[ Interviste / Interviews ]
Interview with GIUSEPPE VERTICCHIO/NIMH, by Stéphane Froidcoeur.
Published on Side Line Magazine, May 2019.
STÉPHANE: Giuseppe Verticchio is an Italian artist, which is mainly active under the Nimh moniker since 2001.
He released numerous works and collaborative productions on different recognized labels. His work is mainly dealing with darker music influences such as ambient, industrial, ritual and related genres. Quite recently Winter-Light Records has re-released the CD-album “Beyond the Crying Era”, which was originally released in 2012 on vinyl format by Synästhesie Schallplatten. “Beyond the Crying Era” features the six original tracks from “This Crying Era” (original title of the album) plus four extra songs. The work is a fascinating sonic voyage throughout dark sonic realms, which incited me to get in touch with the protagonist of this great work.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Giuseppe, you’re now involved with music for numerous years and have released an impressive number of productions (solo-work and collaborations) while experimented with multiple music genres. What have been the main facts and releases from this prolific career and where does this eclecticism comes from?
GIUSEPPE: For me it’s quite difficult to identify specific “main” events and/or releases in my career, because in some peculiar way each of them is a sort of “building block” in my ever-growing “wall” of musical activities/productions.
Anyway, thinking about it a little more deeply, I can mention something… My first two “real” glass mastered CDs released by Amplexus in 2004 (“The Impossible Days” and “Whispers from the Ashes” with Nefelheim); the extremely gratifying collaborations with Maurizio Bianchi/M.B. in 2005 (“Together’s Symphony”, a 4 CDs box set) and with Pierpaolo Zoppo/Mauthausen Orchestra in 2009 (“From Unhealthy Places”); the first meeting with Andrea Marutti/Amon in 2003 (nowadays he is still a very good friend of mine) and the subsequent collaborative CDs published as “Hall of Mirrors” (“Reflections on Black”, “Forgotten Realm”, “Altered Nights” and the recent “When Only Shades Remain”); my many travels in Thailand (since 1987) and the resulting love for Oriental music/instruments/culture that has “marked” a large part of my musical production and CDs (“Travel Diary”, “The Missing Tapes”, “Krungthep Archives”, “Circles of the Vain Prayers”…); my first (and still only one) LP “This Crying Era” published as a vinyl release in 2012 by Synästhesie Schallplatten, that was recently re-released on CD (thanks to Mark O’Shea of the Winter Light label) in a new enriched and remastered version.
I also have to mention the long-time friendship with Davide Del Col/Antikatechon and his inspiring collaboration (“Out Hunting for Teeth”, and “Nothing is as It Seems” as “We Promise to Betray”) and with Philippe Blache/Day Before Us (“Under Mournful Horizons”).
Last but not least I’d like to mention the nice experience of the two CDs published as “Twist of Fate” with my wife Daniela Gherardi (“Tales from a Parallel Universe” and “September Winds”)… She has always been by my side since 1982, but the idea of trying to “seriously” compose, play and record some music together didn’t struck us until 2014.
Probably my “eclecticism” simply comes from the influence that all the music I listened and loved has had on me in 54 years, and also from my “natural disposition” to always search for something “special”, both in the music that I listen and in the music that I personally create.
STÉPHANE: I think to might affirm Nimh remained your main project. What makes it different from your other projects and how do you see the evolution of Nimh over the years, which is probably linked to your own evolution as artist?
GIUSEPPE: Yes, Nimh is my main project, although during the recent years I often focused my activity on more “musical” and less “dark/experimental” sounds and atmospheres, giving birth to the aforementioned new collaborative projects “Twist of Fate” and “We Promise to Betray”.
Probably in the future some specific Nimh releases will also become more “musical” and less “dark/experimental”, but for the time being this is still the main difference between my main project and the others.
The evolution of Nimh over the years is strictly linked with my everyday life, and with the many changes in everything that happened around me… I began to make and record electronic music with a Desktop PC equipped with a 80386 processor and a MS DOS 4.1 Operating System. It featured only midi facilities… no Hard Disk recording… no MP3 files… no Internet… no samples… no Amazon or any other online shop to buy stuff (acoustic, electronic and ethnic instruments, or other equipment), neither YouTube to find/see/listen/evaluate/download almost anything… It was definitely another era, another world… and my music still changes with the changing of times.
STÉPHANE: Winter-Light has just released the CD-album “Beyond The Crying Era”, which is an extended version of the album “The Crying Era” originally released on vinyl by Synästhesie Schallplatten. The album features a fine selection of songs that got originally released on collaborative albums and compilations. How did this new edition saw the daylight and what do the selected songs mean to you?
GIUSEPPE: When in 2012 Matèo Montero (the guy behind Synästhesie Schallplatten) proposed to me a vinyl release, I decided to put together and publish some old (and good, in my opinion) tracks that, for different reasons, were left “scattered” among compilations, net releases and split CDs, and still not gathered in an “organic” and “physical” way. But a vinyl record can’t hold the same amount of music as a CD, so I was “forced” to leave out or shorten some of the tracks. I also have to note that the LP was pressed in a limited edition of 100 copies only, and that - to be completely honest - I’m not the greatest “lover” of music on vinyl: when I was younger I used to “suffer” quite a lot listening to records full of tedious noises, “clicks” and crackles... So, after some years, I decided to rework the album for the CD format using solely the original full-lenght versions, adding some missing tracks, making additional edits and completely remastering the album to get the best possible result.
The ten tracks included in this new CD edition, released as “Beyond the Crying Era”, are a meaningful “journey” through more than ten years of musical activity and research in dark/experimental “territories”, and I’m very grateful to Mark for having accepted to publish it with incomparable enthusiasm.
STÉPHANE: The songs have been remastered and that’s an interesting item as most of the re-edited albums get remastered. Why is that important and does it mean you were not satisfied with the original mastering? Or do you think a production is never finished and can be always improved?
GIUSEPPE: Theoretically (but also as a matter of fact, actually...) even the addition of a single new track in an existing tracklist generates the need to re-evaluate and readjust the entire mastering work. In my opinion, it is mandatory to check again the audio levels, the volume peaks, the compression parameters, the timbric and dynamic uniformity, the pauses between tracks and - in the end - the “pleasantness” of the complete listening experience of the album in its new defined “flow”. Having said that, I guess you have a picture of what it means, on the technical side, to insert four new tracks in an old tracklist, also changing the sequence of the existing tracks to obtain the best final result, using only the original “uncut” versions.
The new structure of the album simply turned out to be something completely different from the first incarnation, so a careful remastering work was absolutely necessary. I also have to add that the original master was made for a vinyl edition, with its specific technical needs and intrinsic limitations that are not necessary and binding in a master for CD production.
STÉPHANE: The influences running through your music are multiple, but globally speaking the music remains ‘dark’-minded. What fascinates you in this dark-artistic exposure and do you have favorite themes and/or sources of inspiration?
GIUSEPPE: Yes, most of my music is characterized (although in different ways) by “dark” sounds, “suggestions” and atmospheres. But there’s no premeditation in this, it is not intentional and deliberately “planned” or “designed”. Probably I’m often instinctively attracted to this kind of sonorities... But sometimes I am intrigued by “brighter” sounds and atmospheres too, and that is clearly perceptible in some CDs/projects (“Twist of Fate” and “We Promise to Betray” above all). I think it just depends on my mood and different situations. I have no “rules” or a “public face” to “build” and promote. I don’t have well-defined favourite themes or “special” sources of inspiration... Anything in my everyday life can touch and inspire me, thus influencing my musical experiences.
STÉPHANE: I noticed Nimh has no Facebook-page. What’s your perception about social media, streaming platforms ect and their importance/impact for artists, labels, promoters and music lovers?
GIUSEPPE: I am well aware of the importance and usefulness that social media as Facebook and other web platforms have for “common” people, artists, labels, promoters, music lovers, etc.
I evaluated the option to open a personal Facebook page many times, mainly to “support” the Nimh project and to promote my music on the web in a better way. To be honest, I don’t have much spare time to spend on “social” activities, and I don’t really like Facebook a lot as a platform (here I speak both as a common “potential user” and as a software developer, which has been my main profession for many years), so I kept putting it off.
I don’t want to speak ill about it, and of course I know that my choice of not having a Facebook account (until now) may be seen as a little bit “anachronistic”... Simply, it is not my cup of tea for many reasons (technical matters, the company’s policy, censorship issues, data management...) so for the time being you still won’t find an official Nimh (or Giuseppe Verticchio) page on Facebook.
Anyway, my personal website is online since more than fifteen years and my e-mail address is public. Anyone wishing to contact me or needing information about my music can easily google my real name and the Nimh monicker to find lots of results... So, I would say that I’m not absolutely “disconnected” from the World Wide Web.
Talking about streaming platforms as YouTube, Bandcamp and others, generally I’m completely in favour of them: I often use them to discover new music, to check audio previews of CDs that I would like to buy, or to listen to music that is both good and scarce.
I don’t believe that streaming platforms and file sharing practices can heavily damage labels and artists that still invest in the production of CDs and other physical releases. I’m quite sure that real music lovers (as I am...) will always purchase an original CD even if - or exactly because - they already have downloaded, listened and strongly appreciated an album in its digital form. People who occasionally download music or, on the contrary, have an habit of downloading albums in a continuous, almost “compulsive” and “pseudo randomic” way, probably would never spend money to buy a physical release anyway