NUBICUCULIA “We were driving back from San Michele Arcangelo’s Cave”, Enrico Ascoli recalls, “there, Taylor Deupree and I have long stayed in order to listen and record the polyphonic and dripping humidity of this temple. And then, just out a tangle of thoughts and through the echo of the sounds we just recorded, I heard for the first time the word “Nubicuculia”. To say it was Giuliano Mozzillo, sitting next to me and talking to Leandro Pisano, professor of his and residence curator. I don’t remember what they were talking about, but thanks to the onomatopoeic sound of this poetic word I was brought back to reality. “Do you remember, Giuliano, when I told you about the correspondence between Nubicuculia and the territory of Puglia?”, Leandro replied.
That comment made my curiosity grow even more, because it sounded like a new way to interpret the territorial exploration that I was conducting in association with other sound artists, during that windy-heated July. That evening I found out that the word was the title of a comedy by Aristofane about and utopian city built in the clouds and inhabited by birds. Aside from any interpretation, what captured my attention was the choir of birds. I pictured a classical Greek theatre choir, every singer tuning up a different bird call: 25 singers in total, the sound-scape of that suspended city. During that residence I was recording a lot of material, but I soon realized that I was avoiding any reference linked to the ambient or the landscape, in order to focus on the tune shaded that I was creating myself, modifying the materials collected during my historical exploration of those places.
I was trying to find the core of that territory through the voices of its ordinary items: between stone shingles, vineyards and odd agricultural tools. And then I realized that I was auditioning for the singers to embody the Terra dei Trulli, inlaying it a utopian and material kaleidoscope, because made out rocks, rusts, wood and humans.
“Nubicuculia” is the result of an exploration in which sound-echoes of a dazzled scenario mix with underground vibrations, echoes of rocks and forgotten items. Enrico Ascoli creates the splendour of a landscape which interchange abstraction and mater, light and darkness, interstices and open spaces. The eterotopical narration matches with five moving pictures by Giuliano Mozzillo, (“distil of a never ending moment, repeating itself forever, but at the same time, always changing according to the variations of the music, playing with the same vibrating tune molecules”), as the Piemontese artist himself explained.
Notes “Nubicuculia” is the fourth track born re-elaborating the field-recording taken by the Paris-based artist Enrico Ascoli in the South of Italy during the artist-in-residence project Barsento Mediascape/Interferenze 2013. It’s a narrative dialogue between many different sound materials recorded exploring the territory, not with a documentary intent but looking for their timbrical and harmonic properties: musical seeds, full of a remote esotism, that come to light manipulating in a musical way ancient agricultural tools, the stone shingles of a “trullo” roof, the stalactites of a cavern, the rows of grapevines.
A very special thanks to Leandro Pisano and Enrico Coniglio for releasing this work, to Vito Santoiemma who allowed me to explore it’s universe of ancient tools, to Giuliano Mozzillo who has given a visual and dynamic soul to these sounds using the video documentation of the artist residence shooted by Antonello Carbone and himself.
NUBICUCULIA by Enrico Ascoli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.galaverna.org.
Enrico Ascoli est un « sound designer » basé à Paris, qui part sur le terrain et enregistre des sons différents sur un territoire donné. Pour Nubicuculia, il est parti dans le sud de l’Italie pour une résidence artistique. Il en est revenu avec cette piste de 19 minutes mettant en relief des harmonies, des timbres différents (par des manipulations de stalactites, de vieux outils agricoles ou des tuiles…) créant un paysage sonore curieux et habité. C’est la plate-forme multimédia Galaverna, petite sœur du netlabel Laverna, principalement axée sur la musique électroacoustique et expérimentale en libre diffusion, qui propose ce voyage atypique.