CDM’s Peter Kirn has published an interesting interview with Alessandro Cortini (NIN, Blindoldfreak, ModWheelMood) about his new album SONOIO.
In it, Cortini discusses his approach to writing songs with a Buchla modular synthesizer:
I have been writing songs since I was 7 years old. I started recording on a small boom box, with my voice only, making these tapes of songs I wrote for my grandparents to listen to on their way back home (they lived out of town).
I have been thinking of music in a song format as long as i can remember making music. Even the less song0based, more experimental work I released (i.e. blindoldfreak) still retains a song structure, even though it’s less obvious and instrumental, so to speak.
The thing is, I don’t really think about writing them. Each song comes from playing around with the instrument, in this case the Buchla. Sometimes it’s a sequence triggering a chord progression; other times, it’s a drone patch which triggers a melody in my mind.
For the SONOIO album, I tried to let the instrument dictate the structure. A song like “Just Me” doesn’t really have a repeating chorus, and it evolves through quite a few sections in the few minutes it lasts. I forced myself not to cut and paste anything. Everything in songs such as “Just Me,” “Not Worth Remembering,” and “Hold On Let Go” are one-takes, with the Buchla being multitracked and vocals/vocoder overdubbed.
Cortini also discusses details of the new album and his workspace; see CDM for the full interview.