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15 Questions to Alio Die

img  Tobias
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I’m fine, moving at a good point.


What’s on your schedule right now?
I’ve readied the second part of the “Castles Sonorisation” series, entitled ‘Tempus Rei’ and I’m working on the third episode..a new cd album will be released this year in the USA by Infraction Rec., it is the first collaboration cd with Aglaia, called ‘Private history of the clouds’, very contemplative and relaxing music, indeed. Hic Sunt Leones has just released "Cosmospir" by India Czajkowska, a unique singer from Poland. We are are also working on an album together for 2009.


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.


Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?
Perhaps, if a tradition can be something inside ourself without us being completely aware of it... I mean that an artist can be a medium of something special which is is bigger than himself. But I’m not into any special movement other than passion and creativity for music, nature and awakening :)


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...


Discography:
Sit Tibi Terra Levis (Hic Sunt Leones) 1990
Introspective (Hic Sunt Leones) 1991
Under An Holy Ritual (Hic Sunt Leones) 1992
Fragment 5 (N D) 1993
The Door Of Possibilities (Hic Sunt Leones) 1994
From The Depth (Murder Release) 1995
Suspended Feathers (Aqua) 1996
Fissures (Fathom) 1997
Password For Entheogenic Experience (Hic Sunt Leones) 1998
The Hidden Spring (Crowd Control Activities) 1998
Healing Herb's Spirit (Crowd Control Activities) 1999
Le Stanze Della Trascendenza (Hic Sunt Leones) 1999
Aquam Metallicam (Musica Maxima Magnetica) 2000
Echo Passage (Musica Maxima Magnetica) 2000
Apsaras (Projekt) 2001
Incantamento (Hic Sunt Leones) 2001
Leaves Net (Hic Sunt Leones) 2001
Expanding Horizon (Weird Amplexus) 2002
Prayer For The Forest (GreenHouseMusic) 2002
Il Tempo Magico Di Saturnia Pavonia (Hic Sunt Leones) 2003
Khen Introduce Silence (Hic Sunt Leones) 2003
Sunja (Hic Sunt Leones) 2003
The Sleep Of Seeds (Hic Sunt Leones) 2003
Angel's Fly Souvenir (Hic Sunt Leones) 2004
Sol Niger (Hic Sunt Leones) 2004
Aqua Planing (Hic Sunt Leones) 2005
Il Sogno Di Un Piano Veneziano A Parigi (Hic Sunt Leones) 2005
Mei-Jyu (Projekt) 2005
Nocturnal Sessions (Hic Sunt Leones) 2005
Suspended Feathers (Silentes, Hic Sunt Leones) 2005
Corteggiando Le Messi (Hic Sunt Leones) 2006
The Box (SmallVoices) 2006
The Flight Of Real Image (Faria Records) 2006
Under An Holy Ritual (SmallVoices) 2006
Cube 7 - Sospensione D'Estate (Hic Sunt Leones) 2007
End Of An Era (Hic Sunt Leones) 2007
Raag Drone Theory (Hic Sunt Leones) 2007
Aura Seminalis (Hic Sunt Leones) 2008
Eleusian Lullaby (Projekt) 2008
Tempus Rei (Hic Sunt Leones) 2008

Homepage:
Alio Die/Hic Sunt Leones

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