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Best of 2023

Walter Maioli

Shortwave Encounters (10")

Label: Villa Lontana Records

Format: 10"

Genre: Electronic

In stock


* 400 copies, White Vinyl * Shortwave Encounters is Walter Maioli’s research on extraterrestrial sounds and radio communications started in Amsterdam during the orbital passage of the Comet Halley in 1986. This record is an imaginary interaction between a sender and a receiver, an attempt to create a logged communication between earth and space, combining radio eavesdropping and field-recordings as well as acoustic and electronic instruments, spanning from shells to bat calls, and from the ney flute to the Farfisa organ.

Shortwave Encounters is an exploration through the interstellar shortwave, gathering previously unreleased material sourced from different periods of Maioli’s musical production, ranging from 1981 to 2008.

The phenomenon of electromagnetic waves emitted naturally by the stars was not identified until 1931 and formed the spark that led to the birth of radio astronomy. Astrophysicists have detected a background of electromagnetic radiation spread homogeneously throughout space and the presence of acoustic waves in the universe, like a cosmic flute in which the wavelength is equal to the fundamental length of the instrument on earth.
Walter Maioli thoroughly pursued this research for decades, which led him to record strange frequencies and create various typologies of ‘speaking noises’ sometimes similar to the deep choral chanting of Tibetan monks, sometimes nearly identical to the vocalisations of pygmies and sometimes akin to the buzz of bee swarms. A sonic chaos with boundless messages wandering through the entire cosmos in the form of hisses, puffs, squeaks, trills, whistles, scrapes, beats, percussions. Shortwave Encounters channels intercepted languages for symbolic communications to be processed and transmitted in time.

Villa Lontana Records is an experimental and independent record label based in Rome, run by Vittoria Bonifati and Michele Ferrari, which focuses on the production of new sounds, from electroacoustic to sonorous poetry and from electromagnetism to field-recordings. Publishing both archival and unreleased material of the electronic avant-garde and contemporary sound-art scene, the label dedicates special attention to those artists who, although recognised as pioneers, drift in between realms.

Cat. number: VLR003
Year: 2023

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