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Demetrio Cecchitelli: I would call my sound "dronegaze"

What is your creative credo? How would you call your music?

It depends on the feeling I have or just the perception of a landscape or a situation I live in. I've built my exploration and aesthetics within the field of music research, with a deep interaction between electroacoustic and ambient music. I would call my sound "dronegaze", which is a term I came across or made up two years ago. Actually, I really don't think about it, it could be more freaky or classically oriented, noise environments or soundtrack. It depends on what I want to do when I find myself in front of a blank sheet or a gap in my software – just how the instruments sing.

In your music, the influence of the minimalist aesthetic is also evident. It is clear that a living artist tries not to define themselves in strict terms, but at the same time, it is either important for them to find contact with their audience, somehow position themselves, or in the contrary, they understand music as an independent aspect of life that does not need a listener. What are you leaning towards? How important is the audience to you?

I'm in the direction of self-determination because for our kind of music the output is relevant but it is still a cultural thing. First of all, I make music for myself, and then it gets shared with the audience, which in the case of ambient music is really supporting and truly interested in the journey we propose. I do reckon that the digital identity of an artist is quite a fundamental practice in the work area, and honestly, I still prefer the complexity of an imaginary, rather than all the things done, flyers, events, and personal branding.

Do you often perform live?

Yes, quite! In the last six years, I had almost twenty per year, sometimes more, sometimes less. I love playing live!

You are from Italy and this country is famous for its centuries-old cultural heritage. Italian music also has a very long classical and even avant-garde tradition. Do you belong to any tradition or are you a citizen of the world?

I consider myself more as a citizen of the world.

Your collaborative album with Blanket Swimming has recently been released on our label. Tell us about your cooperation experience. How did it all start? Why did you feel like you wanted to do something together? How often do you collaborate with other artists and what kind of experience does it bring to you?

Since the very first time I listened to Nick’s music, I started to respect him a lot both as a sound artist and as a true human being. Two years later, I sent him a combo of slow dilated compositions called "Shattered I - II" that was released on his Warm Milk Recordings. Some time later, I found myself in need to collaborate with other ambient musicians and explore the possibility of sound and the chance to grow personally and musically by co-working with others. Because I think there's a deep flow and energy exchange. Loving his style, I thought it was cool and powerful to do something together, and here is "Sein".

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I usually listen to lowercase ambient, environmental compositions, grunge-noise and post-punk. But I'm up for every kind of listening experience.

It’s quite unexpected to hear about post-punk. So if you had the opportunity to record something in collaboration with any musician from any era, who would you like to do it with?

When I was a teenager, I played the bass with a local band from my city, Rimini, called Sonic3. But then I lost interest to such kind of music and I decided to build my own language in the macro field of ambient music. As for collaboration, I would like to record a collaboration with Corey Fuller.

You use very deep philosophical concepts in the titles of your tracks and albums, such as Dwell, Sein, etc. Are you interested in philosophy? What interests you most about philosophy?

I'm interested in philosophy, but I'm not a seeker of some poetics and somehow my titles are just an intuition of a period I live in or the moment of the recording session. The thing that attracts me to this matter is the intention to express the mirrors of social or personal malaise in words and terms.

Is music a medicine or a pain reliever? Schopenhauer, for example, considered music to be the greatest of the arts because it is can bring us into contact with what the Upanishads call ‘brahman’, that is, the universal spirit.

I believe in the healing power of music, when it comes hard to do something it just drifts you to another place, by dreaming of an imaginary landscape or simply as a relief. Speaking of the latter, I would like to share one of my first releases, called "Relief".

Tell us about your experience with Cecilia Lentini, please.

The work we done with Cecilia was basically a sound improvisation during some performances directed by Cecilia herself. Other works were about a curatorial project she has in collaboration with Giordano Fiacchini (Semionauta) and they also proposed me to perform at Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence, for their Ecosistemi Artificiali festival, with other occasions to contribute with my stuff to their projects. So, Cecilia isn't only a director, but she's also a curator and professor. The sound at the performances was a little bit noisier than what I usually offer in my discography, and it was also characterized by strong use of rhythms in a post-club view and instrumentation, usually distorted or heavy processed. I'm happy with the experience I had collaborating with Cecilia, who is now also my friend.

Do you plan to work with the theater again? Are you interested in cinema?

Currently, I'm still working with Motus for their new performance "Of the nightingale I envy the fate", but I don't have anything planned for the neatest future. I would certainly like to pursuit this field and work as a composer or a sound designer. Cinema is fascinating! I'm interested in the production process of soundtracks, and it could be really nice to work on something like that.

What genre of cinema would your music be best suited for?

I think dramatic ones.

Like movies of Darren Aranofsky or like Gone of the Wind? What kind of dramatic?

Love stories.

So, feelings are important for you in music. What about rhythm? It seems to me that you use rhythmic structures more often than most of ambient artists. Do you like experimenting with rhythm, or does it come by inspiration?

Actually, rhythmic structures are not really present in my music, as a complete shape of rhythm I mean. Usually, these is just a subtle soundscaping evoking a movement, done with contact microphones or digital synthesis and field recordings. What you are talking about is probably the album I made some years ago with a more club-oriented pattern is "Weight", released by the ex-collective Weber & Alcantu from Lorenz Weber and Pablo (Nebel Lang). Sometimes, it is influenced by the background noise or by some listening experience in the past.

Of course, when I talk about rhythm, I don't mean straight kick or drum section. I meant that in your tracks there is often a certain pulse, although often quite slow and not clear.

Thanks for the focus.

And finally, do you have a crisis of inspiration sometimes and if so, how do you overcome it?

When I feel a crisis, I just try to breathe deeply and find new images in the depth of my heart.

Interviewer – Dionis Afonichev (Dionisaf)

Edited by Iuliia Rychkova

More surreal ambient music in our Spotify playlist


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