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October 24, 2020

NARDUCCI-ANCIENT DIALOGUE AND A BIT OF TIME TRAVEL.

By itchysilk In MUSIC

We interviewed Narducci just over two years ago. At that time, he was pushing his EP Break The Silence (21/09/2018). A thundering jazz project of alternative, ethereal enthused niceness. It had the #itchysilk crew suitably enamoured.

While the Los Angeles native admits, “Covid has been very strange and tough. Covid hit and everything shut down. I haven’t played a show in what feels like forever, which is kind of depressing…there has been much less work in general” a degree of normality has continued, “At the same time, studio work hasn’t really slowed down. DeSoto Sound Factory has still been releasing music, recording, and mixing a lot. I’ve been writing a lot of music…so it’s been a bit surreal: part ghost land, part busy-bee.”

Since 2018 he dropped the EP Journey to Los Angeles with Ropedope Records (31/07/ 2020), releasedmusic videos for songs like Burn Alive (10/07/2020) and dropped some telling scores for films like El Viejo (09/04/2020), The Academy Documentary Series We Become Like Mutants (11/10/2019), and Until the Day Someone Puts Me in a Coffin 02/10/2020).

When I made Ancient Dialogue, I was listening to everything: traditional music from Burundi, the Congo Basin, Southern India, …… I feel there’s something very direct and honest about traditional cultural music that is sometimes lost in today’s modern, “popular” music.

In his latest stream of productivity, Narducci drops Ancient Dialogue with the stirring video directed by R.J. Chmiel, starring Rafael Goldstein on Narducci’s DeSoto Picture Company. It’s a project that has been years in the making.  

“Ancient Dialogue started years ago, when I was still living in Brooklyn. I started the original version of the track in 2013. I’m very inspired by different indigenous and folk music from many cultures. The different ways humans around the world have made music is endlessly fascinating to me. When I made Ancient Dialogue, I was listening to everything: traditional music from Burundi, the Congo Basin, Southern India, Greece, the Hmong people of what is now considered Vietnam, Yiddish/Jewish music, Maracatu from Brazil, and music from Indigenous peoples of North America such as the Taos, Apache, Aztec, Navajo, and Inuit. I feel there’s something very direct and honest about traditional cultural music. That honesty is sometimes lost in today’s modern, “popular” music. I want to bring through in my music.”

As this type of “labour of love”, Ancient Dialogue has slightly morphed from its original genesis.

“It was originally released on my EP Sense of Space (22/07/2014) (my first electronic music EP under my production company, DeSoto). I sent the EP to director RJ Chmiel to see if he was inspired to make a video for any of the songs, and he connected with the track and imagined the visual language and story for the music video. We shot most of the video in the desert of California, an area called Twentynine Palms, and it was a very powerful experience. Then RJ did all the animation by hand, using a technique called rotoscoping. It was a tedious process, and he also works full-time as an assistant producer for Universal Pictures, so it took a while to finish.”

As with all artists of course time changes perspective. 

“In that time, I’d grown as an artist and a producer, and was more clear on how I wanted it to sound, so I remixed the track, reimagining the soundscape, feel, and vibe, re-recorded the guitar, as well as bringing more of the sounds through all the analog gear I’ve acquired over the years to give it an earthier feel and more texture”.

And from the get-go, Narducci does exactly that. Bringing this earthy, multi textured and intelligent sound. Ancient Dialogue takes us on a journey back into time from the opening dumbek drum roll, evoking mystery and foreboding. The video in turn starts with this odd mysterious figure who is evidently going through some type of metamorphosis. It’s a metamorphosis that takes ‘it’ into human form. An Inuit voice breaks in starting this hypnotic, surreal travelling journey. It’s a journey where video and music work in perfect synergy.

I’ve always loved drum n bass since I first heard it in high school, especially, LTJ Bukem, The Prodigy, Amon Tobin. RJ had the idea for the protagonist being ‘woken up’ in that section, which feels perfect set against the music

“The different layers are meant to connect different musical cultures and styles into one cohesive whole and represent different concepts. The song is an attempt to find the most connective, most human elements in all cultures, the ways which we are all ONE.”

He continues,

“I mixed drum/percussion sounds from many different cultures, which combined very naturally into the opening beat. The acoustic guitar is in a country/blues style in the first half, and over the drum n bass in more of a Roni Size, jazzy kind of a vibe. The flutes are meant to feel like a choir chant. The horns I wanted to feel like bombs dropping. I wanted that first section to have a very mysterious, haunting energy. The Inuit vocals are very spine-tingling indeed. I was struck by how raw and emotive they are. They sounded so perfect and natural over the percussion beat, like fate.  It felt like you were witnessing a spiritual ritual.”

Not only a “spiritual ritual” but also a spiritual awakening. Once the track drops that drum n bass energy, we witness the main protagonist having his ‘awakening’. From what-it’s hard to be clear. There is however a definite moment of cerebral connections sparking with electricity as the video goes from day to night. 

“It felt like the song wanted a new section to come in with surprising, explosive energy.  I’d had the idea to go from an older, more ‘ancient’ feel, to something more modern, and electronic, and the drum n bass just felt perfect coming in after that break. I’ve always loved drum n bass since I first heard it in high school, especially, LTJ Bukem, The Prodigy, Amon Tobin. RJ had the idea for the protagonist being ‘woken up’ in that section. It feels perfect set against the music.”

The drum n bass abruptly stops, and the mysterious figure appears to reach a full state where he is woken-he shakes. A further mysterious figure with burning red eyes slowly surfaces. It’s like the perfect cliff hanger. It cries out for an answer.

“That’s a very interesting idea. We don’t have anything planned now, but it would be great to make a sequel, taking off where Ancient Dialogue ends…I’ll have to talk to RJ”!

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