Arte Sacra Atelier – the project of the San Antonio, Texas, USA based Italian Francesco Perdona! His noise can be discribed as powerfull and experimental, too! Last time Francesco Perdona works with Ariel Chapuis (Playing with nuns) on a new project – Mala Culebra (great mix of ambient, noise and ritual). I’m personally like very much his new sideproject The Shopenhauers, that offers the charm of the german legendary family! You see Francesco Perdona is the perfect person for our interview series “13 questions to…”!
kulturterrorismus: Hello from Germany! We hope all fine with you? Where are you? Please, tell us your story!
Francesco Perdona: Thanks to having me. I am Italian and I live in USA now, San Antonio Texas. Two years ago I have eceived the Permanent Citizenship here in USA.
kulturterrorismus: When did you start composing music? What or who were your early passions and influences?
Francesco Perdona: I born as a poet but my passion is about music. I was tired to bein the “writer-system” so I decided to use music to vehiculate my words. I remember-I was a little kid- my mama listening the Beatles and my father cool jazz and classical music. Growing up, I filled my ears with everything possible: my real first passion has been the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, then Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, then Gentle Giant, the Italian Progressive but the true change has been with the Sex Pistols and the Punk movement. Nothing was as before. So I discovered Nico, my Muse and Goddes, and I started a band (Aurora) in the 1978, influenced by Patti Smith’s Horses too. I remember an interview with Mr. Robert Wyatt: more or less, he said that he was a great eater of music but he decided to be passive no more but to do something. Exactly as I do.
kulturterrorismus: What are currently your main production-challenges? Give us an example! Do you work mostly alone or with other musicians?
Francesco Perdona:I work completely alone, it’s impossible here to have a band right now. I am building my self studio and I love to experiment noise, sounds and so on.
kulturterrorismus: What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
Francesco Perdona: It’s something inside my mind that grows up…. A melodic vocal line, some words that suit an idea…..Suggestions from words or listening music, watching a movie…
kulturterrorismus: Do you strictly separate improvising and composing? What is better free jazz or classical style?
Francesco Perdona: My work is create and register “how it is”; then I cut, paste, develope what is all the raw material. I have been fascinated by free jazz since I was a kid. Anyway, this is a good question: I think my work is much more close to free jazz than Rn’R for sure! There is a similar attitude in the noise script, I use my devices and software in a complete free mood. Well, I am a no-musician and I see myself as a painter or a sculptor.
kulturterrorismus: Is any relationship between sound and live or working day? Please tell us your opinion!
Francesco Perdona: Art is my life and I don’t care if I have to work in other way to be free to do it! I am totally independent because I provide to myself. And, for more, life is my first Muse; I remember a quote from Nabokov>the writer, when told that “when I was young my teacher asked me for paint a mailbox, so I did it. Well, when I was walking back home, I saw that all the mailboxes in the street was different! I realized that I saw the things in another way: mine.” Exactly my idea, in my lyric and my noise carpet. I like to think that the reality is living inside my works, just seen with my soul and my eyes.
kulturterrorismus: Do you feel it important that your music spread a message? How conceptional is your music or only for hearing without thinking? What await your listeners?
Francesco Perdona: Frankly, I don’t know; I just can tell you that I think to many things whenI am working than spread a message. I come from a generation where everything was politic and politic was everything – I am very European…- I have payed all my debts about this but in this straight moment of my life I just want to follow my insights and let them guide me. I believe that my work is very conceptional too because my words, when I want to work upon a song, need colors to feed the images I want to describe and my words are deeply influenced by Ancient Greek Tragedy or related to Ancient worlds and experiences, so theater, movies….. When I compose only for sounds, work is conceptional because all the noises are coming from chaos but I have to be completely inside this if I want to let birth something. I think for the last part of the question, that I think the Listeners have an emotional experience listening. That’s the most important: from the darkest chaos I want to be able to communicate with someone talking to hearts and souls. Telepathy.
kulturterrorismus: The role of an artist is always subject to change. What’s your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
Francesco Perdona: The role is to be honest and do the best I can to stay free; I want study, listen other experience in life, music, art now than when I was a rockenroller. About what the artists are doing it’s not my business. I see many trying to repeat old political schemes or be involved in different causes and I am saying it’s ok if for you is ok but I check every day how the most beleive to be as r’n'r stars and this is no good. I want to be straight about this because I have a certain age so I say that we have to stay sharps and keep on study and not be stucked in roles and asylums, cultural, political, social, etc. I tell you this: I feel myself in an elite of people which never care too much about to be pleased or whatever, an elite of people focused on their values and ontinuos research. I feel like a monk and a warrior, not only a poet. That’s it.
kulturterrorismus: There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?
Francesco Perdona: You are right: too many virtuosism, so to speack! I hope not to be seen in this way. But, about virtualism, I would not be so drastic: we are in a period where many people is experimenting new technologies, such as softwares, devices etc. We all use social networks to communicate our art, it’s impossible to be hermits and this is ok for me. Let’s say that many people, as me-why not?- is still testing what is available. Jimi Hendrix testes how can be different an electric guitar from another acoustic….But, still taking up the meaning of your question, I see many boring things around and if you pay attention the most have crypctical, politic titles….hahaha!
kulturterrorismus: Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What’s your view on the value of music today?
Francesco Perdona: If I have to tell you my opinion I think we are living years of total confusion and so the music is not free from this. I have seen and heard too much in many years. The circle is repeating, something’s up and something’s going down. The only music value today is to try to communicate something you don’t know and probably you’ll nevere seen in your whole life. In my case, is to be inside my time and my work: for me is enough.
kulturterrorismus: Do you see Facebook as blessing or shit? Is it right, that musicans can not work without Facebook, if they want near by their fans, make cooperation with other artists and so on?
Francesco Perdona: Not bad: I can stay in touch with friends, sharing collaborations, projects…if I think how it was before the punk revolution…..For sure, if I am working I am not distracted from these things.
kulturterrorismuss: Is money the only thing to be recognized artist? Or could non-mainstream music same successfull as mainstream?
Francesco Perdona: No: it’s the soul, fuck the money.
kulturterrorismus: The last words are yours!
Francesco Perdona: Thank you for having me and: be honest, read and hear more, don’t be scared at all. All the things must pass (George Harrison)