The Walls of Sound

Le Mura di Suono (Walls of Sound) is a new season of electronic music taking place in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. After attending a captivating performance by Franz Rosati, Gianmarco decided to have a brief chat with Marco Bonini (aka Ubik) to find out more about it...

How did Mura di Suono come about and how did you select the artists?

Mura di Suono is a season of gigs conceived especially for the venue Le Mura in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. One of the venue’s partners, aside from being a friend of mine, is also the singer in one of my side projects MAMA VEGAS (released in Italy by 42records and abroad by Rough Trade). I had to opportunity of curating a series of events but instead of going at it solo, I decided to enlist the help of Dromoscope, an artist’s collective working within the experimental electronic arts remit which formed a couple of years ago in Rome and organized a series of highly successful events with the aid of a number of artists such as MDF, Kaeba, Øe (Fabio Perletta), Orgon and the support of the label Farmacia901. These events have now transferred to Berlin, where under the direction of Daniele De Santis (aka MDF), Dromoscope has now evolved into a label. I wanted this season to be a sort of spin off from that project or to mirror what is taking place in Berlin. The artwork has been designed by Davide Luciani (aka Orgon) and the idea is to continue to organize events in order to support the label.

In terms of the lineup, this has been a preliminary selection, a kind of first step. Hopefully, we will carry on with the experiment and give space and visibility to new and innovative stuff. Maesia is a dear friend and another expat. She lives and works in Berlin but we took the opportunity of her presence here in Italy to ask her to open the proceedings, which she kindly agreed to. Franz Rosati is an institution here in Rome and I really wanted him to perform at Le Mura. Kaeba and Agan also perform as Plaster (a very well known local duo more geared towards the clubbing scene, but in a sophisticated and highly skilled way). Then we have Crisx, another Roman artist who doesn’t need any introduction, suffice to say that he’s played and recorded with Maurizio Bianchi, Merzbow and more recently K.K.Null, amongst others. Next up are Fabio Perletta (whom we consider a guru and is an all round artist), Nicola Alparone and last but not least Daniele De Santis with this new project Grün.

As you can see for this step of Mura di Suono we have called upon our immediate circle of friends. We all know each other and even though we are all stylistically quite different from each other, we share a similar idea of experimental and electronic music in terms of performance and listening experience. It’s not easy finding similar events in Rome and therefore we wanted to concentrate on tried and tested independent musicians even though we’d like to expand and invite artists from all over Italy and especially from abroad in the nearest future.

There seems to be quite an active experimental / electro-acoustic scene in and around Rome. What would you say its strengths and weaknesses are?

There is a great scene in and around Rome, which is going from strength to strength. Whenever I talk about Mura del Suono, people always express interest and this is reflected by the number of 20 year olds who attend the gigs, which are new to the scene and have never been to Le Mure before. As it often happens there’s a structural lack of attention from the media and there’s never enough time to promote the events. It’s easy enough to criticize the way things are run in Rome in terms of concentration/saturation and logistical problems. Still there are many “free” spaces, which only need to be reclaimed. Also, there’s an abundance of Arci cultural associations throughout the whole Pigneto district, alongside interesting venues such as Le Mura and Riunione di Condominio in San Lorenzo and the occupied spaces of Palazzo Cinema and Teatro Valle. These are all great places where one can showcase interesting and “daring” performances.

The strength of this scene derives first and foremost from its radical approach. We are not talking about artists who come to the scene thinking that making experimental art is trendy, rather, they are prepared to struggle and make sacrifices.

Its weakness is the usual fragmentation, it’s a sort of political nemesis. Having said that I can see a certain push towards unity, the financial crisis is actually pushing different groups, artists, and associations to collaborate as mutual aid societies. If, until recently, artists or events attached to a particular brand, would cling to their identity ignoring whatever was going on outside the confines of their own closed circle, nowadays, because of increasing financial difficulties, those with similar sensibilities and aims tend to group together in an effort to keep the ball rolling, so to speak. The important thing is to keep “producing”. As they say, there is strength in numbers…

Mura di Suono takes place every second and fourth Tuesday of the month al Le Mura, San Lorenzo, Rome.

Gianmarco Del Re for Fluid Radio

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