An anthology documenting the sound works by the Italian sound poet Giovanni Fontana (b. 1946). These pieces, dating from 1968 – 2014, are scarcely available; culled from cassette magazines and art-book compendiums, along with two unreleased recordings.
Fontana has been a pioneer of Italian visual poetry, sound poetry, and experimental theater since the mid-1960’s. Together with peer Adriano Spatola, Giovanni worked on the publication Tam Tam (founded in 1972). He also rode in the same wagon as Arrigo Lora-Totino, splicing, pasting, and folding the compass of Italy’s intermedia.
In one light, Fontana’s voice erects a brutal and guttural effigy of man, primitive and hermetic. Yet, stepping to the side – one can see the thin strands of support bolstering such combustibles. As chested-strings of a piano, Fontana strikes firmly across the resonating spread of discovery and acceptance.
In addition to voice; jaw-harp, guitar, whistle, piano, and harpsichord are featured in these recordings, though the musical elements are secondary to the voice. Mouth, throat, and even nose [Poema a naso features a microphone inserted in the nostril] take the stage-light.
The interconnection between Giovanni’s visual and audio artwork is significant. Words twist and dissolve; blotted with ink, soaring across an empty score. This album acts as a frame for these 14 pieces, which can be seen as they are heard – spilling from speakers as letters meeting paper.