It has been 7 years since ”Metaprogramming from Within the Eye of the Storm’, the last solo full-length release by Valerio Tricoli. In the years between he has established himself as a formidable presence on the international experimental live circuit and released acclaimed collaborations with Antoine Chessex, ‘Coi Tormenti’ (Dilemma Records, 2010) and Thomas Ankersmit, ‘Forma II’ (PAN, 2011), along with the fifth full-length release by his band with fellow Italian cohorts 3/4HadBeenEliminated, ‘Oblivion’ (Die Schachtel, 2010). Throughout these shows, collaborations and ongoing explorations, Valerio has developed upon his signature style of beautifully unsettling Musique Concrète. The result of his tireless explorations,’Miseri Lares’ is his magnum opus, a multilayered and heavily nuanced work which epitomises the uncanny in the realm of sound.
‘Miseri Lares’ explores a variety of interlocking themes and sonic tapestries that combine in a quietly disturbing and deeply existential work. As a contemporary take on Musique Concrète, Tricoli utilises his full explorations of the Revox tape recorder alongside digital processing whilst retaining all of the mystery and surprise elements found in the classic approach of pioneers such as Bernard Parmegiani, Eugeniusz Rudnik, and Michel Chion. Themes of the internal, represented by both the psychological and the physical, play throughout the record. A mind lays waste to its own self abasement the immediate surrounds (casa or ‘home’) feeds on the collapse of the individual. As a symbol of spirits preying on the grief within, haunting wisps of sound swirl around a throbbing bass in ‘Hic Labor Ille Domus et Inextricabilis Error’, whereas ‘La Casa Deviata’ emphasises the paranoid structure as looming creaks make way for abandoned pipes and a cloud of escaping water. Here, the tension at play is injected with a treated dictaphone recording: “Tell me what happened,” “I can’t remember…THE SMELL!!! There was a tape recorder, where is the tape”?Spoken text (Italian and English) appears throughout the record, mostly as texture or as a dehumanised floorboard—a play on the album’s themes of the psychological, emotional, and irrational horror within. Texts by Italian poets Dante and Guido Ceronetti appear alongside excerpts from The Ecclesiastes (in hebrew, Qohelet), H.P. Lovecraft, E. M. Cioran, and writings by Tricoli himself. These add an extra weight to the recording, making it reminiscent of Robert Ashley or even the comedic tragedy of later day Scott Walker (baritone aside).
Valerio Tricoli’s release for PAN adds another piece to the puzzle of narrative-based concrete music, yet deviating from all conventional forms and playing out like a literary form of unsettling sound sculpture.