Alessandro Cipriani

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Born in Tivoli (Rome), 1959

Cipriani completed his studies in music composition and electroacoustic music at the Conservatorio S.Cecilia in Rome with G.Bizzi and G.Piazza. He studied for a time with Barry Truax in Vancouver (Canada).

Since 1989 he has worked on intermedia pieces and audio-video multichannel and interactive installations, often in collaboration with visual artist Alba D’Urbano and director Giulio Latini, on pieces for instruments and electronics and electroacoustic pieces with traditional religious singers.
He has composed soundtracks for creative film-documentaries and silent movies, integrating an advanced concept of fusion between dialogue, sound environment and music, including the soundtrack (in collaboration with Edison Studio composers) of “Inferno” (1911), “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1919), the expressionist masterpiece by Robert Wiene and “Battleship Potemkin” by Ejzenstejn. All three have been published in surround sound DVD by Cineteca di Bologna. Other soundtracks with Edison Studio are “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1913), , and “Blackmail” by Alfred Hitchcock, . He has also co-written (with Luigi Ceccarelli) the soundtrack for the 3D movie by Michel Comte “The Girl from Nagasaki”, the musical operas “Faust” and “Turandot” with National Beijing Opera Theatre, and two dance works by Robyn Orlin, performed at Venice Biennale Dance and Theatre de La Ville in Paris.

His works have received honors and have been selected for performance at Synthèse Bourges, Government of Canada Award, International Computer Music Conference 94, 95, 99, 2002, 2003, 2008,  CalArts/RedCat Festival – Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles, Venice Biennale, Opera Theater Leipzig, (Germany) International Symposium on Electronic Arts, Musica Nova (Praha), Newcomp (U.S.A.), Inventionen (Berlin – Germany), Nuova Consonanza (Rome), Ravenna Festival, Engine 27 (New York), Festival d’Automne (Paris) etc.
He has been tenured professor of electroacoustic music at the Conservatory of Catania (Ist. Mus. V. Bellini) from 1995 to 2003 and at the Conservatory of Frosinone (Rome) since November 2003. A compilation of electroacoustic pieces by his students from Sicily has been published on Electronic Music Foundation label (New York).

He has taught and lectured about his music and his theory of ‘electroacoustic tradition’ at several Academies (Sibelius Academy – Helsinki, Accademia S.Cecilia- Rome etc.) and Universities in Europe, Canada and the U.S. (Simon Fraser University – Burnaby B.C., Californian Institute of the Arts (Los Angeles), University of Rome “Tor Vergata, University of California – Santa Barbara, Univ. of Catania,  MedienKunst Dept. of Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, DMU University, Leicester etc.).

He has published analytical and theoretical papers in several journals (Organised Sound, Musica/Realtà, etc.) and has published the textbooks “Virtual Sound” and “Electronic Music and Sound Design” (written in collaboration with M.Giri and R.Bianchini) and adopted for computer music courses in various Universities and Conservatories in Europe, South and North America.

His CD “Il Pensiero Magmatico” in collaboration with Stefano Taglietti is available on Edipan label. Other pieces can be found in the International Computer Music Conference ’95 and ICMC’99 CDs. A monographic CD, “Al Nur”, including all his works with oral tradition musicians and his trilogy on religious chant, was released on CNI Compagnia Nuove Indye. Computer Music Journal (M.I.T. Press) selected one of his multi-channel pieces  (in surround 5.1) to be included in the annual DVD in 2003, released on CMJ 27 (4). A piece written for Iranian percussionist Mahammad Ghavi Helm  has been published on CNI-RAI Trade label. A 5.1 piece on DVD has been released on Everglade Records (USA) and an acousmatic piece on XXI Musicale – Elettronica Italiana Vol.2.

His music has been broadcast by RAI, CBC and several other national radio networks as well as performed at festivals in Europe, China, South-America, Canada, and the U.S.A. He is one of the founding members of Edison Studio in Rome. He is also member of the Editorial Board of the review Organised Sound (Cambridge University Press). For this review he has been guest editor of a special issue dedicated to the relationship between electroacoustic music and Local/Global culture with articles by Trevor Wishart, Barry Truax etc.


New Album “VOICES” by Alessandro Cipriani



Available on CD, numbered limited edition LP, Hi-Qu music, ITunes, Spotify

Voices: Isabeella Beumer (Germania), Nazif Cela (Albania), Alba D’Urbano (Italia), Grupi Antea (Albania), Tuuni Lansman (Lapponia Finlandese), Ann Masina (Sud Africa), Dorothée Munyaneza (Ruanda) and Dudu Yende (Sud Africa)

Electronics: Alessandro Cipriani

Post-production and mix: Alessandro Cipriani at Edison Studio
Mastering: Maurizio Argentieri and Marco Massimi

Photos  of Alba D’Urbano’s skin are taken from her visual work “Il Sarto Immortale”

CNI-Look Studio CNDL 32043

with the support of SIAE-Classici di Oggi


Whose is this music? What kind of music is it? For 20 years now I have had the feeling that my music does not come from me. I feel like a dynamic filter through which sounds pass, some of them coming from other musicians, others coming to me in a rather mysterious way from an abstract dimension.

The latter are sounds that do not yet exist, and that are only waiting to be realized and to be made perceptible, through me and the means and methods that are available to me. In this collection the nature of my intervention varies, depending on the various pieces, and it ranges from complete invention to compositional collaborations with other musicians, and arrangements or re-elaborations of traditional music, with some pieces signed by others.

My actions therefore range from “strong” intervention (a creation from almost nothing) to a more “light” kind of intervention, involving the delicate elaboration of a “sound cradle” in which to insert music that already exists, in order to expand its possibilities, discover its secrets – which it would be impossible to hear under more normal conditions – and bring them out in a more easily discernible form. In order to do this, I use electronics, but mine is not electronic music, as I do not use synthesizers or electronic drums. Instead, I use new technologies to zoom, in various different ways, into the essence of existing acoustic sounds. In this way, I can enter them, explore them and expand them.

The music in this compilation moves along a continuum that starts from the basic original “voices” as they really are, and that leads them towards abstraction, elaborating and transforming them so as to take them to the boundary of what is no longer “earthly” or able to be produced by human beings. The real acoustic sound of the voice and the sound of its virtual elaboration cohabit, linked by bridges. They exist simultaneously, they blend, they exchange roles, they separate and once again they almost merge, and that is why the music that results from all this cannot be defined by using a single map, but by a map made of the intersections or crossroads with other maps, which we can see superimposed like transparencies. It is pointless to impose any borders upon them.

Voices are at the centre of this album: reciting voices, excited voices, singing voices, voices that sound like and voices that are those of animals, voices that come from times and places that are distant from each other and far from our own time and place. They belong to no genre and there is no overall term that can define them, but perhaps these different pieces of music meet and come together thanks to their being connected by an art that consists of decompositions and re- compositions, decontextualizations and recontextualizations. The body and the “earth” from which this music comes are expressed only in the form of sounds that are reduced to binary code or represented as samples. Many things can be lost in the recording of the original sounds… There is no longer any physical place in this music, once it has been captured, but in the moment when the act of composition produces a new meaning – which is shared by the listener – this music finds a new space, it resonates within each person who listens to it. I always try to remain in contact with the thin thread that binds me to the original sound and the performers who produced it, with whom I worked. This is something that thrives upon physical sound waves and makes the strings of the soul resound. I try to discover the narrow passage that is hidden between the binary codes, through which I can help the original energies and forces of what was recorded to pass through. At the same time, I try to reveal something else and to bring to light some scraps and remnants of the non-physical, untranslatable dimension, which is hidden in the folds and creases of sound… I wish you happy listening…

Thanks to:

Teresa Vasselli, Francesco Cipriani, Giancarlo Bizzi, Momcilo Borojevic, Maurizio Argentieri, Fausto Carotenuto, Luigi Ceccarelli, Carole Chambellon, Massimo Cipriani, Alba D’Urbano, Fabrizio Furfaro, Victoria Laloe, Giulio Latini, Besnik Litja, Marco Massimi, Robyn Orlin, Francesco Passarelli, Lucia Romagnoli, Gian Marco Sandri, Barry Truax, Atanasio Vulcano, the CREA crew, all my friends and all members of my family.