This work is a concept album inspired by the figure of Hassan-i Sabbāh, leader of the Hashishin (from which the word “assassin” comes from), a Persian Ismailite sect. Around 1100 A.D. Hassan-i Sabbāh ruled the Hashishin from the fortress of Alamut, later crushed by the Mongols in their expansionist process.
This work is entirely fictional, meaning it is a very personal and non-historical vision of the encounter of East and West, a fantasy-like exploration of a very far spacetime and world view.
In popular culture Alamut was the center of what we can call now an “intelligence agency” who used to pursue its own agenda via espionage, blackmail, seduction and ultimately political murder. It is often said they used drugs (hashish and perhaps opium) to lure and recruit new soldiers to which they gave a taste of the after life heaven of martyrs through intoxication. Marco Polo wrote about the court of Alamut in his travel diaries. In my case i came in contact for the first time with this cultural construct when i was a teenager via the work of American writer William S. Burroughs.
I imagined a fictional European character on a journey, from the town of Afyonkarahissar (actual Turkey) to Alamut (actual Iran), to meet the “Old Man of the Mountain”, as Hassan-i Sabbāh was also known. What’s the identity of the European man? What’s the motive of his travel? What is the content of the talk between the two men? We don’t know, we can only guess, there’s no answer.
“Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted”.
These tracks were composed and performed implementing a number of different techniques, some acoustic instruments (bansuri, dan-moi, tambourine, tin whistle), analog-digital Eurorack modular synthesizer, the ER-301 sound computer and some very crude self-made Max for Live devices. As usual, all tracks are performed live with very basic editing, and are often based on mixer gestures on an old Allen & Heath GS3 24 tracks analog desk.
Giona Vinti, 21/05/2020 Busto Arsizio (actual Italy).
After last year’s release “Orc”, which I praised for its finely balanced treatment of electronic emotion and raw noise, Giona Vinti is back with a longer and more expansive series of deep electronic soundscapes and rough-textured abstract scenes. This time around there’s a little bit more patterning and even some rhythms. – Chain D.L.K.