“This is the first time I have lived in Italy since I was fifteen,” says experimental electronic musician Andrée Burelli – who previously performed as Bodyverse. She’s musing on the inspirations of her patient, nurturing new album De Sidera – “and I am overwhelmed by the beauty of its nature, landscapes, and cultural roots.” Having moved from Berlin to Sardinia in her native Italy – the mediterranean has taken on renewed significance. De Sidera is Burelli’s first album with Italian titles, written and recorded in Italy, inspired by the land she inhabits.
Though any and all vocals on De Sidera are wordless, language is central to the album. “I try to make my vocalisms sound like words,” she explains, “but it is a kind of invented language. Somehow the form, the signifier, is enough to express meaning, sense, emotion.” Burelli notes that this concept has resonance with her practice in Greek and Turkish music, in which wordless vocals and instrumental improvisations are common. This is front and center on a song like the title track “De Sidera,” where Burelli’s rising and falling vocals dance atop an undulating, contemplative bassline – close your eyes, and the clear tides of the Mediterranean lap at the sand – her wordless intonations guiding you to a tranquil state.
Burelli remarks that the songs with singing are full productions – “De Sidera” and “Cum Sidera,” but there are also compositions that came from improvisation – the love and usage of looping emerging from her studies in tabla and Hindustani classical music. Songs like “Mediterraneo” and “Cuore Di Piume” are fully loop-based, slowly adding shimmering, melodic layers as the compositions unfold. Others like “Natura Domina” are glacial musings, spilling gentle melodies and cascading piano sounds across the compositions.
De Sidera was conscientiously composed and recorded in a confined area, one surrounded by natural wonder – perhaps because of that it is especially introspective, considering Burelli’s place in her mother landscape. “I closed myself in a special, intimate, creative place,” she says. “I watched the sunset through my window every afternoon during the mild winter in a town between mountains and sea.” Burelli surrenders to the natural world and the ineffability of words – on De Sidera she shares the gem of universality she discovered while doing so.