“Haunted Houses” is a collection of seven tracks in slow, melancholy, dreamlike, nocturnal mood. It’s a work made of waiting, of grainy sounds and silences full of rustles. It’s a work talking about isolation, either in a physical and mental space; which talks about full spaces and empty or restricted spaces, of presences and absences, of memory and hope, of distances, of houses and rooms. Rooms innervated with restlessness and waiting (the opening track “Sleepless”). Houses where memories crowd, layered memories that coexist with the present (the title-track “Haunted Houses” is a short electroacoustic study on perception: indistinct, evanescent sounds, old pianos in the distance, confused and ectoplasmic voices, furniture that moves from the floor above, sighs…). And then there are presences such as those of literary characters, which can come to life in the mind while reading (“The death of Joe Christmas” is inspired by the restless and controversial character narrated by William Faulkner in “Light in August”).
Even absences find space in the album, manifesting themselves in their impalpable distance (the piece “In Absence”), as memories of a past that has no place in the present. Then the rooms can become places overloaded with pain (the track “Torture Room”), where this suffering and effort can take an expiatory, spiritual, meditative form. And after all this inner torment, even isolation can turn into an opportunity for reflection, “redemption” and sincere change: the final tracks “Pure” and “Endless” try to capture this renewed spirit, following a strongly emotional path. “Endless” closes the circle, but it can also reopen it.
“Haunted Houses” was made with guitars, contact microphones, an old cassette recorder, field recordings, dusty and grainy lo-fi sounds, found objects, recordings of streets at night, sounds of a carpentry workshop, slowed sounds, manipulation of loops of classical music taken from the radio. Every detail, every sound has been carved and polished day after day, chiseled and positioned with care and devotion, in a work of “sound craftsmanship”.
Composed, recorded and mixed by Alessandro Barbanera
Mastered by Francis M. Gri