Text by CLOT Magazine
The next mixtape comes from Italian artist Anor Londo (aka Marco Fasoli). Dedicated to drumming for a long time, the artist has recently moved into more introspective electronic territories.
With an artistic name that recalls a fictional city in a series of action role-playing games, Anor Londo is deeply fascinated by alchemical esotericism, philosophical hermeticism, cosmic horror and cyber-decadence. His speculation in the audio-visual field is bound up with the search for timeless perfection, an opportunity to understand the true nature of the cosmos, a contemplation of the transcendent, which constitutes a form of esoteric ritual.
Transmutations are one of the founding elements of his creative method. He reinterprets the broader meaning of alchemical philosophy in a technological key, which – as the eldest form of chemistry – is committed to the fascinating task of shaping and moulding matter. Anor Londo wants to understand the very nature of the fabric of the universe.
Last April, Anor Londo published Chaos & Materia EP, an extremely elegant and soulful ambient expression of abstract and melodic musical forms. The productions, the artist says, stem from an analogy between hermetic philosophy and Anor Londo’s mindset. Chaos’ is perceived as the aggregator of all opposites, whilst ‘matter’ means understanding the foundations of reality.
The mix he’s prepared for us, Solar Plexus, refers to a complex structure of nerves of the sympathetic nervous system. It’s an energy centre necessary for balance and well-being in the body. These networks are like an electrical junction box, distributing wires to different areas of the house, Anor Londo shares. The mix developed is a direct emanation of this concept of interconnection.
Different feelings and sensibilities communicate in a dance of gazes, seemingly distant but intersecting at an epicentre that is my own vision. Sometimes they smash into each other, creating a sense of loss, but in the end, it all returns to a global balance like in an infinite loop. Seeing is believing.
What was the creative process like for the production of your last EP? What were you technically and/or conceptually exploring with it?
When you work in a creative field, solutions often come through an unconscious pathway that draws from various mazes of our minds in a non-linear way. So, in my case, it always starts from a state of inner chaos that represents my personal background to draw from.
To start a new project, I always need fresh inputs that make me want to try new solutions, whatever they may be. As a result, each track is born from the discovery of a particular instrument, a freak technique, an evocative sound or a charming technology. You have to know that “Caos & Materia” is a reduction of a much larger production. I tried different approaches, more rhythmic solutions, others more ethereal, and in the end, I arrived at the final shape.
From a technical point of view, I have processed much of my production through a generative method. The random factor is of great importance and allows you to get out of your comfort zone. In writing “Caos & Materia”, I made massive use of dynamic and random parameters, both for melodies and rhythms. This workflow makes the composition much more organic, and sometimes you get completely unexpected outputs. Turning to conceptual analysis, my method is likened to alchemical sublimation, which moulds the “original chaos” into new matter through consecutive steps. As the French chemist Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier said: “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”.
Deeply fascinated by alchemical esotericism, philosophical hermeticism, cosmic horror and cyber-decadence… tell us how these practices/theories inform your creative process?
In that description, I was referring to the different souls that flow into my background as a creative mind. By nature, I am a very curious person, and I spend most of my time learning about fresh techniques, conceptual studies, and avant-garde technologies in the artistic and audio-visual field. This leads me to stratify many notions that often result in drafts from which something more structured evolves.
So, I absorb different imagery like esotericism, philosophical hermeticism, and the most desperate technological nihilism into a new form of matter, where: mysticism gives you the possibility to live in a specific context, and creativity allows you to do something according to your own personal vision – eventually, science and technology give you a way to be free from physical constraints, resulting in a concept of limitless metaphysics.
In a recent essay book by Byung-Chul Han, he discusses the loss of rituals in modern western societies, reinforcing individualism and closer involvement with the rest of society. What are your thoughts as well on new forms of spirituality and mysticism informed by technological progress that has been appearing in the last few years?
From my point of view, I notice a bleak society that thrives on ephemeral moments of low emotional value. In an increasingly individualistic society, human being expresses themselves going in circles, lacking a world and real interactions.
I am not against technology; on the contrary, I am absolutely a big supporter of it. In spite of this, I notice that if you don’t know how to exploit technology, then technology will exploit you in turn, and here we come back to the concept of cyber-decadence and the illusion of freedom.
In a period of paradoxically the loneliness of the individual, such as the one the world is living, most various AI (artificial intelligence) systems have found ample scope for play and fertile ground for their own expansion. But there is a big open issue regarding the progress of AI: Ethics. Current artificial minds “reason” through algorithmic analyses and complex data-driven research that forgot the concept of explainability. When you ask an algorithm to find the best way to get a specific result, you have no idea how the machine will solve the problem; you know that it will do it more efficiently than you do. That’s the black box problem.
Despite, I am an enthusiast about technological progress, we need to be more ethically guided and consequently lead progress in that way too.
The EP comes along with a video where you further explore the themes in the EP. How do you see both the sound and the visual complementing each other?
Anor Londo is a multidisciplinary project that crushes generative art and cinematic sound, the two are inseparable and feed off each other. At the moment it is an ongoing project, there will be several visual contributions that expand the communicative range of Anor Londo. I am focused on providing an experience full of meaning and immersive too.
What are your main inspirations for your productions these days and in which direction do you see your interests develop after this release?
I am currently fully projected into the universe of generative art. This kind of approach allows me to range widely and avoid the risk of freezing myself in a specific comfort zone.
Just a simple example: starting from a hypothetical flow of random data, my job is to be able to guide and give defined intervals to the infinite chaotic flow of data. The most interesting part is when you make several random parameters interact with each other and they start to talk to each other, generating new solutions from their own dialogue. In my opinion, this type of workflow is full of surprises and charm, I love it!
Another technology I would like to explore is definitely machine learning, I think it is an extraordinarily powerful tool that often leads to amazing and unexpected results. I’ve seen a lot of artists create amazing things through this approach.
What is your relationship with technology and the analogue for your productions nowadays? And how do you cope with technology (screen/digital) overload?
I’m an analogue objects lover: the feeling at the touch, the peculiar smell, the charm of hardware, and so on. At the same time, I think that is a “luxury problem” – the analogue solution it’s not necessarily the best solution. In a full- digital life, returning to an analogue approach can be exciting but, in my opinion, often results in a fickle statement for someone. The possibilities of digital are potentially endless and exponentially more powerful in versatility and multidisciplinary integrations.