ALVAX, SOUND EXPLORER

30 January 2021 di Willy the Chip

This post is also available in: Italiano

Original italian version by Bleep

Valeria di Sabato, through her solo chiptune project called Alvax, gives vent to all of her skills and passion for the music, shaping Rusty Pixel, her first album that contains all of her compositions of 2015/2016.

Valeria is a full deep concentrate of stories and experiences to be told, but for today i’m going to leave you a recap of what we talked about!

Hi Valeria, please introduce yourself and tell us about your life and Alvax.

Hi, I’m a sound explorer with a sicilian heart even if I’m based in Milan, where I’ve studied sound design at IED (European Institue of Design) and obtained a master degree in sound art (Ardent Institute). Milan it’s the city where I’ve also discovered the chiptune world, I was so enthusiast to give a new life to my Game Boy that I dedicated to it my second thesis for the IED degree, realizing my tutorial video “In Chip We Trust”, you can find it on youtube. If I have to tell you about Alvax, I can’t really give you a definition but I can surely say that it’s a mix of things, and chiptune is one of these.
I used to work as a direct sound engineer, app sonorization, I realized an installation with an hydrophone, with granular synthesis and also videomapping at Spazio (T)Raum in Milano, a space dedicated to sound art. Actually I’m thinking how I could integrate the Game Boy as a living part of all the things I create. I’m also opening a hotel in my hometown (San Vito Lo Capo)

Not only chiptune but also synthesyzers and other crazy instruments we like! How you got in contact with this amazing world and the thriving micromusic scene of Milan? And how long have you been active?

Exactly! Furthermore in the month of August I had the opportunity to have free access to the EMS Studio of Stockholm (Elektronmusikstudion) where I had the possibility to mess around on the “Serge” and on the “Buchla” too! I’ve discovered the chiptune world in 2013, thanks to a teacher of the IED institute, she told us about DIY and how the sound and the music could be generated from anything, including a Game Boy or an Atari and other machines of that kind. So Intrigued by all this, I began to search on the internet and I ended up on a very cool group on Facebook, Micromusic Italy! full of nice people, always available to help and exchange informations and Ideas about the 8 bit world, I really enjoyed it because such a thing does not happens in a more mainstream electronic music scene. I’ve joined a very useful workshop led by Kenobit and partecipated to the final LSDJ recital where I’ve met other chipfriends, they were all super nice! All of this gave me courage, I also played at Leoncavallo with 0r4!

You are living in the same city of Kenobit, Arottenbit, 0r4 (master of Game Boy mods) and other chiptune legends. Which where every year The MCU (Milano Chiptune Underground), an event organized by Kenobit and Arottenbit, take place. Have you ever been at one of those events? What’s the feedback in north Italy to this kind of music?

Of course!! I’ve been to a couple of those gigs, the one I recall better it’s been at Macao, that night there was Harley Likes Music (UK). Anyway I didn’t expected all that massive response from the people. Also 0r4 has even modded a Game Boy for me!

Well I think that Daniele (0r4) has modded almost all of the Game Boy of the Italian micromusicians! Tell us something about Rusty Pixel, have you worked on this as an album or is it a collection of what you produced ?

Rusty Pixel is a collection of tracks I’ve composed between 2015 and 2016,
I decided to release it for the launch of Gianluca Lonigro’s label
“Heel Records”, who wanted to produce some cassette tapes; I thought it was the best way to put out my tracks and keeping it in the Lo-Fi sphere. The tracks are rough and remind me my past as a raver, even if I changed I can’t deny it, it’s a part of me and my life, so the tracks’ sound is like a throwback in those days. As I’ve already told you, for the next tracks, I’d like to integrate chiptune in my other works.

With the release of this album, will we have a chance to see you around playing?

I’d like to have the time and to play new tracks too.
I hope to have the right opportunities with the new year, honestly I think that I still have to grow more with the chiptune.

Many people often ask me if there’s a university or a school, to have an in depth study of sound and electronic music. Since you have a masters degree in Sound Art, what would you recomend to people who wants to get more into the sound theory?

I used to experiment the most of the things by myself, but if I have to talk about courses or such schools, you are directed and you can learn faster, especially having the possibility to be in touch with the professional world. For me it’s been essential, thanks to Bill Fontana’s workshop I discovered the Hydrophone; that inspired an installation of mine with which I partecipated and been selected for the electronic music award of San Fedele Auditorium, which also has a beautiful acusmonium. Well, If you have the economic possibilities it’s ok, if not you can always do it.

When you compose on LSDJ do you get the inspiration from some artist or is it all in your mind?

Actually when I compose, I’m not inspired from anyone, but I can surely say that Kenobit, Harley Likes Music, Unicorn Kid and Dubmood are my favorites; even if there are many more!

OK,Valeria It’s been a plesure to meet you and good luck for your Hotel!
would you please leave your contacts for the 8-b.it readers?
My pleasure! Here are my web contacts

Sito: www.valeriadisabato.com

Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/vax

Bandcamp: https://alvax.bandcamp.com/releases

A big hug to all the micromusic friends!

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