When Mathias Van Eecloo contacted me to see if I would review the latest work on his Eliean Rec. label I jumped at the chance. The music coming from his wee label is truly on the cusp.
As part of our conversation I asked Van Eecloo if he'd speak to Nicola Fornasari aka Xu and Danny Clay to see if they'd be up for answering a few questions ... I am delighted to say they agreed.
Here is what Nicola Fornasari aka Xu had to say:
1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nicola Fornasari, I was born in 1977 and I produce music using many aliases. Xu is my solo project (http://xu-substance.bandcamp.com), but I'm also part of the following projects:
- La Petite Vague ... electroacoustic improvisation with DIY instruments ... http://lapetitevague.bandcamp.com,
- Xu(e) ... dark ambient ... http://xu3music.bandcamp.com,
- Twyxu ... noise drone improvisation ... and
- ZWenS ... mostly a live ensemble with ever-changing line up.
2) What are you working on at the moment?
Eilean Rec. just released "Mountain meets Butterfly".
By the end of June the new Twyxu record will be available on Laverna (http://www.laverna.net). Actually the record is already finished but we are currently working on a teaser video.
As Xu(e) we're mixing some brand new songs for the "haiku" series on Subterranean Tide (http://www.subterraneantide.com).
3) Who inspires you?
In everyday life, and not only from an artistic point of view, the answer is definitely my daughter Viola, who now is three year-old.
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
Despite my current musical style is quite different, I've always been inspired by Coil, in particular from their drone records, or even by Stars of the Lid.
Currently I find extremely challenging artists such as Steve Roden, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Machinefabriek, Wouter Van Veldhoven and Oren Ambarchi inspirational.
In addition, among the classics, it is impossible not to mention La Monte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music / Dream Syndicate.
- Name place that has inspired you.
I feel very in tune with the water element so I find the proximity to the sea very positive, both on my mood and from a creative perspective. The sea eternally speaks...
- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
I find some eastern mysticism very close to what I intuitively feel about reality and about also the secret world inside of us, in particular Taoism and Buddhism. Art has often been influenced, not just aesthetically, by these concepts and therefore I find it normal that this happen even for me.
4) What drives you to do what you do?
I have not ever asked myself why, but I think the main motivation is also the simplest: because I love music!
5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
Not cold and mathematical experimentation but a more spiritual and personal dimension.
6) What role does community play in what you do?
I'm not particularly involved in social networks and the people with whom I work are close friends and like-minded individual, so I'm led to think of them as a kind of sect and not so much as a community.
In the last period I have to admit though that I came in contact with beautiful people interested in my work such as Harry Towell who released an EP by La Petite Vague on his Audio Gourmet (http://www.audiogourmet.co.uk) and asked us to participate in the compilation "Earthtones vol. 2" on Tessellate Recordings (http://www.tessellate-recordings.com).
More recently I (virtually) met Mathias Van Eecloo who produced my CD "Butterfly meets Mountain" on his awesome label Eilean Rec. (http://www.eilean-records.com).
So in this respect I am extremely honored to be a part of this community and I hope that these collaborations are becoming more frequent and productive in the future!
7) What is next for what you do?
In recent months I've accumulated a lot of recordings of improvisations as Xu and I wish I had time to dedicate myself to the playback and mixing. Definitely in the pipeline there will be a new La Petite Vague record and perhaps a couple as Xu(e) soon.
In addition, we are also working on a third Twyxu record.
What a busy person?! I am astounded that so much creative expression can come out of one person. Have a wee listen to "Butterfly meets Mountain" on Eilean Rec. to get why I find this album so utterly fascinating ...