Over the past fifteen years, the sound research of Enrico Coniglio, composer, guitarist and field recordist, has focused on a possible ‚other‘ acoustic symbolism of a territory, such as that of the Venetian lagoon, through the reading of its margins and its topophonies. This environment has been reinterpreted as a system of interaction and relationship of different parts in constant change. Through his capillary and patient work of sound recombination, Coniglio has made the marginal areas the subject of research in the analysis of the connections between music and landscape, with the aim of examining the crisis of the concept of territory – the loss of nature and of the identity of places -, in reference to changes and transformations in the post-urban and post-industrial territory.
On the occasion of „Teredo Navalis“, his first release on Gruenrekorder, Coniglio offers a sound work that shifts the focus from the ecological analysis of the previous albums towards an aestheticizing approach, in which field recording continues to be a methodology and a tool for investigating marginal areas.
"Teredo Navalis" (1) is entirely based on aquatic sounds – mostly untreated – but at the end of the compositional process the result is a layering of micro-sounds, such as rattles, hums, peals, drones and high-pitched hisses, where the sound of water in itself remains in the background. All the sounds were collected mostly in the evening, using hydrophones, contact mic and electromagnetic sensors in the northern area of the lagoon, between Murano, Sant’Erasmo and neighboring areas, such as „velme“ (2) and „barene“ (3) and channels for urban navigation to the islands.
Coniglio approaches and crosses all these territories within a sensitized, circumspect mode, allowing the listeners to sense the dimension of depth in a waterscape full of sound flows, only apparently immobile but saturated with deep rhythms and cadences. Crossing this environment through listening returns not only a sense of boundless vastness, but also the richness of the transitions that tell of its transformations, of slips and conflicts in the whole area.
(1) The title „Teredo Navalis“ refers to a species of saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Teredinidae, the shipworms.
(2) “Velma” is a term of the Venetian dialect (derived from “melma”/“slime“) also used in the scientific field to indicate a portion of the shallow but normally submerged lagoon bottom, which however emerges in particular conditions of low tide.
(3) “Barene” are tabular soils typical of the lagoons, periodically submerged by the tides.
released May 15, 2020
Mastering by M. Carvalhais
Photographs courtesy of D. Gagliano
Thanks to Roland Etzin and Lasse-Marc Riek
Thanks also to Nicola Di Croce for the encouragement and support
Another superb ambient album with effective use of vocal samples.
This one very carefully treads the twilight areas between crowds and solitude, at the edge of the urban, night and day. Gene Hex · Evening of Light
I'm reminded of something my grandfather Oscar told me that I never forgot. He said that he thought the cello was the only instrument that sounded the closest to a human heart...breaking. And that holds so true on this record. Thank you Aaron for your beautiful cello, as well as all the other wonderful stringed instruments. If this is the new "electro-acoustic classical" count me on board! bambilyn