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PAUME features: Pietro Riparbelli - 2010 -

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PAUME features: Pietro Riparbelli Geplaatst op 24/11/2010 door Sven


The moving and at times quite haunting sound art pieces arising from a conceptual idea, sound art pieces related to the world of contemporary art too, by Italian composer, artist and musician Pietro Riparbelli are principally linked to the perception of the sonic landscape and of the inner state(s) of consciousness, as related to other dimensions of awareness.

His K11-project deals with the world of radio signals, trans-communication and other invisible phenomena. Field recordings and shortwave radio receivers picking up signals, make up the dimensions and uncanny atmospheres captured in his compositions, bustling with the dynamics of noise and drone. (He has also worked with EVP and PAUME recommends the cd-release ‘The Ghost Orchid – An Introduction to EVP’ to all uniniated…) Under the PT-R moniker Riparbelli navigates his way through a world of rhythmic landscapes using environmental sounds (by means of field recordings), electronically sampling these real life and / or natural sonic sources into rhythmic patterns, frames, shapes and phases.

Riparbelli, a graduated philosopher and multi-media artist based in Livorno (Tuscany), has seen his works published by Touch, Radical Matters Ed/Label, Old Europe Cafe amongst numerous others. He hasperformed live at a wide array of festivals and art events, most notably at Equinox Festival (London) and the Fundació Tŕpies (Barcelona).


Pietro Riparbelli’s study of the phenomenology of perception with particular reference to the dichotomy between the visible and the invisible is closely connected to his conceptual address of the ‘sonic landscape’. He delves into deep investigation of particular places, taking in the history of the location as well as the current site specifics to reconfigure a sonic panorama (or diorama) through its inherent transcendental aspects in order to create a dimension beyond the purely or merely sonic: a total perceptive and receptive capturing of the place and its visible and invisible tangents, transporting the listener to a new and hitherto literally unheard form, kind and ‘content’ of sensory experience and therewith: perception. From a specific time and place, to another (listening) time and place and in between, found (!) in Riparbelli’s transmutation and compostional interpretation: an altogether new and invisible (maybe even: non-existing) ‘vista’… ’


Recently released by Touch, as part of Spire, Riparbelli’s ‘4 Churches’ download only release marks a new endeavour into the nether- or, better even: upper world (literally here) of the sonic characteristics of – nomen est omen – four churches or cathedrals in Europe. In Orvieto’s Dome, early in the morning, before the massive tourist influx, he captured the spatial reverb, which he mixed with the choir singing and samples from the church’s organ. Impressive spatial reverb is captured in a totally different way in the interior of the Basilica in Assisi: a dark, cavernous place. A venue for meditation, reverence and of incredible silence too, with prized relics from bygone ages on display; with a daunting and haunting enshrined and thus mute(d) echo towards and in the present; forever silent, eternally silenced? In the first church built in Paris, France around 500 A.D. – the Cathedral of Saint Germain – organs and chanting voices fill the sonic room. At the infamous Notre Dame (Paris, France) tourists disturb the solemn peace and quiet of the immense reverberation of the cathedral at almost all hours, but Riparbelli managed to catch an organ session and a mass at this one of the most prominent churches in the world.


Riparbelli’s ‘4 Churches’ presents a sonic architecture: immersive and impressive, even to listeners that don’t know the massive and cavernous constructions in Assisi or Paris. His field recordings are treated electronically, but, wholly different from most so-called ‘dark ambient’ artists, his work is not buried in, drowned by, covered under: the artificial glum of so-called ‘gothic cave reverb’. Riparbelli’s is the factual, the actual upper worldly reverb of the architectural structures of the churches or cathedrals; cut-up, put back together, assembled, disassembled, stone by stone sonically building the church or cathedral: wholly sonically. What you hear, is no longer what you get. What you hear, is what’s there in the building; plus: more, much more. You see with your ears: the enormous resonating building. The sanctity and history of the specific places; of the relics enshrined; of the sacred music played; the hymns sung, is immersively impressed upon the listener. These are no netherworlds in hellish caves; no paradises lost. These are places of hearing without seeing; places of knowing without ‘evidence’: places of believing, true places of: belief. Places of the belief of seeing by hearing, too; QED. The church or cathedral historically is considered to be one of the main visual focal points of a city’s landscape; just see the spires protruding into thin air… How fitting to have Touch present not only BJ Nilsen’s ‘Invisible City’, but also Pietro Riparbelli’s likewise invisible, but evenly so pregnant and remarkable sonic focal point in the ongoing Spire series.

Pietro Ripbarelli’s ’4 Churches’ is availible for download in the Touch Shop. [PS: PAUME recommends: listening on headphones or hi-end equipment to catch the minutest of genuine real life reverb details which bring to life these amazing (acoustic) architecural structures.] http://paume.nl/2010/11/24/paume-features-pietro-riparbelli/


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