The Artist: Francesco Lurgo is musician and composer born in Turin and active in Milan, previously part of FLeUR with Enrico Dutto, an experimental duo from Turin, who was described as “Electronic software programming crashes against improvisation and human nature”. The duo had two records out with Bosco Rec.: The Space Between in 2017 and Caring About Something Utterly Useless in 2021.
Sleep Together Folded Like Origami, his debut solo record, will be out on May 6th, 2022, again on Bosco Rec: an embrace of leftfield electronica, organic soundscaping, cinematic ambient and post-rock.
The Song: The title track and first single, Sleep Together Folded Like Origami, was born in the spring of 2020, almost as if it were a sound meditation on the lockdown, and triggered the creation the full album. There is a sense of stasis, under which emotionality presses and tries to emerge. The video was shot by Lurgo himself, also a professional filmmaker: “A synaesthetic approach is inevitable: in my head every sound is always associated with colors and visual representations that influence compositional and sound design choices. I think that my activity as a musician and my work as a film-maker are in synergy“.
Lurgo found an abandoned house in ruins and entered it with his video camera: “The scenario matched perfectly with the mood of the track, but above all matched with this peculiar historical moment. I decided to reintroduce the human presence with the final image, where I appear in first person, which served as the starting point for the artwork and recalls all the concepts expressed by the title of the record“.
The Song: If Sleep Together Folded Like Origami was the opening track which set the tone for everything, One Moment After The Shipwreck was the last track to be composed and it is also the last in the set list of the record. It closes a circle that goes from the most delicate and fragile episode of the lot to the most dirty one in timbre, the one that, while maintaining the ethereal and ritual suspension of the album, is nonetheless full of distortions.
The Album: Sleep Together Folded Like Origami is an embrace of electronic and post-rock music. It envelops the listener in melodies revealing their elegant intensity and in cinematic environmental textures. According to the Italian musician and producer: “I wanted to make a record that explores and celebrates intimacy, the one experienced during the lockdown period. There are no words in these tracks, but the atmospheres reflected my feelings in a universal way“. The themes evoked by the tracks are also reflected by the artwork, with a drawing by Aurora Bertoli, and by the title of the record, a paraphrase of an excerpt from the novel Conversations With Friends by the Irish writer Sally Rooney, admired for her ability “to combine a narrative of everyday life and profound, almost philosophical considerations“.
The embrace of Sleep Together Folded Like Origami is linked to a nocturnal dimension, to the realm of sleep and dreams.
Lurgo continues: “Many of the countless replayings of the tracks occurred in the moment before sleeping, when I feel that the mind is completely free to travel, and this is a further reason behind the choice of the artwork and the title of the record. I was not surprised to read an interview with Adam Wiltzie of Stars Of The Lid and A Winged Victory For The Sullen in which he stated: ‘if I can’t fall asleep listening to my track again, it means that this track is not good’ “. In addition to Stars Of The Lid, Lurgo’s inspirations have been Ben Frost – in particular, his soundtrack for the television series Dark – and Tim Hecker, Teho Teardo, Labradford and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
This solo debut after the adventure in the duo FLeUR, last year at their second album Caring About Something Utterly Useless, allowed a total control over the artistic vision and a coherent work, connected to the influence of natural landscapes, starting from the open countryside environment that framed Lurgo’s lockdown isolation, as well to a certain sense of imaginary narration, legacy of the theatrical collaborations. During the work in progress, Lurgo kept in constant dialogue with Emilio Pozzolini (port-royal, Earth Begins) and continues his research applied to the combination of electronics, floating between dark ambient and modern classical, and the human warmth of the hands playing guitars and keyboards. The main novelty is represented by the insertion of strings, specifically the viola played by Erika Giansanti, for a minimal and ethereal sonic magma, with great emotional dynamics. “The guitar is the instrument with which I seriously approached music years ago and it is still the palette I use to write the first forms of many melodies and chord progressions. On the other side, I have used the strings here for the first time, but I have always loved the sound of the solo string instrument, so I agree with one of the artists I respect most, Björk, when she says that ‘if you could amplify our soul, perhaps it would make the sound of a string instrument“. The most appropriate adjective to describe the sound of Sleep Together Folded Like Origami, in short, is “organic”. “I wanted to completely overcome the dichotomy and the contrast between the sharp character of digital sound and the softer one guaranteed by physical instruments, blurring these boundaries to achieve an homogeneus flow“.