Name: Luca Formentini
Occupation: Guitarist, sound artist, composer, improviser
Current release: Luca Formentini has been particularly productive over the past years. Still available is Scintilla, a moving collection of mostly delicate, intimate compositions, published on Audiobulb. More recently, his self-released sound art work Art Spaces: Noise in Art, Sonic Dialogues with Art Places (available from his own bandcamp store) opened up a fascinating new direction in his work. Most important to himself, however, is Intra-, available via Subcontinental Records, which he has described as his most personal work so far, and which sees him exploring new creative avenues and the use of his voice.
If you enjoyed this interview with Luca Formentini and would like to stay up to date on new releases and tour dates, visit his official unguitar homepage. He is also on Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud.
Luca Formentini: "Sound is deeply affecting our behaviour and moods, we've passively adapted to high background noise and aggressive audio stimulations. This brought us to change our perception of silence and moved our attention threshold as it now happening with video. My second solo album, Tacet is about this.
The theory is that to be able to reach the physical state that we expect from a silent environment, we have to intentionally create it. Even if we were able to be immersed in complete silence, our attention would most probably not be able to react the way it would if we were in a truly quiet situation; it would still be excited and most probably distressed by being in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation.So it comes Tacet, which is the Latin word for "be silent".
Silence is not a passive state anymore, it is made possible by an intention, it requires will and action. This is not just about managing the noise around you, it involves your system of protection, it should allow you to get back to feeling safe, and relaxed when immersed in the acoustic silence.
Luckily there's a growing attention on the impact of sound in the physical perception of spaces. We're still at the very beginning but there's some sign of care in considering how the sound made by the presence of people can alter the experience in large public spaces.
Architects are aware of how much this sense can play a difference.
Unfortunately we still have a large quantity of very loud noise sources such as trains, cars, airplanes which are surrounding us. One of the amazing things of the past lockdowns was the chance to reconnect to a different background noise, where the tonic and dominant notes changed in volume and quality; from a loud orchestra of machines and engines to a delicate emptiness in which the few sirens where marking the depth of the difference. I remember recording the silence of this countryside thinking it would have been the only chance in our lifetime. I was walking around with joy and curiosity, thinking what a beautiful opportunity it was to listen to the true voice of our spaces.
I think we should bring more attention to our hearing, we need more silence as to recover a better listening enjoyment.
It's already fifty years ago that quantum physics confirmed what religions and spiritual traditions from any corner of the planet have been saying for ages: life is energy. It is thanks to energy's different intensities of vibration that our senses are able to perceive the so called physical reality, which for many is the only manifestation of life worth knowing.
Sound is pure vibration, it belongs to the pure world of abstraction, as do thought and feeling.
There is a fundamental balance between tension and release. This is very spontaneously present in my compositions: most of the time I realise I take elements out, I tend not to be completely explicit. I know this can be perceived as a limit of readability, but I don't want my music to be a representation of myself, I want it to bring the opportunity of meeting the unexpected representation of the listener inside it.
Thought can be translated into meaning representations using language, the same does not apply for music.This is what I love about music or, better, this is the character you find in the music I love. It is one of the signals that help me understand if the music I do is there or not; I want my music to maintain its essence of a pure energy field.
I don't want my music to engage your intelligence, I want it to connect with what is before your intelligence, behind it, over and above.
As we're pure energy, we're all interacting; from social and emotional interaction to physical proximity we blend into each other without awareness. Music is a tool to share the same vibration, it is a bridge between two energy sources, two rivers. "Have Bridges, Find Rivers".