Attila Faravelli

Stereo Recordings
9’57’’ – 2014

How did it all begin? When did you start experimenting with sound?

I’ve been working mainly as a sound engineer for a few years, I then took a course in electronic music composition. These lessons, together with some key experimental music albums that Giuseppe Ielasi gave me during that same period, made me realize just how the same techniques used to control sound in the studio can be used to shape sound into compositions.
In what context would you situate your artistic research?

After having spent some time dealing with audio techniques I developed an interest in questioning the meaning of sound recording itself when considered as a cultural artifact, a local phenomenon which is both geographically and historically situated. In this sense the starting point for my research right now is questioning the relationship between sound, space and body and whether it is possible to conceive and practice this ratio differently from what we are used to.
For Helicotrema 2014, you will present a series of Stereo Recordings. Can you talk about the genesis of the piece, as well as its compositional process?

The core of Stereo recordings is a colony of woodworms that my 8 years old nephew found in an abandoned farm, the recordings were made from different perspectives (on top and on the sides of the bunch of rotten wood and at the entrance of the room). There’s also a recording of 2 birds in a cage which was too small and a self-built bullroarer that I played in a medieval church.
Most of my musicians friends right now play some sort of analog synthesizers. We often talk together about their compositional processes and they describe it as connecting modules together and turning knobs till some interesting sounds come out; then they record this complex state of things in order to fix a condition which is unique and that they will never be able to re-create (as it is caused by a crazy amount of cables and controls).
I think of field recording in the same way, you fix in a recording a complex aural condition that you find in a specific location: you too, the recordist, influence it with your presence and that specific state of things will never be the same again. I use omnidirectional microphones that don’t distinguish between what is in front of them and all around them, close or far away. In Stereo Recordings all the main sounds are very complex and sit on an equally complex ground of distant sounds.