Giovanni Dal Monte Gives Us A New Aesthetic Music Video For “Upnatma”
Constructing a conceptual double album around the idea of two distinct, perhaps contrasting, eras of human existence is a tall order, especially if those two eras are to be defined only by the artist themselves. italian composer Giovanni Dal Montealso known as La Jovencundertook such a project. Anesthetic, released on June 3, is divided into two distinct parts: Vol. 1, neolithicwhich focuses on the notion of what Dal Monte calls a ‘new stone age‘ in which we are supposed to live now, and Vol. 2, Avoidancesymbolizing the age of Eve, the mother of all mankind in Judeo-Christian mythology.
Dal Monte conceived of these two not only as a philosophical, but also musical antithesis of each other; where the first is marked with ‘ssounds louder, clearer, rhythmic and even dancing‘music he describes as’sometimes tribal‘, the latter consists of ‘softer, poetic and meditative sounds‘. Created in response to our current era of socio-political upheaval, Anesthetic is meant to be a critical reflection of humanity, but also an impetus for a possible way out of our dire situation:
‘With the times we are going through, it is now clear that the existenceThat of humanity and the entire planet are tied together by a thread. Empathy and compassion are the emotions that humanity and the individual must develop. […] Anesthetic not only reports the brutality of the times, but also points to a possible remedy.‘
Both albums are largely the product of a series of improvisations performed by Dal Monte on modular synths and groove machines. “Upnatma”, the song whose music video we are delighted to present to you today, is one such synth-based composition. To give you a vague idea of it, I would say that it is found on Avoidance, the second of two albums; the rest, dear reader, I leave to you to discover for yourself.
Entering the video, we first encounter a small ghost, wandering out of a house through a strange town filled with featureless green and pink people, and eyes staring at the viewer from doors, walls, and even the ground itself. This is where the music is the most basic, the most modest; as soon as the ghost ventures into the forest and the video becomes more lively and psychedelic, the music in turn comes alive with chimes and other small offbeat sounds.
As it progresses through the bustling forest, the ghost encounters (and then transforms into) a variety of animals and fairy tale creatures – a special shoutout to colorful little frogs – before disappearing among the trees. The choice of decor and colors are extremely imaginative and give the whole video a playful and joyful vibe after escaping the terrible city it hails from.
Dal Monte himself frames the music, as well as his personal choice of host, as follows:
‘“Upnatma” was born from an improvisation of sequences obtained from software modular synthesizers. The intention was to achieve a naïve rhyme, an optimistic mantra with the “flavor” of old 8-bit computers. I chose the job of Amhardcore because with its ’80s “Atari” aesthetic, it was perfect for the narrative/visual development of this piece.‘
Amhardcore, an Italian graphic designer/animator, concocted a deliciously psychedelic journey for us while we listen to “Upnatma”. Here’s a look at his thought process:
‘The idea for the story is a cross between the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the first song from Hell by divine comedy by Dante. Basically I wanted to express the idea that before finding something, you have to get lost, get lost, abandon the path. Sometimes we don’t find ourselves in what is familiar and usual. Beyond the conventions, dichotomies, certainties that shape our world, we could discover multiple opportunities, and find ourselves there. Pixel aesthetics have something amphibious and mysterious for me. This is how I interpreted “Upnatma”: bewilderment, interference, epiphany.‘