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Gino Foti - Rumori: Homage To Luigi Russolo - Volume 3

Gino Foti - Rumori: Volume 3 Track Listing
  • Sciroccu (2:44)
  • Kaleidoscope Mind (2:44)
  • Nec Spe Nec Metu (5:38)
  • Phenotypic Plasticity (4:15)
  • A Vibration Of The Universal Lyre (5:52)
  • Soaking Up The Cathode Rays (3:28)
  • Reduced To Skin And Bones (3:28)
  • Erethism (3:04)
  • Autumn Rain (2:38)
  • Logorrhea (3:00)
  • Aegri Somnia (3:00)
  • Violente Lune Elettriche (5:06)
  • Corridors Of Corpses (5:22)
  • Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit (4:00)
  • Pixelated Particles (3:04)
  • Beast Of Waste And Desolation (5:04)
  • Incommunicado (3:10)

Credits

Gino Foti - MIDI Bass Guitar, Bass Guitar, MIDI Bass Pedals, Analog & Digital Keyboards, Synthesizers, Digital Samples of Luigi Russolo's Intonarumori (Noise Intoners), Hand Percussion, Vocal Effects

Luigi Russolo - Intonarumori: Arco Enarmonico (Enharmonic Bow), Crepitatore (Crackler), Gorgogliatore (Gurgler), Gracidatore (Croaker), Rombatore (Roarer), Ronzatore (Hummer), Scoppiatore (Burster), Sibilatore (Whistler), Stropicciatore (Rubber), and Ululatore (Howler)

Overview

"Today, music, as it becomes continually more complicated, strives to amalgamate the most dissonant, strange and harsh sounds. In this way we come ever closer to noise-sound. [...] Every manifestation of our life is accompanied by noise. The noise, therefore, is familiar to our ear, and has the power to conjure up life itself." ~ Luigi Russolo

Inspired by Luigi Russolo's 1913 manifesto L'Arte dei Rumori, or The Art of Noises, this album merges digital samples of his original intonarumori (noise intoners) with traditional instruments and sounds, incorporating the conventional elements of rhythm, melody, and harmony, in structured and improvised settings, across several fusion music genres.

Composition Notes

Sciroccu

The title is the Sicilian name for the sirocco (or scirocco) wind that originates in the Sahara desert, eventually crossing the Mediterranean where it picks up moisture, reaching Malta, Sicily, and southern Europe as an uncomfortable humid wind, with its precipitation locally referred to as "blood rain", due to the red sand mixed in.

This partially-improvised solo bass guitar piece uses a split signal: a direct input, with effects patched via aux send/return; and a MIDI input, triggering samples of a divan saz - the largest of the baglamas, a family of Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern lutes - and fragments from Russolo's arco enarmonico.

I daisy-chained multiple reverb and delay effects to simulate the sciroccu's arid, hot, and sandy winds.


Kaleidoscope Mind

"We are, therefore, at the window of a glorious mental hospital [...]" ~ Francesco Balilla Pratella, Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music

The title usually refers to someone who has a unique, flexible mind that is able to see connections, patterns, and relationships in certain situations that the average, rigid mind fails to perceive.

The arrangement is centered around rhythmic bed tracks leftover from the Geomantia sessions, including bass guitar, drum kit, and synth-based sounds.

The lead sound is identical to the one used in Echoes Of The Invisible World, from Volume 1, performed on MIDI bass guitar, triggering a blend of effected samples of Russolo's arco enarmonico and gorgogliatore with an eclectic mix of conventional string instruments, that together sound like an enigmatic fusion of electric violin, musical saw, and theremin.

Since a traditional kaleidoscope employs several mirrors leading to multiple reflections, during post-production I made copies of a few passages from the lead instrument, rendered mirror versions, and layered them into the mix, with different reverb and delay settings.


Nec Spe Nec Metu

The title is a Latin maxim that translates to "neither hope nor fear", the motto of one of my favorite painters, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - master of the tenebroso style - who had the words inscribed on his sword (or knife, depending on the origin of the story).

Following his (unintentional?) killing of gangster/provocateur Ranuccio Tomassoni, he fled Rome with a death sentence and open bounty on his head, eventually traveling to my birthplace in Sicily, where he has his own room in the MuMe art museum, the Museo interdisciplinare regionale di Messina.

On the run for the rest of his life, Caravaggio continued producing stunning masterpieces, living up to his motto, while pursuing a papal pardon for his sentence.

The arrangement is a fusion of dark ambient, industrial, and other noise-related elements - including a few intonarumori - as well as more traditional percussion and guitar sounds, all performed on MIDI bass guitar, MIDI bass pedals, keyboards, and synthesizers.


Phenotypic Plasticity

The title is a biological term defined as "changes in an organism's behavior, morphology, and physiology in response to stimuli or inputs from a unique environment." An example given is of the "Acyrthosiphon pisum of the aphid family, which exhibits the ability to interchange between asexual and sexual reproduction, as well as growing wings between generations when plants become too populated."

My musical representation begins with rhythmic bed tracks that were leftovers from the Xenosonic Journeys sessions - which incorporated ambient, EDM, and related genres to my world fusion compositions, for the first time.

The lead sounds are via MIDI bass guitar, using a blend of effected lead synth sounds, and fragments of Russolo's crepitatore and ronzatore, disguised through various effects.


A Vibration Of The Universal Lyre

"All sound heard at the greatest possible distance produces one and the same effect, a vibration of the universal lyre, just as the intervening atmosphere makes a distant ridge of earth interesting to our eyes by the azure tint it imparts to it." ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

This is basically a "noisier" version of a leftover composition from the Mystic Gleams sessions, using the same basic sounds as Sha'are Orah.

Another solo piece, performed on MIDI bass guitar, triggering a custom patch of several stringed instruments, including: guitar, harp, lute, and lyre. With effects, the overall sound is that of an ethnic instrument with sympathetic strings (or resonance strings), like those found on many Indian and even a few Baroque instruments.

The noise elements are provided through the manipulation of the effects chain, making this one of the few tracks, on all three volumes, without any intonarumori samples.


Soaking Up The Cathode Rays

"To live between a rock and a hard place
In between time
Cruising in prime time
Soaking up the cathode rays"
~ Neil Peart, Between The Wheels

A collage of noise generated by overdriven and distorted bass guitars, mixed in with effected fragments of Russolo's crepitatore and ululatore, exactly like Anarchia Nell'Alveare, from Volume 2.

As the title suggests, it was inspired by the "snow", static, and white noise generated from analog television sets, blank VHS tapes, etc., and despite the deliberate cacophony, it is built around a tonal center of D minor.


Reduced To Skin And Bones

"For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.
In my distress I groan aloud
and am reduced to skin and bones."
~ Psalm 102

Mediterranean and North African frame drums - with heads made from animal skin, played with both hands and a beater made from animal bone - are blended with effected fragments of Russolo's gracidatore and ronzatore, playing various rhythms indigenous to both areas, including a 6/8 versus 4/4 polyrhythm.

The primary tracks were leftovers from the Global Resonances sessions, inspired by my two favorite hand percussionists, Hossam Ramzy & Glen Velez.


Erethism

The title is the medical name for "mad hatter disease", a neurological disorder derived from mercury poisoning, characterized by several behavioral changes, including: apathy, delirium, depression, irritability, low self-confidence, and memory loss.

Musically, the idea was to play the intonarumori as chromatic instruments, with the concept originating from Russolo himself: "Every noise has a tone, and sometimes also a harmony that predominates over the body of its irregular vibrations. Now, it is from this dominating characteristic tone that a practical possibility can be derived for attuning it, that is to give a certain noise not merely one tone, but a variety of tones, without losing its characteristic tone, by which I mean the one which distinguishes it. In this way any noise obtained by a rotating movement can offer an entire ascending or descending chromatic scale, if the speed of the movement is increased or decreased."

After some experimentation, I ended up using sound banks of his crepitatore and ronzatore via MIDI bass guitar, for all the rhythms and melodies.

Additional synthesizers, played through MIDI bass pedals, complete the arrangement that is based around a tonal center of Em7b5.


Autumn Rain

"My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be." ~ Robert Frost, My November Guest

Like the other two volumes, the ninth track was inspired by the fourth chapter of Russolo's The Art of Noises manifesto, focusing on the noises of nature and life, which includes the passage: "Thunder. Mysterious muttering that comes from afar, a threat, or the crash of strange and powerful rhythms that explode to the zenith."

Many years ago, while trying to improve my recording and producing skills, I made several field recordings at/near my house overlooking the Concord River.

Given the title and quote, you can probably guess that this track features an early November thunderstorm passing through the Merrimack Valley. I edited the "best" few minutes, and improvised a piano solo over it.


Logorrhea

The title refers to pathologically compulsive and incoherent repetitious speech - another composition influenced by the sixth chapter of Russolo's The Art of Noises manifesto, outlining the noises of language, where he wrote about "... all the noises made [...] by the mouth of man without resorting to speaking or singing."

Like Kinetic Dreams from Volume 1, and Atavistic Relics from Volume 2, it features an Indian-flavored leftover from the Xenosonic Journeys sessions, inspired by Goa trance. I added several voices to the submix, as well as some "one shots" of heavily-processed intonarumori.


Aegri Somnia

"[...] velut aegri somnia, vanae fingentur species: ut nec pes, nec caput uni reddatur formae." ~ Horace, Ars Poetica

The title is from one of Horace's most famous phrases, and can be translated simply as "troubled dreams", with the entire quote stating "like the dreams of a sick person, senseless images are fashioned in such a way that: neither foot, nor head can be rendered in a single form."

Another solo piece that, like Kaleidoscope Mind, features a MIDI bass guitar playing samples of Russolo's arco enarmonico and gorgogliatore, fused with several traditional string instruments.


Violente Lune Elettriche

"Noi canteremo le grandi folle agitate dal lavoro, dal piacere o dalla sommossa: canteremo le maree multicolori e polifoniche delle rivoluzioni nelle capitali moderne; canteremo il vibrante fervore notturno degli arsenali e dei cantieri incendiati da violente lune elettriche [...]" ~ Filippo Tommaso Marinetti

The title translates to "Violent Electric Moons", conjured up by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, one of Russolo's friends and fellow Futurist, who initiated the movement in 1909 through his manifesto printed in La Gazzetta dell'Emilia, a newspaper in Bologna, Italy.

A year later, he met the painter Luigi Russolo, and both men became central figures of Futurism, with its principal aim to revolutionize art and culture by embracing the energy and motion of that era's modern machinery, while rejecting the habits and traditions of the past.

Like Velocita Onnipresente, from Volume 1, this track was inspired by Russolo's Convegno d'aeroplani e d'automobili (Conference of airplanes and automobiles), which was one of the pieces played live for the first time during the concert held at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milano, Italy, on April 21, 1914, with both men in featured roles.

I intertwined samples of five of the intonarumori from that concert: the arco enarmonico, crepitatore, gracidatore, ronzatore, and ululatore.

All the samples were processed, with effects added, and played on MIDI bass guitar and synthesizer - the latter triggered via MIDI bass pedals - performed in real-time, with parts of it sounding like an automobile morphing into an airplane.


Corridors Of Corpses (Return To The Catacombs Of Palermo)

The bulk of this composition began as my first idea for Tra Le Catacombe Di Palermo, from the Obumbratio - Volume 1 album.

The Catacombe dei Cappuccini in Palermo, Sicily began in the late 1500s as a fossa comune, a mass graveyard for the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, on the grounds of the church of Santa Maria della Pace. When it became necessary to expand, the existing cave structure behind the main altar was used to eventually build a series of corridors where the corpses were arranged by families, gender, profession, and social status.

Like its companion piece, effected human voices - one for each corridor - influenced by the sixth chapter of Russolo's The Art of Noises manifesto, dealing with the noises of language, are featured over a complex bed of keyboards and synthesizers, trying to capture this unique, macabre collection of mummified people that seem to be suspended between life and death.

(Actually, according to my notebook, what sounds like babies crying is actually an effected, elongated, pitch-shifted fragment of Russolo's ululatore.)


Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit

The title translates to "that which nourishes me destroys me", a statement open to different meanings depending on the individual, which is thought to be a variant of quod me alit me extinguit, or "that which feeds me extinguishes me", which appears in a 1585 text of Elizabethan poet Samuel Daniel, and later, in two of William Shakespeare's works.

My musical representation is of a noise solo on bass guitar, employing a split signal similar to the sounds, effects, and intonarumori used on Consumed From Within from Volume 2, over a bed of hackneyed hard rock/heavy metal rhythms, inspired by Francesco Balilla Pratella's example of: "one or more bars of uneven tempo placed in the middle or at the end of a musical phrase, which is either in even or mixed tempo or vice versa, cannot be considered wrong by using the ridiculous rules and fallacies of the so-called quadratura (a continuous steady rhythm), the disgraceful umbrella of all the impotent who teach in the conservatories.", from his Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music.


Pixelated Particles

This track began as a sister piece to Erethism, where the fundamental idea was to play the intonarumori as chromatic instruments, and once again, I used sound banks made up from crepitatore and ronzatore fragments on MIDI bass guitar.

While fleshing out the arrangement, I began to integrate atmospheric percussion and more ambient elements, eventually turning this more into Erethism's textural cousin.


Beast Of Waste And Desolation

"The wolf is the arch type of ravin, the beast of waste and desolation." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Another solo piece using a split signal between a bass guitar with overdrive and distortion, recorded DI; and a MIDI input triggering cello samples and fragments of Russolo's arco enarmonico and gorgogliatore, resulting in a range of lupine-type sounds, from a lone wolf to a hungry pack.


Incommunicado

"The instrumental composition may be conceived by imagining and hearing a particular orchestra for every particular and diverse musical condition of inspiration." ~ Francesco Balilla Pratella, Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music

This composition features a "particular orchestra" of various telecommunications equipment, highlighting switches, including: radio, telegraph, television, telephones, and other analog/digital transmission systems, fused with fragments of several of Luigi Russolo's intonarumori.

The Morse Code "solo" throughout the track spells out: "Luigi Russolo wrote in his Futurist manifesto, L'Arte Dei Rumori: Ancient life was all silence. In the nineteenth century, with the invention of the machine, Noise was born. Today, Noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men."

The phone number outlined in the "melody", via keypad tones, should be familiar to everybody who listened to Top 40 radio in the early 1980s.


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