label Cosmogram
date 31st October 2022
format digital

In Cosmo from italian musician and experimental vocalist Emanuele Wiltsch Barberio, which marks his first full length release, is a work of sonic visitations, encounters and reverberations that archives its own hive of sensitive minds with subtly sustained attention to the layered ‘sound of silence’ today.

Back in July 2020, at the end of the first lockdown in Venice, Italian musician Emanuele Wiltsch Barberio found himself in the deconsecrated Church of Saints Cosma and Damiano on the island of Giudecca in Venice. He started experimenting with the different acoustic scenes and spatial characteristics of the sixteenth-century apse, most notably its long and uniquely textured reverberations. Soon afterwards, a variety of local musicians were invited to join Emanuele. A shared isolation created an epiphanic community. The former Church became a communal music studio and those recording sessions in the apse now turn into Emanuele’ s forthcoming debut album In Cosmo.

At the core of In Cosmo is Wiltsch Barberio’s exquisite sense for rhythm and space, his passion for experimental electronica and love for collaboration, and his deep knowledge of indian classical singing as well as different vocal traditions (from Dhrupad music to throat-singing), all of which culminates in an ethereal and timeless resonance to his work. The subtle translucency of the transposed vocals, set against the sweet ambivalence of classical instruments, is intimate and elusive at once, flowing from effervescent flute tones to otherworldly incantations. Reverberating classical instruments intertwine with his vocals, emerging at different moments as an intimate, androgynous punctuation, made up of transpositions, whispers, winds of voice that condense, mix and chase for the entire duration of the album. In this combination, the deep vulnerability in the work is expressed, calm yet defiant. Cellist Gabriele Tai, guitarist Andrea Sanson, violinist Francesco Zanchetta and electronic musician Enrico Wiltsch all play a vital role in realising and discovering the textures and colours that Wiltsch-Barberio set in motion and conducted silently during the 7-day recording session.

Wiltsch Barberio’s explorative combination of modern and perennial is further reflected in his practice of re-amplifying looped signals back into the space, which allows peculiar and evocative real-time interactions between digital and analogue. All the sessions, recorded with a site-specific mic setup that accentuates the slow layering and synthetic manipulation of sounds in real-time, were finely mixed by Louis McGuire and mastered by Taylor Deupree. The whole project became a preparation for listening, slow reciprocal listening as a pure musical act in motion in the world of flux.