Resiliens is an arts collective based in Rome, Italy releasing electronica and techno, and was conceived in 2012 by Federico Fiume (aka Morphic Wave). The collective now includes, among others, Lorenzo Fiume and Martux-m for the groups new sub-label, Resiliens Astra. Astra centres around the hypnotic, deeper and experimental side of techno, but the releases are full of variety and surprising beauty, testament to the groups artistic direction. In 2014, Federico & Lorenzo composed original work for the Company Aquilana “B. Baratelli” and their dance production “Garbage Girls”, about “those who live in the desolation, witnesses of the cruelty of life and of its many mysteries”. Clearly there are many sides to Resiliens – we asked for more.
How did Resiliens start?
Resiliens started in 2011 from an idea of some of us who were tired of the sterile Roman artistic scene. We decided to fund a collective striving to network with others artists based especially in Rome (at that time the Resiliens artists were Morphic Wave and Max Catena, the photographer). The name Resiliens derives from the latin verb resilio which means to bounce – dealing with the concept of resilience and the ability to elastically endure an external force – the latin derivation is the reason why Resiliens is written differently from resilience. Resiliens accepts and looks for the influence of modernity in its artistic production, but it does not leave contemporary means to play the leading role in the creative process.
Was it a conscious decision to form an arts collective rather than an outlet exclusively for music?
Yes, definitely. We strongly believe in discussions and exchanges among different arts and artists in order to investigate and foster artistic productions. And that is clear in what we do: take as example the recent work by Federico and Lorenzo for the dance show “Garbage Girls”, in which the creative process has been developed through the exchange among two completely different musicians, and especially between them and the dancers.
What was behind the decision to start the Astra project, and will it take a different musical direction to the main label?
The reason behind the decision to start Astra was the strong belief in the exchange in the creative process. Astra aims to link underground electronic and more refined music, which are separate but co-existing situations, and able to show their inner value when mingled together. Astra leads the cutting edges expressions towards an official recognition and it creates an encouraging fusion, essential in an artistic investigation. It is the highest musical experimentation, but it won’t take a different musical direction to Resiliens Recordings, they both are parts of a bigger project.
I like the strong experimental sound and variety of many of the releases. What do you look for in new labels?
We always look for particular and recognizable sounds, melodies and rhythms. We look for artists that are able to merge their cultural background with contemporary art, and ee are attracted by extremes and by the violence of the emotions directed towards an elegant and soft language. For this reason we look for new talents and we are keen to glimpse hidden genius. Aner, Yuuki Sakai, Antonio Ruscito – and the upcoming Paolo Benvenuti and Zeno – are some examples of our search and especially of our faith in the unexplored.
How do you find the techno scene in Rome, has it changed recently?
In Rome at the end of the ‘90s and beginning of 2000 there were the beginnings of a phenomenal electronic and techno scene. Unfortunately the rising scene wasn’t valued so much as in other countries; partly the music was unappreciated by the public, and partly artists were unaware of their great value. Nowadays we pay attention to the consequences of such a situation. We may say that, as it often happens in Italy, there is a mythicization of other places, i.e. Berlin, London, etc. but in Italy there are many good artists and interesting events which are not, in our opinion, valued enough as they should be. Nevertheless, something is changing…
How different was the experience of writing original music for a dance production to writing a track? Would you like to do more of this work in the future?
The main difference deals with the narration. In the case of the music for the dance production – and generally in the case of music linked to images – you have to face a theme that has to be described: emotions, messages and timing are decided before starting the production. This process is the basis of educated culture and it is really exciting for us, even though it is tough. Most of the time underground music limits and creates a collage of sounds without any message or specific aim. We don’t want to be derogatory, but for sure such an approach can be limiting! Music is art and as such it must communicate a message; underground music often tends to lose the personal message and inherits themes coming from different times and different places.
What are your ambitions for Resiliens and Astra for the next few years?
Resiliens is a producer of art. For the future, we want to create a platform for the diffusion of art, and a roster of artists able to produce and offer a diverse artistic product. Image, sound and matter are just physical classifications exploited by art in order to direct, through the artist, the cultural flow of that specific period and place. Resiliens Recordings, Resiliens Astra and the brand new Resiliens Opera – all dealing with different aspect of the music – are only a part of our bigger project.
Finally please tell us about your current releases.
On May 5 2015 we released an EP by Paolo Benvenuti, a guitar player and electronic musician – “Revolution” represents his debut in the field. We confirm our typical electronic – techno format and especially the idea of concept work. Indeed, we always ask our artists to create their music based it on a specific concept, a theme linking all the tracks comprising the release. The reason behind our request and format is to incline underground music towards a deeper meaning. After Paolo Benvenuti it is the turn of Zeno, an eclectic artist who ranges between visual art (Zeno Lanvideosource) to electronic music (member of the Martux_M Crew). Zeno’s work is refined and elegant, the result of a synthesis of a dense and multi-faceted career.
More generally, we are trying to strengthen the already-published artists and to support big names interested in the project. We will also keep developing the network among the Roman artists, among others 030, CRS, ex Ipologica. And as for what concerns the upcoming projects of Astra and Opera, well that’s top secret
Interview by Stringer