SONOIO was born in early 2010, as the result of a series of “conversations” between Alessandro Cortini and an old Buchla Electric Music Box. In his latest musical endeavor, Cortini has carved out a new creative direction in music by using solely his Buchla analog synthesizer, an obsolete instrument from the 70’s, to produce the sounds on his two premiere albums Blue and Red. This strategy had an effect on both the composition and sound design of his music, due to the limited tools used in the recording process.
The Buchla became much like a “second band member” to Cortini, allowing a wider range of sounds and in turn producing more peculiar and unique songs. “The whole compositional process felt like a chess game, where I would make a move, trying to compose in a certain way, only to be antagonized by either the limitations of the instrument, or its quirkiness, ” explains Cortini. “This ‘back and forth’ process led me to composing the bulk of the Blue and Red SONOIO records, allowing me to create something unique sounding, yet familiar and memorable.”
As a former member of Nine Inch Nails who has worked with Ladytron, toured with Muse and recently remixed tracks by HEALTH, Big Black Delta and Nine Inch Nails, Cortini is no stranger to the industry. His work as SONOIO, however, has taken its own path. “This particular project is a materialization of me working on my own for the first time and trying to get as much out of a limited amount of tools, as opposed to using everything that is available to produce music these days.” All of the songs on the records are based on the meaning of the word/name SONOIO, which comes from the Italian phrase “sono io,” meaning, “it is I.”
At once gritty and melodious, Red and Blue draw from Cortini’s past collaborations while exploring a fresh territory more akin to the likes of Crystal Castles and Salem. The result is a series of multi-layered pop records that reveal new emotional terrain with each listen. Cortini spurned heavy-handed studio production with the help of Jonathan Bates (Big Black Delta), while also recording and mixing both the albums himself. Likewise, his live show is an intricate one-man production, which is about to embark on a month-long tour with Ladytron, including stops in Mexico City, Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. [source: planetary group]