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Alberto Boccardi


June 17, 2022
Cassette, Digital

From Alberto Boccardi

Petra is a work that stems from the time I lived in Cairo between 2015 to 2020. I spent almost five years there, surrounded by the frenetic mood of the tireless Egyptian capitol. It’s a never-ending cascade of sound and flashing lights, were where I found myself split between the habituation of my daily work and this throbbing sense of life all around me.

Petra also comes from the period since I moved back to Milano, my hometown. In some respects the album is almost me closing one chapter of my life, while opening a new one.

All the materials were recorded at Standards, the studio I built 5 years ago, a place I know well and an environment where everything was available and, by contrast with Cairo, so familiar and under control. It seems a perfect counterpoint, a way to consider these sound memories at distance almost.

While starting the set-up I was really keen to work by subtraction and also consider the idea of silence, which had not been a part of my life during my time in Cairo. I was trying to find the breadth between each sonic element and the space they would require. I was first much more focussed on the sound itself, than the place it needed to be in relation with the other sounds.

While recording I decided to invite a long time collaborator Cinzia De Lorenzi, a very creative dancer and choreographer, to come into the studio and work with me. She has an incredible talent for voice and this was brought to bare on several of the pieces. We had a very quick understanding of the creative dynamic and I was positive that her voice would be able to fit in the sound interstices that were appearing.

I thought the presence of the voice would help me to play with how, as the listener, I would experience a sense of distance across each track. It helped provide an approach to create and fill the empty spaces existing around all the other sounds.

Petra means rock in Latin and through the subtractive approach I took, I felt this word reflected nicely the way the work seemed to me, as precarious and delicate.