This extraordinary new disc from Antonella EYE Porcelluzzi & Deaf Society stands out for both its severe modernism and warm embrace of historical figures Mina Loy and Saint Teresa of Avila. Porcelluzzi reads both authors over the course of the disc’s five parts, in addition to her own writing.
She’s chosen two fascinating historical figures. Born two days after Christmas in 1882, Loy was an avant-garde artist and author whose work continued to win new admirers after she passed in 1966. Teresa of Avila lived during the 16th century. Christened Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, she was a Spanish mystic and church reformer. Her work on contemplative prayer continues to influence theologians.
Porcelluzzi and I traded emails over the weekend.
What drew you to the writings of Mina Loy and Teresa of Avila?
I have been reading Teresa for years. I love her speech, her manners, she is a queen of vision and she knows what faith is: the look through the infinity. I discovered Mina Loy through French translation, recently, and I proposed to work on one of her texts to Ivan [Murlika a.k.a. Deaf Society] when he asked me to work with him. I fell in love with The Aphorisms on Futurism, and I rewrote a part of the poem in my own way.
Why do we need to hear from them right now?
There is quite a big fashion to work with voice and drones. You can give and receive all sorts of messages. Which is not that reassuring. Nor is it meant to be. Our life passes amongst all kind of risks. (Teresa talks precisely about this, actually).
You can receive some philosophical and mystic messages through this album. You won’t hear all that is said at once. And it won’t sound the same every time you listen. The texts are like food – you decide what you eat or don’t eat.
Mina is more logical, even if she is really intuitive in writing about her rules for the future. She searches for people who have a strong spine, people who know themselves. She guides them; that is her aim. Teresa is more conscious of the dark part in us, of the limit and of the light it takes to go up. She faces all this in the most candid way. Those are appreciable qualities.
Your album notes refer to the musical language of Deaf Society. Tell us more about what that means.
I had posted “Therese” (the pure voice of Part 3) on my Soundcloud. Ivan and I had already connected through another work of mine, one I made with the Italian composer Marco Lucchi. He introduced me into this huge virtual net of musicians who exchange on the web, composing together and/or collaborating from a distance mainly. A lot of work is done this way today – music crossing the world through cables.
Ivan was a part of this circle. He contacted me directly after listening to “Therese,” asking me to make an album together. He described the work he had in mind. It’s rare that anyone can direct me. To give me an idea, he arranged Part 3 as we know it now. This way I could understand his vision, and I prepared the texts.
His direction was never concrete, he rarely expressed a preference. I felt a real reciprocity with Ivan. Sometimes I had the impression he knew my force better than I did. Generally it was always a question of listening. From my side, the language I answer to is the ambience and vibrations I get, and the elaboration given to the inclusion of my voice. With Ivan I just answer to his stimulation, and he answers further. That’s how we worked together. Ivan with his music and sound effects, me with the choice of the words and the way/tone/rhythm to say them.
Is it your voice reading the texts?
Yes, this is me. Voice performance is getting more and more part of my work as a poet, with or without music. I often read or sing my own texts. My voice has always been special, since I was a child. It’s good to make use of it, it’s a big weapon.
What does the EYE in your name signify?
It’s because of the vision, spirituality. It’s because of the fact that I also make films. And it’s my bandit-name, it sounds dangerous.