Monday, November 10, 2008

Piero Milesi: The Nuclear Observatory of Mr. Nanof (Cuneiform, 1986)

Milanese composer Piero Milesi is probably best known for his work as the arranger of Fabrizio De André albums "Le nuvole" and "Anime salve". He is in fact one of the most prominent Italian artists in the field of electronic minimalism.
After having studied cello, he graduated in experimental and electronic composition in Milan conservatory. Then he joined the Gruppo Folk Internazionale entourage and got a degree in architecture with a thesis on the relations between space and sound.

"The Nuclear Observatory of Mr. Nanof" is his first work to be published by the quintessential American avant-prog label Cuneiform Records. It's the soundtrack of the homonym experimental film directed by Paolo Rosa and produced by Studio Azzurro. The film was a surreal exploration of an enormous graffiti engraved on the outside wall of Volterra mental hospital by resident Oreste Fernando Nannetti - a self-proclaimed "Astronautic Mineral Engineer of the Mental System" who referenced to himself as NANOF11 when talking about the author of the graffiti.
Milesi's music is extremely evocative. Though very repetitive, it subtly breaks the typical staticity of minimalist compositions. Thanks to a cautius use of the melodic element, it shows a mild linear evolution, while the soggy synth sounds give the music an autumnal, moisty mood. Circularity and fluctuation are not the key sensations created by the music, which rather arouses a sense of stagnation, claustrophobic idleness.

  1. Mr. Nanof's Tango
  2. Tom Thumb
  3. Between the Scale and the Apple
  4. Scene of the Madmen
  5. Waiting for the Fete
  6. My Dad Had Two Mommies and Two Daddies
  7. Graffiti
  8. Towards the Tree in front of the House
  9. The Procession
  10. Three Figurations: The Braid, the Rhombus, the Star
  11. The Presence of the City
  12. Pantelleria
  13. Questa non è la mia voce
  14. Writing on the Glass
  15. In the Car with Mr. Felsen
  16. Let Ninusk Be
  17. Waterfall
Download (160 kbps)