‘SCURO CHIARO’ is the follow-up to ‘VOLUME MASSIMO’ album, when a new recording process has been conceived.
“I really enjoyed the fact that VOLUME MASSIMO became a series of rough colours that I added to in order to specify a more definite image, or a more definite painting in a way. It’s something that I hadn’t done before as a lot of my recordings are live recordings. With SCURO CHIARO I went back to this process. A lot of the compositions that I included are compositions that I listened to, worked with, massaged, and shaped the corners for them to fit in this specific puzzle—but there was less dissection, less hair and make-up than VOLUME MASSIMO.”
The beauty of SCURO CHIARO lies in its contradictions. With far fewer instances of guitar than the last album, SCURO CHIARO fully realises the peculiar expressiveness of the environments that Cortini is capable of generating from his studio with synthesis.
“SCURO CHIARO is the opposite of chiaroscuro [the use of light and shadow to give strong contrast], and in a way it shows that no matter how you order things there’s always going to be two elements that tend to be the opposite of each other that make up the truth—or make up everything.”
“Tracks like ‘CORRI’ or ‘FIAMMA’ were recorded with synthesisers placed in an environment, so you’re not just hearing the synthesiser but you’re hearing the synthesiser in a room. When you do that, emotionally speaking, you’re painting an extra layer.“
First rising to notoriety programming and writing electronics the ground-breaking industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails, he’s since developed a run of solo albums and unmissable collaborations that express a versatility with genre, instrumentation, and recording techniques as surely as they render an adept composer at their most inquisitive.
“I think that the emphasis on the therapeutic element of the record is really important as that’s the way that it was created. I think I’m trying to make who I am artistically fit with who I am as a human being as much as possible, and for the two things not to fight each other, just to collaborate in order to reach happiness. I think at the end that’s all that matters, it’s just finding a way to be balanced as a human being.”
“When I press record it’s like I’m recording an emotional musical statement, and it could become the album, or it could just stay on my hard drive and bake for another ten years until I feel like it reflects something I can identify with.”
“To me things that were created apart in time can fit together in a work of art, and it doesn’t matter when they were created. You drink wine that is ten years old with a meal that is freshly handmade. The final product, in my opinion, doesn’t need to be made at the same time.”
Cortini’s recent collaboration with electronic musical instrument manufacturer Make Noise was also enveloped by the album. Named Strega, Cortini designed a bespoke instrument and effects unit that’s now publicly available.
“Strega is a successful attempt to condense my sonic aesthetic into a music making box. Throughout the time that I finished the record I was receiving prototypes, and their work was integrated on the record.“
Last year Cortini and Daniel Avery joined for the stunning ‘Illusion of Time’ album, latest of a series of Cortini’s collaborative works, also with Lawrence English and Merzbow.
STUMM463 / CDSTUM463 / iSTUMM463 – vinyl / CD / digital
Mute – June 11, 2021