As I said before, I would be posting an interview with Francesco Perdona of Arte Sacra Atelier, whose new album “Ade” is out now on Retro Virus Records.
Without further ado, my interview with Arte Sacra!
First off, tell us a little about yourself. Who is Francesco Perdona’ and why does he make the music he does?
-Well, first I want to thank you, Alex, for this opportunity; we know the each other since the “old MySpace time”, when the social network really was a place where listen new sounds from the world and was easy to talk with other fellas. I am a poet, I am Italian, I am living now in Texas; I always have been a listener/collector of music than, reading a Robert Wyatt’s interview, I decided that I didn’t want be only a listener but I could “do” some music too. We were at the end of the ’70, so with some friends we created a Band, Aurora, and we play in Northern Italy. Than, I created some other bands but there are not releases of these periods, we were ante internet era… All this has been for the urge to communicate something, my words-for example: r’n’r has always been a powerful medium for that. ….
You make a very unique style of music, which I’ve seen you describe a number of different ways over the years. How would explain what you do to someone unfamiliar with noise-music?
-I call myself a noise-crooner, now: I am recording all by myself what I want, always creating, exploring noise and silence, that actually is my new frontier. Silence is the key to take away, not to add. Noise is the freedom on earth: I can stay hours working on white noise, I am fascinating from the possibilities to create by myself songs in a different way, I’d say. And I invite you all to go to a noise live set, because is really a form of art, is something that happen and is created only in that moment and no more reproducible. About myself, my search with noise is a question of sensitivity and not to be tied in the forms of indie rock, that is boring.
Once upon a time, your project was called Societas D’Arte Sacra; for the last few years, however, you have been releasing music under the name Arte Sacra Atelier. What is the difference and why the change of name?
-Societas, in ancient Latin language, is a group of people which work together, but now I am not collaborating with any one to my project. I see myself as a painter, locked in his atelier, creating paints with sounds and words.
Can you explain for us the new album’s title?
-Ade is the ancient classic world for Hell, in the Roman culture; it was a dark river that the souls of the deads had to cross of their living days. I see this opera as a journey in another dimension, to cross the River of Ade to an unknown land, unknown and dark. I have been educated in a classical way in Italy so I cannot forget my roots, I think some ancient words and feeling still talk to me/us. Just listen.
Alfa Romeo is an old song of yours that you are revisiting on this album. Tell us a little about it.
-I love a lot this song: Alfa Romeo is the brand of an amazing car made in Italy, Nera it means Black in English, so it’s a Black Powerful Car to bring us to hell. This is the meaning of the all track.
What sort of instruments and equipment did you use in recording this album?
-I use some keyboards, a Casio, and softwares. That’s it.
Tell us about some of the other things you are involved in musically?
Well, I have two side projects: one is called the The Schopenhauers, after the German Philospher Arthur Schopenhauer, very important because without his work, we maybe couldn’t read Nietszche or Freud and many others. With this project I am exploring contaminations among classical music and noise and the tracks are only instrumental. I have just released the third album, La Viola Da Gamba http://archive.org/details/TheSchopenhaures-LaViolaDaGamba
Second project is called Mala Culebra, with a powerful Argentina gentleman, Mr. Ariel Chapui from the Playing with Nuns, with we have a nice and relaxed cooperation, the only collaboration I have, actually.
What are some of the differences between the noise music scene in Italy and here in the US that you have noticed?
-In Italy first there are not many places where listen and perform noise/experimental music. Radios and halls prefer or indie rock or pop music, many guys just to pick up some money are involded in so-called tribute bands, doing carbon copies of some other bands (U2, Led Zeppelin, etc…the two that are coming in my mind now…). Only in big cities there are spots available, many musicians go to Germany or England or experiment in their houses, thank God. It is very sad. Here in Usa is different: not only it’s easy to find spots where perform but also find people coming just to listen you: this is very important, so you stop to watch yourself at the mirror and check the feedback from the audience. I am actually very interested to a live dimension, maybe because my age- I’d feel like Mick Jagger…..I have a sense of shame, hahaha….but never say never again.
What is in the future for you and Arte Sacra?
-The future never knows, as John Lennon said….I only can hope to go ahead with my experiment and have enough money to pay bills with that. HAHAHA.