'the Primordial Instrument'

On page 85, by Alessandro Michelucci:

The first instrument was the voice. Then the others came: from percussion to guitar, from wind instruments to keyboards. As a result, the voice has taken on a secondary role, and in some cases has even been set aside.

However, there has been no shortage of artists who have explored the possibilities of the voice to restore its role as an original instrument.

Just think of Joan La Barbara, who in 1976 recorded an LP entitled Voice is the Original Instrument (Wizard Records), or to Cathy Berberian, to Diamanda Galas, to Meredith Monk. All women: it may be a coincidence, but the most

recent proposal in this field also comes from a woman. We are talking about Romina Daniele (www.rominadaniele.com), a young singer born in Naples in 1980 and living in Milan. The Neapolitan artist (no relation to Pino Daniele) represents one of the most interesting and autonomous innovations on the Italian musical panorama. The fact that she uses her voice as an instrument projects her into a territory that few have wanted to explore.

Some might be tempted to compare it to Alan Sorrenti, who in the early Seventies tried to work on the voice with interesting results. But it would be a mistake: Romina Daniele moves in a different territory from that of the Anglo-Neapolitan singer-songwriter, who, despite using the voice as an instrument, remained substantially linked to the logic of the song.

Romina Daniele's experience recalls that of Demetrio Stratos, a brilliant singer of Greek origin who lived a long and fruitful artistic season in Italy, starting from rock and moving on to more radical experimentation.

It is therefore no coincidence that the Neapolitan artist won the the Demetrio Stratos Prize, established to remember the great Hellenic artist.

Shortly afterwards Aisthànomai (2008) was released, it stimulated considerable attention from the specialized press. Already two years earlier, with Diffrazioni sonore (2005), the. musician had laid the first brick of his sonic and conceptual edifice. Aisthanomai continues that path by clarifying its contents and objectives. It is not just a record, but a complex work in which sound, theory and poetry happily intertwine, giving life to a coherent and complete result. The extreme particularity of the vocal approach is accompanied by long texts: vocal research is combined with poetic research.

The album does not fall "into the false waters of non-conformism", as stated in the CD booklet. Romina Daniele refuses to be classified as an avant-garde artist, because this word seems empty and overused to her. Her research is directed at the origins of sound, not towards a hypothetical future. In the small volume included with the album, a long text stands out where Romina has collected numerous philosophical and musical considerations. Generally, when we find ourselves in front of a notable new artist, we say that "a star is born". But the Aischânomai singer is light years away from commercial logic. In her case we must say that "a voice is born".

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APRIL 2008

Insound Magazine:

To Perceive Consciousness

On page 16, the article by Claudia Galal:

Romina is an artist. To confine her research to a specific discipline would be misleading, as well as reductive. At the end of last year she completed her second album for voice and electronics, Aisthanomai, The Drama of Consciousness, which was recently released. This work follows the previous Diffrazioni Sonore (2005), a sort of exploration of vocal potentials, for which she obtained the Demetrio Stratos International Prize for Musical Experimentation (New Projects section). In the same edition, the prize for the career was

assigned to the great American artist Dia-manda Galàs, to whom Romina is often compared despite the diversity of their respective artistic experiences.

Aisthanomai collects the work and study of two years, during which Romina faced with curiosity and intellectual courage the impervious territories of poetry, musical and vocal experimentation, theatre, visual arts, making use of her own preparation both in the musical and in that of the history and methodology of art, aesthetics and of cinema theories. The research on sound and the exploration of dynamics, frequencies, the intertwining and conflict of sound waves, not only harmonics, are the leading elements of the album, which reflect the profound personality of this multifaceted artist.

The voice is not used simply as an instrument, because the voice, as Romina herself wrote to accompany Diffrazioni Sonore, does not want to sound like an instrument: "it has no synonyms or means, it is act-action-process: being there, being, presence, consciousness" while "the musical instrument is a means, an intermediary. In this case, "the electronic one is the medium used as a context for his very particular vocality. Only in this way, Romina continues, the voice can "extract itself from the stale misleading discourse that relegates it to the conservative conception of music today and from the concept of the now worn-out, old, instrumentality". In the new album the voice dominates a universe of signs in which ancient melodies and ancient references coexist with contemporary composition technologies, leading a reconnaissance of the territories of perception and its processes. If "asthânomai" is the Greek verb which stands for "to perceive", here it is the text and the electronics that stand out to the ear, that are perceived: onto the vocal creations of the poetic text (entirely written by Romina), digital and non-speech sounds elaborations are created. The way in which this artist unfolds his vocality can liberate the conceptions of music and text applied to music. This is certainly an interesting route to try. The listener is stuck in an open confrontation with himself, in what is precisely "the drama of conscience", brought to the surface by Romina Daniele through the dialectic between construction and deconstruction. between composition and instinct. As if the purpose of Asthânomai was the search for human awareness or the explanation of the lack of it.




'Sculptures for voice and ideas'

On page 20, the interview conducted by Massimo Marchini:

Just by chance I came across the work of a young Neapolitan singer who struck me deeply with the clarity and purity of the intentions of her noble and culturally dense project. Her voice is extraordinary to the point of having won her the Demetrio Stratos award and Romina draws inspiration from the late singer of Area and her research into her voice, as well as from the work of the brilliant lady of the night, Diaman-da Galas.

Romina, tell us about how you approached music and how this, I imagine, evolved into such a courageous approach.

«I approached music with my body, as a child, without any prior

knowledge in the strictly musical field. I studied classical dance from the age of 6 to 14, then classical guitar until I was 18. But dance, in particular, influenced the evolution of my language at an objective analysis of my path, during which I gradually deepened the "voice -body”, "the body that gives itself voice", the "voice-action", to be and to say of being. These words are loaded with meanings, concepts and senses, leading my experience to the modes of creation, production and representation that characterize the current work: Aisthânomai, the drama of consciousness. The very word "courage" indicates a quality-condition at the level of status of the person in a homogenizing social context, for which individuality has and displays the strength to come out into the open.»

What were (and are) your main influences.

«Diamanda Galas and Demetrio Stratos, Fédor Dostoevsky and Marcel Proust, Friedrich Nietzsche and Gilles Deleuze. Jusepe De Ribera and Francis Bacon, David Lynch and Michelangelo Antonioni."»

Crazy and desperate studying. I imagine that to arrive at the technical and cultural results of your Aisthanomai you spit blood...

«For some time I was able to study my voice, free it and make it sound starting from the theoretical and practical assumptions of the Stratosian lesson, which was followed by an individual development on the levels of perception and knowledge of consciousness in the field of art (I am referring to etymology of the Greek term Aisthanomai) which merged into "putting on record". When I talk about art, I mean: creating. I am not referring to the sectors - painting, music, theatre, poetry - which I rather call "mediums". The "technical and cultural results" of my speech, along their line of development, are in reality solid assumptions: my conception of the sectors of the artistic world as means of interdisciplinary creation rests on a basic awareness deduced from studies of methodology and criticism of art finished with a thesis entitled *the place of music in audiovision", an abstract of which is currently being published".»

As in the case of many works by Galas, there is a singular depth also in the lyrical-conceptual work of your latest album, Aisthànomai. Can you tell us about it?

«For me, "lyrism" indicates a condition of "singular subjectivism" that finds its ideal dimension in performative and interpretative practice: the body-creator that expands its energies to infuse other layers of thought and sensation. However, it is an "intersubjective communication": on the one hand the subject exponent of his own research (I) on the processes of perception and the tools of knowledge, intuition as well as reasoning, which is aimed at the emotional and cognitive reception of others, in terms of necessity: on the other, the receiving, user and thinking subject (the listener and/or spectator) who problematizes.

I address the people who listen to me as individuals, single consciences, as an investigating and searching subject.

From the point of view of singing in the strict sense and of known techniques, in fact, "lyrical" is a territory that I tackle within a system full of contaminations.»

Tell me about your concerts. Can you create your own textures live? «The album and the performances are different territories, areas of expansion of my work with different characters and functions. From a strictly musical (electronic) point of view. working at the level of perception and sensation, the technical aspect and the audio diffusion parameters take on great importance. Listening to the recorded work is unparalleled, if you think about the possibility of touching the sounds given by a pair of headphones, where every movement of each sound can be clearly perceived on a spatial level.

For this reason, the ideal environment for my performances is circular or square, with quadraphonic diffusion, to give the listener the opportunity to perceive the movements of the sound."»

Where can your records be found?

«My work is currently sold and distributed by CdBaby for both buyers and resellers. More information was released in a press release.»

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