The recent death of Alessandro Mendini marked a serious loss for Italian and international project’s world designer, architect, artist, theorist-essayist, magazine director, Mendini since the late 70’s has made contamination between art and design his distinctive feature. He intended decoration as an element capable of freeing the object from the slavery of function, and made this one of his strenuous battles. Perhaps not many know, however, that this multifaceted personality was also interested in music, which pushed him to realize, in 1983 with a group of musicians and artists (some among may others Matia Bazar and Magazzini criminali) an album entitled “Architettura sussurrante” (“Whispering Architecture”).
Published in a limited edition and not available for years, this unique and unusual work in which Mendini sings (or better to say, whispers) in three pieces is now available again in a white vinyl and CD version. “When we close our eyes and try to perceive architecture in a total, more anthropological than geometrical way – explains Mendini in the cover notes – here is the smell, the touch, the warmth, the darkness of architecture. (…) If we then approach our ear to the walls of a room, they speak to us, they tell us their message, the song accumulated by the generations that have lived joy and sorrow life and death in-between those walls. This is the sense of the collection of songs, and noises of this album: the sound is “constitutive element”, “auditive decoration” of projects and architectures, the sound is a component of complex architectural experiences”.
The 2019 edition of “Architettura Sussurrante”, despite being a philological re-presentation of the 1983 original, is not an identical copy. The cover was redesigned by the New York studio Anti-B Design on the basis of the original, but with a restyling and a contemporary homage. Moreover, Mauro Sabbione – who with Matia Bazar had contributed to the original project – offers for this edition an oblique and expanded remake of the song “Casa Mia“. This new song is not included in the vinyl, but only on the CD, in the Digital Download and, in streaming, on Youtube and Spotify.
Above: Ferry boat, models for workshop with Gino Finizio, Alessandro and Francesco Mendini, 2009