Alessandro Cortini Interview

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.

8 thoughts on “Alessandro Cortini Interview

  1. For starters, I was rather fed up hearing about this guy here. Especially since he's been involved in Nine Inch Nails, another member of whom I've heard too much. I mean, all credit to the both of them but one gets sick of hearing people's names said in awe once too often. Plus, the 'sell more CDs by adding in gimmicks' I've wasted too much money on in the past. Not that the gimmicks were bad or bad value just that they were… gimmicks.
    I'm starting to find this guy and all he's giving away, selling and talking all rather intriguing. The whole 'free download' procedure on your link here has worked rather beautifully – a certain elegance to the whole exercise. And next month I may be 'owing' myself a 'treat' if I stay off the cigarillos… and there's this package with the gimmick synth and all the tassles etc…
    I shouldn't be so cynical. Maybe I'm getting a little less cynical. I haven't actually heard any of the music yet but… a whole album of Buchla songs? I'm in =D

  2. 'Saw him a few months ago in Toronto, and it was amazing, but, definitely on the modular level. The tracks on this new thing sound very intense though. Also, Harvestman is god. However, this shot of the Blindoldfreak, is definitely apt to make one think of the love scene in the film Deliverance, or any one of Rob Zombie's film's latest protagonists.

  3. Based on the what I've heard of SONOIO, I am a bit underwhelmed.

    Given the reverence that people seem to have for Buchla gear, I guess I'd expect to hear something pretty mindblowing. But what I've heard are fairly accessible songs with some interesting synth instrumentation.

    Am I missing something?

  4. The Buchla is still a modular. it's going to make noise that sounds like other synths, it just has a particular feel and quality to it, and a deservedly rabid following.

    I really quite liked the sonoio stuff.

  5. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

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