Paolo Modugno has described himself as an “Artisan of Sound”. The sleeve notes that accompany Archeo`s reissue of his 1988 LP, Brise D’Automne, talk about music as an “alliteration of sound”. How sound, and therefore, music is everywhere. How this music is perceived being dependent on environment, and dependent on the listener. The authors of these sleeve notes, Gino Castaldo and Carlo Infante, write about Modugno organising sound, the “world`s noises”, in a manner that destabilises perception. Steps out of time. Into a void. Into “a time of oblivion”.
Modugno composed primarily for the theatre. For groups and co-operatives such as the one lead by Gustavo Frigerio in Rome, Tuscany`s Imago, Koine in Umbria, and KRYPTON – of whom Archeo`s founder Manu has fond memories.
“KRYPTON`s founder, Giancarlo Cauteruccio, was a dear friend of my mother and my aunt. When I was around 8, 10, years old they would do installations here in Florence, with fire and lasers, that really captured my imagination. They also worked with Litfiba who were one of my favourite Rock bands. When I was young I went to their concerts so many times. I feel like this project has brought me, my musical passion, full circle.”
Brise D’Automne has been sought after and collected by “heads” for a while. Its popularity / knowledge of its existence boosted – much like Midori Takada`s Through The Looking Glass – by its inclusion in Chee Shimizu`s book / Bible on Obscure Sound. Where you can find it under the heading “Spiritual”.
On it Modugno The Artisan blurs sampled chants and muezzins` calls. Ritual percussion and tribal drums. Birdsong and cicadas. Constructs duets for African chimes and gypsy guitar. Piano and synth. Running water and Satie-like Gymnopédies. Riding the low pulse of a deep Om. To the tick of Grandma`s Clockwork. Generating Fourth World synergies that inhabit the same hybrid space as Peter Gabriel`s work with Nusrat Ali Khan, David Sylvian`s Brilliant Trees, Jasper Van`t Hof`s Pili Pili, and Rex Illusivii`s In The Moon Cage. Where visions of savannah plains swap for bedouin camps. Nomadic searches and journeys up river to Conrad`s Heart Of Darkness. For altered states and a surrender to ancient elemental forces. The air is not one of calm meditation. There are dark clouds gathering in its distance. More, wrestling with thought. With existence.
The reissue is in shops now. It features artwork by Modugno`s wife, Raffaella, and has been expanded to four sides of vinyl with two previously unreleased tracks.