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Trifoglio is a tactile and Mid/Side speaker designed by Attila Faravelli. Trifoglio plays tracks originally composed for it by different artists, who deal in their own ways with its specific sound. As soon as they are ready, new original tracks are made available for download/streaming on auraltools.com. Original compositions so far are by: Attila Faravelli, Giuseppe Ielasi, Enrico Malatesta, Noid, Nicola Ratti, Alessandro Bosetti, Luciano Maggiore, Massimiliano Viel, Giovanni Lami.
"A few years ago, I felt unsatisfied with the way that some of my recordings sounded through normal speakers: they sounded flat, as if all the elements were placed in a straight line. In reading about speaker technology, I discovered that a speaker’s wooden box is meant to separate the front of a cone from its rear. A speaker is an air piston: while pushing the air in front of it, it also pulls air in from the back. Most of a speaker’s acoustic energy is lost unless the back of a cone is sealed inside a box. Such a barrier keeps the opposite directions’ airflows from canceling one other. I wanted to test this theory directly by disassembling some ordinary speakers. I realized that an open cone, if listened to at a close distance, produces a sound field in which the listener perceives a sound with two inverted directions. Far from being “hi-fi,” this strange sound field is intriguing and lively, more akin to the experience of being in the real world amongst complex sounds. Holding the cones in my hands, I also perceived the speakers’ haptic presence, which kept me from doing other things while listening. This seemed especially relevant to me, given that most people listen to music with divided attention. I designed Trifoglio with the experience of reading a book in mind: it is immersive, but unlike headphone listening, does not require shutting out the external world. The physical object is as black as possible, so as to minimize visual distractions. Trifoglio was conceived of for short, focused listening sessions. Its curved shape acts like a parabola, directing sound toward the listener’s head and ears, while smoothing out any discomfort resulting from the experience of listening to a speaker with inverted polarities. The open cone’s design results in an omnidirectional sound field, causing Trifoglio to interact with a room’s aural character more than other speakers that project sound primarily from the front. My initial idea was to release Trifoglio with my own sound works. However, the design process also involved a great deal of testing. Over time, I put the object in the hands of many friends (mostly musicians and sound artists) in order to get advice on how its sound could be improved. A number of these colleagues demonstrated curiosity in creating original music specifically for the object. This response has led the project to take an open form: I provide the object to musicians, and publish their pieces on a website. The contents of Trifoglio’s USB memory (provided with the release) can be updated as soon as new contributions are available.” (Attila Faravelli).