Today's Artist is Stefano Musso who began recording music under the pseudonym of Alio Die in 1989. "Alio Die" is Latin for "another day", used as a greeting in Roman times as a positive look towards a better tomorrow......N'Joy
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Stefano Musso studied art and electronics in his home town of Milan, Italy, and began performing ambient, electro-acoustic music under the name Alio Die in 1989. Characterized by evocative acoustic sounds manipulated and tendered electronically, Alio Die's work builds intimate soundscapes tied to the mystery and majesty of life and nature. His first CD "Under an Holy Ritual", released on his label Hic Sunt Leones in 1992 and re-released on Projekt in 1993, was received with international acclaim. Enthusiastically received in his home country, 'Holy Ritual' expanded Musso's international presence significantly in 1993 when it was licensed by the popular U.S. darkwave label Projekt. His music is a shadowy, cavernous, intensely detailed fusion of acoustical elements, step-and-repeat sample treatments, sparse, echoing percussion, and deep, atmospheric sound design, playing ambient's static tendencies off of shifting melodic and textural passages that suggest movement without sacrificing the music's vague, entropic formlessness. He subsequently released more than 25 CDs, and collaborated with many well-known artists such as Robert Rich, Vidna Obmana, Mathias Grassow, Nick Parkin, Yannick Dauby, Amelia Cuni, Raffaele Serra, Ora, Antonio Testa.
"Natural and acoustic sounds and selected noises, electronically treated and reworked, are integrated in a meditative and spiritual context that often, in the feeling, becomes close to a prayer. Visible static, this music is rich of hidden sounds, layers of elements to discover at each listening. Alio Die's music, in the consciousness space that creates, it's a melting of technology and mysticism, like a new ritual with echoes of a medioeval time, deep and grounded in introspection."
and as this bio is rather limited here's an interview he did in 2008
2008 intervew by Tobias Fischer, he is editor-in-chief of tokafi, publisher of 15 Questions and a cultural editor for Germany's biggest Printmag on Recording, „Beat“.
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I’m fine, moving at a good point.
What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
If you mean the music business, yes it is in a kind of crisis... We know the reasons about that, downloads from the internet mainly. Less people buy original cds and more and more people copy. I’s happening to experimental and non commercial music, too, where listener were usually more motivated to buy the real cd. So we see that sales are strongly in decline and lots of shops and distributors have had to close down and cease their activities after many years.
On the other hand, the number of releases is still growing a lot, so the crisis it is not at all on the artistic activity side. With this in mind, I try to optimize the quality of the cd releases with digipack artworks and limited editions of 300 copies. The possibility of getting information quicker and exchange it is a good input to creativity, expecially for people which before lived in a kind of isolation from the rest of the world where they thought the things happened.
What, would you say, are the factors of your creativity? What “inspires” you?
My creativity derives from my special feeling about reality. Perhaps it is that what is forbidden and missing in our dayly life, which inspires me, it is a kind of ‘nostalgic’ feeling in a purified way, without the emotional aspect. I can find inspiration in nature or through observing life itself, or from other music and cultures as well. I’m intersted in disclosing the magic of the present moment in multilayered feelings of a simple complexity. The medicine must work on myself first, but the mixture must be usefull to everybody confronted with that listening experience, so I try to build up something not too personal, and perfectly tuned. I also aim at expressing the circularity of time, to find a point of view that is beyond time.
How would you describe your method of composing?
Taking inspiration from a kind of symbolic language through which I’ve found access to its code, I combine and decorate feelings by different sound elements, then add some random elements born from the present moment.
The process includes improvisation in the sessions with acoustic instruments and objects, but then the sounds are mixed in an accurate way and not so much things are left out.. I let Intuition guide random elements like synchronisation between layers and filters for example. I usually start experimenting with tunings derived from acoustic recordings and field recordings and then treat the sounds in my studio. I also like to sample in a creative way. By this I mean transforming the original source into something different...
How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
In my music, the qualities of sound and composition are very closely aligned. Some melodical elements are also a part of it, but the more important thing is the right relation between all the ingredients of the music, tunes and vibes coming together to create a new creature ready to work with moods and states of consciousness of the listener.
How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
Improvisations are usually directed to find a natural feeling that is not yet music, but sometimes it is a ‘controlled’ improvisation by special tunings already decided before. In any case, in the improvisational process I try to capture the feeling of the moment. This is already part of the composition, as it will help to give direction to the entire process of the recordings.
What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?
Something new is something that brings together different elements for the first time, or old elements combined in a new way.
There is nothing new at all, I think usually we transform differents inputs and styles into a new language that come from our personal sensibility and creativity. Creativity must surely be fresh and new everytime, but personally, I like the ancient and the mysterious knowledge that comes from the past, as I don’t belive in any kind of ‘evolution’... In our era, to speak about devolution it actually more correct.
Do you personally enjoy multimedia as an enrichment or do you feel that it is leading away from the essence of what you want to achieve?
I personally enjoy a creative use of new technology. The point is not to agree or disagree with a new way of entertainment, but in the way we use it.
What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
I don’t play live often. This is due to the fact that it is not possible replicating the works I create in the studio in a concert situation. So I tried to adapt some part of acoustical inserts and improvisations with real instruments with the looped electronic effects already embedded into basic sounds. I played live performances few times with Opium and with Zeit on the last two occasions.
I used also a support of a video with beautiful morphings of paintings by Yanusz Gilewicz,and kaleidoscopic mandalas images by Alessandro Vittorio(Ozis) and the results was wonderful.
Do you feel an artist has a certain duty towards anyone but himself? Or to put it differently: Should art have a political/social or any other aspect apart from a personal sensation?
Absolutely. I don’t take care of political/ social matter at all, but in any case I think the muse of art should guide one in some way, giving inspiration to new possibilities in cultural and human aspects. Apart from entertainment, this is a basic meaning and primary reason for music that can build bridges towards different levels of consciousness. If the work of an artist, apart from his originality, is totally disconnected from this important duty, it is totally devoid of any meaning and it is only self-celebratory.
How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences without sacrificing their soul?
In our times there is no risk of becoming too popular with this music or of become commercial- At least not for me... It does happen sometimes with other kinds of ”Ambient” music but still very rarely.
You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?
Medieval-pagan music like Faun, Daemonia Nimphe, In Gowan Ring for the afternoon, Jack or Jive, Amelia Cuni and Terry Riley, evening and Robert Rich, all night long.
Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
Usually it is the last music released.. But in this case more than usually it is my last album AURA SEMINALIS. You must know that I considered Opus Magnum as the title to this one (I later rejected it for being too obvious..). By the way my Opus magnum will be researched again and looped again later, it is a work still in progress...
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Known mostly for his solely instrumental work, Stefano Musso (aka Alio Die) has collaborated from time to time with vocalists, understandably seeking singers who will blend in with his post-ambient/space rock constructions rather than jarringly stand out from them. The three-song Eleusian Lullaby is one of these efforts, featuring fellow Italian Martina Galvagni throughout; her clean, beautiful keen either sits gently down in the mix or rises along with it in a soft swell, perhaps best heard on "A Drone Song for Alienor," which in both title and general impact almost feels like an homage to the Elven songs and orchestrations done by Howard Shore for The Lord of the Rings movies. The title track is, if anything, an extension of the same feeling if a little less overtly alien, thanks to Galvagni's vocals being a touch more upfront while losing none of their mystery. Opening cut "The Ontroid Sleep" is in its own way the odd one out, but only just, with an overt if very understated rhythmic structure not as apparent on the other cuts, where a regular chime and guitar combination provides calm propulsion to the song and Galvagni's performance. If Eleusian Lullaby is "just" another Alio Die album in some respects, Galvagni's contributions give it an individual air, and the whole is a worthy listen.
Alio Die | Martina Galvagni - Eleusian Lullaby (flac 331mb)
01 The Oniroid Sleep 21:50
02 A Drone Song for Alienor 16:22
03 Eleusian Lullaby 22:28
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Slow waves of sound flow suggestive of psycho-acoustic energy come with peripheral fragments of sonorities, carried on the wind, drifting as if at the edges of sleep. From opener "Cumulus Congestus" (heaps of cloud masses) to "Cirrus"(wispy curls) the history unfolds couched in way-up-high, pure aetherial tonefloat, with odd bold blares of Fioravanti's analogies, swathed in shower sand sundry susurrations of the lower earth and skies released from capture within his accomplices' arcane devices. There's a sense of holism across the album's six movements, though variations are clearly discernible. "Stratus"(blanket-like layers), for example, bears the characteristic medievo-gothic stamp of works in Musso's recent Castles sonorisation series - the familiar drones and loops and field recordings providing a subtly evolving canvas for trails of elegiac psaltery. While "Radiatus" (broad parallel bands converging towards the horizon) takes more from the airy/aqueous elementalism of Aglaia's Three Organic Experiences and Sacred Waters. "Nimbus"(generating precipitation) is serenity itself, albeit drenched. And "Perlucidus"(a layer with small spaces through which clear sky is visible) extends itself into 13+ minutes of free float, hanging oneirically in a light mist of treatments.At its more intimate, listening to the chronostatic electro-acoustic-glides inblue of Private History of the Clouds feels a little like watching dust particles in a room illuminated by light rays - variously filtered by alterations in shutter angles - now suspended almost immobile, now gently agitated by soft breeze.
Alio Die n Aglaia - Private History Of The Clouds (flac 308mb)
01 Cumulus Congestus 9:43
02 Stratus 9:42
03 Radiatus 8:31
04 Nimbus 13:39
05 Perlucidus 13:13
06 Cirrus 12:09
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In this first collaboration between Alio Die & Parallel Worlds, the unique sound achieved could be described as a hybrid sonic world, made out of bouncing electrons and air vibrations.
The modular machines of Parallel Worlds are merged with the acoustic instrumentation and drones of Alio Die, joined by the ethereal voice of the Polish vocalist/composer India Czajkowska, resulting in a surreal, yet down to earth, listening experience. The compositions, being, at times, minimal and calm and, at other times, full of mystical darkness and microsound elements, take the listener into a place were mental and physical boundaries have no need to exist.
Alio Die | Parallel Worlds - Circo Divino (flac 250mb)
01 Lost Fractales 10:27
02 Circo Divino 10:08
03 Nuvole di Palissandro 9:11
04 Sorinel 8:28
05 Electrostatic Forest 5:14
06 Slide of Grace 10:13
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Sylvi Alli is a Bay Area-based singer, musician, and composer whose style ranges widely from neo-folk to ambient to experimental; her focus and passion is exploring the boundaries of vocal expression. She works mainly as a solo artist, having recorded and produced four albums released by Vertical Pool, and has composed music for numerous film soundtracks, as well as for dance and theater. Alli has been a core member of ParaTheatrical ReSearch since 1997.
Amidst the Circling Spires is a captivating electro-ambient journey into an interior space, weaving visions of strong emotional impact. Sylvi's heavenly voice drifts within the highly processed acoustic sounds created by Alio Die: a hybrid between sonorous soundscapes and acoustic mysticism. The treated tones are an essential magma organic and animated luring the listener in like an ancestral call or an ancient saga. The loops, played with carillon, kalimba, zither, different objects and field recordings, blend into finely-detailed layered and treated. Sylvi's voice is intense and moving, evanescent and precise each song a mantra exploring a unique soundworld. Her vocals interact deeply with the melodies and atmosphere of Alio Die as they weave together like dark roots underground. The ecstatic and ritualistic landscapes that these artists offer shine with a magic all their own giving rise to a multiple array of meditations perfectly mixed with unique pathos and abstraction. "Amidst The Circling Spires" is absolutely triumphant collaboration of two artists, who are deeply dedicated to their artistic expressions, their unrestrained passion and unique fragrances make from this recording a truly gracious and majestic listening experience.
Alio Die n Sylvi Alli - Amidst the Circling Spires (flac 270mb)
01 Layers of Faith 15:42
02 Obliterated Alcove 12:08
03 Peel Away This Mortal Coil 9:21
04 Cerulean Facade 10:08
05 De-altared 18:10
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