Enrico Coniglio – “Venice is one of the most humid places in the world! Humidity affects everything, not only the sleeves of my discs but my instruments and most dangerously my old bones…”

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Pretty messy mate! Is there any order?

As you may have noticed, my records are not ordered according to any criteria, neither gender nor alphabetic. I just didn’t get into it… so when I’m looking for an album I almost never find it, then I play another one that I didn’t even remember to have.

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Procol Harum, Gong, Yes… so, prog rock. I remember that the first time we met we had a nice discussion about that musical genre that I hated for years. I’m finally now trying to approach it, and some of my friends tell me that I’m definitely getting old! What do you like in that music? It’s too technical for me usually…

My love for the prog rock dates back to the high school – I also had a prog band for several years – then I ended up with that stuff in the early ’00s. Some LPs are in any case milestones, for example I recently listened to Gong album “Shamal” and it’s still a terrific record! The journey, the surprise, the lyricism, the exotic, the exaltation: all this is prog rock for me. From there I then moved to ambient music, a world apart in a certain sense, but everything happened to me thanks to the genius of Fripp.

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I’ve also seen some stuff from the Mahavishnu Orchestra that Paul Lemos mentions as one of his main influences, and aroused my curiosity.

Don’t you know the Mahavishnu Orchestra? How could I only conceive of making an album with you… shame on me! I don’t need to say anything else except for… Are you ready to be a planetary citizen?

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Ahahaha! Shame on me then! I’ll make my best to recover my mistakes. So tell me where should an (ex) prog music hater start to get into this world of solos and tempo changes! And which Mahavishnu Orchestra album buy first.

Ok, this is my must-to-have of prog rock music scene: King Crimson “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic”, Yes “Fragile”, Genesis “Nursery Cryme”, Gentle Giant “Acquiring the Taste”, Camel “The Snow Goose”, Caravan “In the Land of Grey and Pink”, Gong “Gazeuse!”, UK “U.K.”, PFM “Storia di un minuto”, Area “Arbeit Macht Frei”.
You should listen to “Birds of fire” by the Mahavishnu, then we can talk again mate.

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Ok ok, I’ll do my homework! Getting back to you as a composer and field recordist… I see a lot of walkmen, cassette recorders if I’m not wrong. But usually your sound is very neat, very clean, right?

Cassettes players and recorders, old stuff exhumed from old drawers and dusty boxes in the basement (we don’t have them in Venice but it’s ok). As I have also said on other occasions, I am a fetishist of old staff, modern antique et similia. Actually I try to make dirty sounds in my production but they don’t come out as I had in mind. Actually I like how dirty sounds can sound clear, I’m thinking about the work by my friend Giovanni Lami: his music comes from tape manipulations but it sounds so brilliant!

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One last question about Venice, basements and records: do you have troubles with humidity? I know it might sound silly but the paper of LPs and CDs may suffer…

Are we talking seriously? Venice is actually one of the most humid places in the world! Humidity affects everything, not only the cardboard sleeve of my discs but my instruments and most dangerously my old bones.



Enrico Coniglio is a Venetian native whose work has long revolved around documenting the lagoon of Venice. His music operates in the field of sound art and soundscape. Together with Leandro Pisano he runs the digital label Galaverna | approaching post-digital sound.


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