Sacro Bosco (“Sacred Grove”) is the starting point for Anna von Hausswolff’s new album All Thoughts Fly, incoming on Southern Lord on 25th September. Here in solo instrumental mode, the entire record consists of just one instrument, the pipe organ, and represents absolute liberation of the imagination. All Thoughts Fly radiates a melancholic beauty, and is distinguished by fluid transitions of contrasting elements; calmness and drama, harmony and dissonance, much like the place that inspires the music.
Sacro Bosco is a garden, based in the centre of Italy, containing grotesque mythological sculptures and buildings overgrown with vegetation, situated in a wooded valley beneath the castle of Orsini. Created during the 16th Century, Sacro Bosco was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini, some say to try and cope with his grief following the death of his wife Guilia Farnese, others speculate the purpose was to create art.
About the album Anna explains “there’s a sadness and wilderness that inspired me to write this album, also a timelessness. I believe that this park has survived not only due to its beauty but also because of the iconography, it has been liberated from predictable ideas and ideals. The people who built this park truly set their minds and imagination free. All thoughts fly is a homage to this creation, and an effort to articulate the atmosphere and the feelings that this place evokes inside of me. It’s a very personal interpretation of a place that I lack the words to describe. I’d like to believe Orsini built this monumental park out of grief for his dead wife, and in my Sacro Bosco I used this story as a core for my own inspiration: love as a foundation for creation.”
The accompanying video for the first single "Sacro Bosco" is, just like the music, an interpretation of the park with an imaginary twist. Directed by Gustaf and Ludvig Holtenäs.
Anna summarises, “Sacro Bosco in Bomarzo is a creation carved out from one man’s head. A frozen thought lasting throughout time and touching people across generations. All thoughts fly, Ogni Pensiero Vola, is about this: the importance of sharing for surviving, creating space and evolving. Once you’ve shared your words they are not only yours anymore."
All Thoughts Fly ultimately embodies the exploration of any and all possibilities, and the audience is invited to listen, liberate the mind and let it wander.
Notes on the recording process:
The organ on All Thoughts Fly is situated in Gothenburg and is a Swedish replica of the Arp Schnitger organ in Germany. It is the largest organ tuned in Quarter-comma meantone temperament in the world. With it’s four manuals, one pedal and 54 stops, it was built as part of a ten-year research project reconstructing 17th Century North German organ building craft. The tuning temperament is an important detail to note here, as it deeply affects the sound and tuning, and thus radically changed the process of creating this album. Anna speaks of a pleasant surprise during recording, the organ's ability to create beautiful "pitching" notes through its stops and air supply system. She remarks “We took advantage of this so most of the pitching sounds and notes that you hear on the album comes from the mechanics of this organ, effects made entirely acoustically." The organ was recorded with two room mics for atmosphere and two pairs of close mics placed inside the organ to capture nuances and detail for further organ sound processing by Filip Leyman in his studio.
released September 25, 2020
All songs written & played by Anna von Hausswolff
Organ sound design by Filip Leyman and Anna von Hausswolff
Produced and mixed by Anna von Hausswolff & Filip Leyman
Mastered by Hans Olsson at Svenska Grammofonstudion
Recorded in Örgryte New Church, in Gothenburg January 2020.
Organ recorded with mobile equipment from Svenska Grammofonstudion
Cover photo & inner sleeve photo by Gianluca Grasselli
Layout & design by Tina Damgaard