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Live at Able Gallerie

Release date: 26.03.12
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"Penelopex aka Marta Zapparoli is a sound artist, performer, improviser, deeply involved in producing experimental radio shows, installations and multimedia theater productions since 1999. Since then she has developed here own solo live performance along with extensive duos and larger group collaborations.


She studied fine arts and the soprano saxophone in Bologna, Italy. She now lives in Berlin where she is part of the Splitter Orchester Berlin, collaborating on sound installations with Martin Kuentz and a duo project with Alessandra Ezramo along side her ongoing solo project. During the last decade she has created numerous strong narrative sonic pieces using a variety of open recording techniques and custom analog tools as well as found instruments and objects.
Her sonic explorations bridge together the sensual quality of field recordings and the versatile processing of live electronics. Within environmental phenomena, acoustic ecology, noise pollution, focusing on sonic narratives & human emotions through decomposition and real-time tape manipulation, many of these sounds, considered non-musical or overheard. She has released several albums on labels such as Umbrella Noise, Idiosyncratic, Nohmad records and the Zeromoon netlabel and has also personally released a series of limited editions herself. She was also extensively featured on WDR3 open studio elektronische musik, and various experimental radio broadcasts."


Other projects: | heramo-zapparoli-duo.blogspot




The sounds and information around us, are from a variable and immersive environment. Some of these unwanted environmental sounds and signals are constant and repetitive. Particular compounds are invariably too low or high for the sensory human frequency response to detect, so are ignored by our cognito. Other, more audiable sounds are not all handled by our everyday waking consciousness. These more than classical field recordings also contain low emv field, natural radio, wheater phenomena, radio, wideband and wireless communication signals of all kinds which I utilize for my recordings, which can be picked up with multiple devices such as, ultrasound and vlf natural. First of all, time of day and location play a influencing role in the recording of my sound-works, as does the technical equiptment used. A spontaneous tour through an urban or natural landscape inspired entirely by my feelings evoked by their surroundings embrace the natural energy of the environment.

My personal experience throughout the recording process is fundamental for themdevelopment of my research and the progressive evolution of future pieces. The selected moments I recorded all interrelate through this process. The second phase of the process is the detailed rendering of the recorded material. This includes preparing in the studio where I practice a wide range of signal distortion and filtering through a multitude of custom made gadgets and sound sources, mixer eq and effects are applied to parts of the prerecorded material.
The final stage is formed by the live performance. When I have an idea of the soundscape I want to compose, I improvise with combinations of recordings and real-time manipulation and mixing. The signals, sounds and noises from the real world are transformed in a surreal scape where the time, situations, spaces and locations are decontextualized from their original form.



I draw my inspiration from the narratives and metaphors of a variety of impacts from different locations and situations. Particularly when lost in a city, you find yourself at the wrong end of the town and unforseeable scenarios begin to unfold. These are often quite unique experiences within a certain period of time, landscape or corner of society. The process of recording can become playful when exiting your everyday boundaries, for example - home, to enter a more complex terrain where paradoxial features and structures are nullyfied, these may include: natural environments and urban architectural spaces, the silence and natural abandoned places, unpredictable movements, defective technology, misplaced animals, "dispunctuality", unforeseen natural sound effects or other cataclysms of nature.



Generally the process begins by carefully selecting material from my archive of audio recordings. Then I choose a certain palette of recordings which can be manipulated and developed. During this process, singular sounds and recording themes merge to form a new imaginary space. That said, I always improvise during solo performances by following my intuitive feelings, abstraction and creative vocabulary of techniques. In relation to this, it is important to be aware of repetition and similarities to keep the production process and performance moving, for both, the performer and the audience. This demands the presence of an open framework which allows me to take any course of action at any time. The use of a score or notation as a set of instructions I feel might hinder the desire to spontaniously explore my sonic path.


4.- Noise impact in life:

As with any consuming habbit, such as food ... I can't stop eating! As both are interlinked and fundamental to my body of work and natural environment, this is the most difficult question with a potentially endless answer.



I'm not a purist! I try to use a multitude of tools and techniques. I became curious in experimental music production, from there on, my passion grew. "I never decided to become a 'noise musician' by any standard." By way of production I am naturally focused on the creative processing of my materials rather than being a exponent of a cultural category of any sort.


6.- The Splitter Orchester

To work with the Orchestra is a extraordinary experience for me. In the last 20 years I have performed with several large groups specializing in different genres, many of which were in no case experimentally influenced. Performing with the Splitter Orchester is on one hand demanding and of course laborious at times, on the other, a challenging adventure. I experience how to use ones singular output in a somewhat unintended way. You have to alter your approach towards the group, you constantly have to put yourself at risk and improve your methology. Interacting with 23 musicians at once is a combined experience of observating, listening, communicating and progressing, one I wouldn't like to miss out on.


7.- Sound artists, new curators and independent spaces:

It is not a hobby to maintain an artistic body of work. It often takes a lifetime of research and practice. By structurally undervaluing the sound art and the life you spend with, both artists and some curators put a lot at risk.

Also within noise music and free improvistation its actors and the listeners live within a captitalist society, so you have to survive as a self-conscious artist subject within these limitiations. From the curators side it also requests a strong support and interest for long time structures outside of institutions by more creative funding to pay artists and also not to forget documentation.



I am working on some future releases, editing sculptural sound art works “Composition for Vinyl”. Installations with Martin Kuentz are also in development. I'm also currently planning to expand towards more hybryd forms of video, theatre and performance.


Sites, venues or communities for experimental music you would like to recommend:

Not at the moment. When I lived in Italy in Bologna there was very little happening in this realm. But in constant transformation in experimental music, for example Link project, Netmage, Raum20.

At the moment in Berlin, I'm not in the loop of recent experimental territories and trends.

I have a high admiration and respect for individual, strong personalities, attitude, radical determination, life experiences and theory of some female artists from the past and to the present. This inspired me more than any music.



Penelopex, March 2012





[ar067] PENELOPEX | Live at Able Gallerie




Marta Zapparoli , Field recordings, tapes, analog filters, selfmade device and mixing.:

Live at Able Gallery, Berlin, on 23rd November 2011. Recorded and mixed by François Sallé.
Picture by ©Marie d’Ornano, 2011. Design by Aniana Heras.:

Special thanks to Able, especially to Marie & Tom.: