seemingly random pulses and oscillations become endowed with intense meaning.
This may not be the first time such issues have been explored in ambient music, but Perletta’s contribution to the discussion is a particularly well-crafted and effective one. Details such as the percussive sounds in “Seadawn / .Ksd” and the acoustic guitar work in “Sad / Jitter” are particularly evocative. Perhaps a little more variation in terms of tempo and orchestration wouldn’t go amiss, but overall this is a strong album from Perletta, and one that sits comfortably alongside releases by the likes of Yann Novak and Robert Crouch, i8u, and Yuki Aida in the Murmur Records discography.
One of the primary discussion points surrounding the rise of computerised media has been the changes in the way we interact with eachother and define ourselves – the merge of culture and opinion that blurs our sense of geography and social belonging, while exposing our minds to a whole wealth of viewpoint and practices existing outside our immediate social environments as they exist in the “real world” (whatever that is). But what about the medium that makes all of this possible? Transfer is a “sonic reflection” on our interaction with machines; the channelling of emotion and personality into a cascade of 1s and 0s, which – under the title of “Affective Computing” – has lead to research into the way in which machines may be able to simulate human emotion by capturing data based on facial expressions, vocal patterns and skin temperature.
Transfer explores the increasing intimacy of two languages, and the growing empathy between man and machine. Upon reading the album concept, my listening experience begins to take on a very distinct shape. It’s the limbo zone where the two communication forms collide; the gateway between the cold definition of digitalism and the warm fluidity of human emotion. Little spurts of beep and hum (very reminiscent of Taylor Deupree’s bubbling tonal debris) scatter themselves among the rich, vibrato tones of violin and clean guitar chimes, both of which are embedded in a waterfall rush of droning synthesiser chord. It’s a strange landscape, simultaneously evoking a vibrant dreamlike abstraction of meditative electronic music and the earthly tangibility of field recording; yet to solidify into one or the other, and thus floating within an inter-dimensional midpoint of alienating, disconnective stasis. The listener is lost in beautifully numbing wash of communication in mid-translation – soft phonemes squashed into hard boxes of data, binary unravelled into fluid vowels – and while such a sound obviously lacks the anchorage of assertion or clear message, it is gorgeous for its depiction of the deconstruction/materialisation process.
Fabio Perletta (Øe) is a well established inter-media artist and graduated sound designer who released a bunch of installations and performances, as well as fruitful collaborative works with renowned artists such as Andrea Ferraris, Tau Ceti et al. He is also the founder of the label Farmacia901 which produces a wide range of ambient sound materials. Transfer is among the last Fabio Perletta’s efforts to date. The content has been written and recorded between 2010 and 2011. In itself the music encompasses the micro-tonal ambient genre and the stylistically inspired abstract droning avant-gardism with the addition of a vast array of natural sound sources and field recordings. The conceptual background is said to be linked to neuronal-interactive networking between the human psyche and the technological programming / simulacrum. The textured soundscaping ambiences perfectly approach a listening-phenomenological situation where the cognitive structures are intertwined with affective-emotional realities. The music delivers a wonderfully absorbing mix of elements, digital micro-events, rumbling timbral drone sequences with a deep sense of introspection and meditatively cerebral experience. The challenging-adventurous environmental perspective reminds me a few virtualized acousmatic / crafted based soundtracks from Natasha Barret, Marc Behrens, Tod Dockstader. The melodious ambient path will ravish fans of Vidna Obmana, Harold Budd (among others).
A challenging and vigorously complex abstract ambient minimalistic release that combines texturally organic-emotional drones to ingeniously conceptual visions and speculatively meditative sound topologies. Elegantly done, deliciously organic and well produced, this album clearly deserves a serious listening to anyone interested in experimental-hybrid contemporary ambient music.
Il disco di Fabio Perletta, ovvero Øe, esce per la giapponese Murmur records, non che la cosa attesti automaticamente la qualità del disco, ma già di per sè è una dimostrazione diretta che la bravura spesso paga. Come avrete intuito Transfer è un lavoro di livello che ribadisce per l’ennesima volta come sia la musica sperimentale sia quella elettronica nostrane godano di uno stato di grazia. Ad un orecchio distratto il lavoro di Perletta può sembrare apparentmente semplice, ma giova ricordare che dietro al minimalismo spesso si nascondono doti tecniche e capacità compositive. In tempi in cui molti si occupano di elettonica minimale e di drone, la qualità tende ad emergere, infatti nelle quattro tracce in cui è diviso questo disco non c’è accenno a cedimenti particolari o a cadute. Transfer si tinge di atmosfere tenui, melodie a tratti malinconiche e atmosfere rilassanti a presa rapida. Tappeti ambientali e melodie attraversate da sporcature elettroniche e arrangiamenti fatti ad hoc, Perletta non si improvvisa in un ambito come molti, a quanto pare maneggia molto bene il linguaggio con il quale si esprime. Non che ricordi direttamente lavori di Taylor Deupree e di Richard Chartier però credo che se appreziate i loro lavori più accessibili potreste rimanere piacevolmente colpiti dai lavori di Øe.
This time is the japanese record label Murmur to embrace Øe and Fabio Perletta’s universe of trascendental sonorities. And with reason. This new 4/8 track visionary journey (each piece is a two-suite track, actually) goes straight deep into the listener’s wide inner self, this is the Universe, filling it with glitch peace (February / Seek) and keeping feeding it with chatarsis.
A perception scenario made of sampled chamber strings (celestial on Seadawn / .Ksd), electricity, prepared sounds and samples, drone music which merges cerebral and spiritual boundaries. Maybe this is the Transfer in subject. Poignant explorative paths, alternated fragments of dusky and clear new understandings.
Humming on Hatsuyuki / D Quant, or lost under the miracle of digitalized rain and the twittering birds of Sad / Jitter, Perletta’s new record wraps elegance along the atmospheric side of unknown, narrated by nostalgic sound textures. Massive, repeated listenings might lead to Nirvana.
Fabio Perletta’s latest work as Øe delves full-body into the bit stream, the sequence of zeroes and ones that defines our daily existence. While listening, one can’t help but think of the changes of the past few decades, as human beings have transferred from an analogue existence to a digital one. Automobiles, microwaves, televisions, cell phones, stop lights, cash registers, and yes, recordings – all controlled by code. Those who have lived through the transition may simultaneously cherish the change and yearn for older, simpler times.
“February | Seek” is the sound of interrupted and sampled data: static, slices, beeps. If we were able to hear all of our devices at once, they might sound a bit like this. And yet these sounds are oddly comforting, perhaps due to the (almost) subliminal addition of water trickles recorded at a natural reserve in Abruzzo, Italy. Such integration is a testimony to the power of the possible: a blended environment in which neither side seeks dominance and nature’s allure is recalled. Consider the worth of a GPS when one is lost in the woods. Hansel and Gretel would have been a lot safer.
“Seadawn | .Ksd” s resounds with gleaming metal, recalling the cutlery and kitchen play of Pawn; ambient drones and washes form a warm background froth. One begins to wonder at the safety of sounds: is it their familiarity that leads us to let our guard down? First nature, then household, then the bit stream? Just as one begins to grow accustomed to Transfer‘s digital face, “Sad | Jitter” lands with birdsong and a gentle rain (or waterfall), reminding us of how far we’ve come, and perhaps how out of touch we’ve grown. As the track progresses, a guitar is introduced, another warm sound that says yes, music is still made this way as well. By “Hatsuyuki | D Quant”, the outer layers have all grown smooth, an indication that all sides have given up the fight and learned to live in peace.
To record such an album in such a location must have seemed contradictory, as impulses drifted in different directions. Perletta wants his worlds to coexist, and coaxes the physical streams and bit streams to flow as one. Transfer could have been an album at war with itself; instead, it’s one of synthesis, a modern blend that preserves the old while incorporating the new. To add a twist to a famous quote: no sound left behind.
Codice binario, pannelli digitali che scorrono con lentezza robotica, field recordings che vengono trasformati in elettronica sperimentale ricca di fervore cinematico. L’opera di Fabio Perletta, conosciuto ai più per l’entusiasmo e la competenza con cui dirige un’etichetta del calibro di Farmacia901, emerge in tutta la sua urgenza espressiva in questo esordio su lunga distanza suddiviso in quattro suite da capogiro. Le registrazioni si sono svolte due anni fa presso le Gole di Salinello negli Abruzzi e lo splendore di quei posti è rimasto impresso negli immaginari solchi che compongono cinquanta minuti scarsi di rara bellezza. Il concept di ‘Transfer’ si basa sul paradosso secondo cui il genere umano rimpiazza i propri bisogni sensoriali con sequenze di dati ed una continua interazione con le macchine. Non c’è morbosità e pesantezza nell’analisi dell’autore. Al contrario un brano come ‘February – Seek’ sembra scovare una fonte di conforto in un panorama afflitto da dolori ben più gravi da sopportare di quello fisico. ‘Seadawn – .Ksd’ propone i passaggi più coraggiosi mentre ‘Sad – Jitter’ stringe un legame inossidabile con ‘Im’ e ‘Like A Comet That Drifts..’. La conclusiva ‘Hatsuyuki – D Quant’ appare invece come l’inatteso vezzo di un artista che sta già lavorando per sviluppare ulteriormente tale ricerca. Rispetto a quanto rilasciato come N0 – ‘Vuoto’ e ‘M-Type Alpha’ – il minimalismo che ha accompagnato fino adesso i disegni sonori dell’artista appare più etereo ed i glitches strutturati in maniera sottile al fine di delineare un crescendo di emozioni irripetibili. Il quadro diventa sempre più chiaro con il procedere dell’ascolto ed in parallelo con il progressivo aumentare dell’interesse verso le parti successive si viene travolti dal desiderio impellente di verificare quante sfumature siano state colte in precedenza. L’interazione realtà-digitale e digitale-realtà si concretizza quindi anche nell’approccio del fruitore di tale sforzo compositivo.
‘Transfer’ is the sound of ripples across crystal clear water. Serene is a beginning to this beauty. Yes this is digital but there is a tremendous sense of humanity behind it. Moments of this rival the transparent sweetness of 12K’s best artists. Everything here is natural and perfectly appropriate. While the songs are long there is the appealing quality that they shift in terms of texture. Here every unpleasant noise is scrubbed clean leaving a sterile yet active environment. In many ways this feels like how a digital environment would react, with sounds bouncing off of sound.
‘February / Seek’ sounds infinitely optimistic. Through these elongated tones there is a sense of hope, of ease. While it flirts with an organ-like wonder it deftly avoids it. Rather the piece resembles the merger of an organ and water. By the end of the piece the tones appear to almost bubble up out of the pristine smoothness. ‘Seadawn / .Ksd’ possesses even more in the way of field recording, random ambient noises. However the ending tone, around the seven minute mark, is so lovely it encourages a repeat listen. Rare snippets of guitar can be heard on ‘Sad / Jitter’ though this could be the aural equivalent of an optical allusion. Finally the closer ‘Hatsuyuki / D Quant’ is what a digital choir might sound like, consistent, nearly-otherworldly, yet oddly familiar.
Øe creates this teeming world of life and sound. It engrosses through tiny gestures. The long track lengths are just a way of getting to the beauty of smallness.
Pensate a quei disegnatori che, partendo da piccoli tratti, oppure particolari che presi singolarmente, non avrebbero alcun senso, riescono a raffigurare un’idea più grande ed articolata. Lo stesso procedimento avviene nella musica di Transfer, aka Fabio Perletta, dove immaginario visivo e uditivo si fondono in una cosa sola creando un percorso programmatico che pone le sue basi, prima sull’approdo alle frastagliate coste di un ambient minimalista , poi su un recupero di una certa organicità di fondo in costante ascesi, ampliando il discorso con nuove tessiture: anche minime ma dal tratto riconoscibile. Un mantra di emozioni in fuga che riverberano tra le alti pareti delle gole dove l’album è stato registrato e catturato nella sua essenza, e tra quelle montagne Transfer deve aver incontrato Steve Roach e Robert Rich con i quali deve essersi divertito a fare i cosmonauti, mentre i “rumori” organici mutavano in sfere siderali, poi di nuovo, vento, acqua, le fronde degli alberi.. Oe si mostra in tutto il suo incedere più meditativo, con un pedale ambientale più stratificato ed un armonia circolare, dove la delicatezza armonica viene increspata da tanti piccoli frammenti distorti. Interessante esperimento audio/visivo che agisce a livello subliminale, chiamando in causa la stessa natura che accetta la sua musica come restituzione di un dono.
Fabio Perletta is a sound artist and graphic designer based in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy. Also known as a founder member of Farmacia901 record label and works under the moniker of Øe. His works include electronic music, video, art installations, graphic and sound design for exhibitions.
‘Transfer’, that consists of four pieces, was composed between July 2010 and March 2011 using a sound design software, digital interfaces, field recordings, found objects and acoustic guitar. The four tracks deploy in an ambient zone creating soundscapes with rich hues and clours, water sounds and objects noises that make sound layers comprising noise, drones and subtle melodies.
Hybrid avant-garde in only fifty minutes. Sonic reserarch in four suites. Ethereal minimalism and structured glitches bound in an unrepeatable crescendo of emotions. For a nostalgic concept based on the paradox that mankind is going to replace his sensory needs with data sequences and continuous machines interactions. Øe is the cinematic side project of Fabio Perletta, which outlines this growing empaty, or colliding communication, well-codified in a perception scenario made of cerebral sounds. Unexpected. Where ambient, drone and field recording merge their textures in order to wrap the elegance of simplicity or drain organic introspections. Landscape with no name. Fragments of peace. Journey in chatarsis 2.0.