Sentimental Machines

Sentimental Machines - Less, ladder lying on the floor in a dark warehouse room


Sentimental Machines is a project between Attilio Novellino and Saverio Rosi. “Less” has a sombre feel to it, a muted, blackly-lit memorial to the lost. Rain leaks onto the music, one trickling note at a time. Echoes come from a distant place, and a thunderous organ trails around the music, deepening the poignancy with its sodden mood. Ambient layers drift through vacant, disused hallways like lost ghosts, leaving behind a cold draught in their wake. The layers leave behind a gloomy fog that has been sent into exile by the sunlight, and only a couple of brighter notes penetrate the chill.

Tape delays, analogue echo machines and field recordings blend into the piano and create a sad, wintry air; the ashen leaves aren’t around anymore, and the drooping branches look bleak and bare. The season has torn them away, split them up. A deeper organ settles in alongside the drone, cocooning it with a warmer tone that radiates heat. It takes away the cool air, for a while at least. The piano is cold and dry against the drone. A dog’s whine and the sound of the rain both play on the sadness brought about by loss, decay and subsequent dereliction.

‘Less’ has a quiet, subdued sound — the sound of silence that penetrates the gaps in the battle, a mark of respect after the conflict. The slow notes bow their heads to reality, to cold-grey acceptance. The piano rides the November breeze as the flags fly at half-mast. Its sparse nature gives the listener plenty of space, plenty of time to pause and reflect. It’s well composed and thoughtfully designed. As such, the ambient tones flow out from the music as smoothly and as easily as the rain, covering the cold, grey cenotaph as the blood-soaked tears fall.


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