R20 – Giovanni Fontana – “Epigenetic Poetry” LP


  1. Audiocollage no.1 (1968) – 1:57
  2. Poema strumentale (1969) – 1:49
  3. Tracciapensieri (1976) – 1:33
  4. Radio/dramma: Cancellature (1977) – 2:17
  5. Campananotte (1979) – 5:19
  6. Radio/dramma: Bzzuiiii (1980) – 3:17
  7. Radio/dramma: Sirene (1980) – 1:34
  8. Alalìa (1983) – 3:55
  9. Poema a naso (1983) – 2:51
  10. Nu chahutant le piano (1998) – 1:23
  11. Sipario 4 – Voci 3, Perdita di fiato (2000) – 2:52
  12. Mask (2009) – 2:28
  13. Per segrete stanze (2009) – 10:33
  14. Vesunna (2014) – 2:01


First Edition (315 copies)
• 16 page 9″x9″ pamphlet with 3 critical essays:

“Hypervox and electrophonic mask” by Giovanni Fontana
“Giovanni Fontana: Poetry as Action and Sound” by Patrizio Peterlini
“Giovanni’s Adventures in Mediumland” by Jean-Pierre Bobillot

Color images (score excerpts, artwork, etc.)
and Program Notes written by Fontana

• Remastered for vinyl by Sean McCann
• Digital download coupon (WAVs / MP3s)

An anthology documenting the sound works by the Italian sound poet Giovanni Fontana (b. 1946). These pieces, dating from 1968 – 2014, are scarcely available; culled from cassette magazines and art-book compendiums, along with two unreleased recordings.

Fontana has been a pioneer of Italian visual poetry, sound poetry, and experimental theater since the mid-1960’s. Together with peer Adriano Spatola, Giovanni worked on the publication Tam Tam (founded in 1972). He also rode in the same wagon as Arrigo Lora-Totino, splicing, pasting, and folding the compass of Italy’s intermedia.

In one light, Fontana’s voice erects a brutal and guttural effigy of man, primitive and hermetic. Yet, stepping to the side – one can see the thin strands of support bolstering such combustibles. As chested-strings of a piano, Fontana strikes firmly across the resonating spread of discovery and acceptance.

In addition to voice; jaw-harp, guitar, whistle, piano, and harpsichord are featured in these recordings, though the musical elements are secondary to the voice. Mouth, throat, and even nose [Poema a naso features a microphone inserted in the nostril] take the stage-light.

The interconnection between Giovanni’s visual and audio artwork is significant. Words twist and dissolve; blotted with ink, soaring across an empty score.  This album acts as a frame for these 14 pieces, which can be seen as they are heard – spilling from speakers as letters meeting paper.

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Excerpt from pamphlet:    [“Hypervox and electrophonic mask” by Giovanni Fontana]


Contamination (a very disturbing term in as much as it is full of significance) always permeates my poetic work. The confluences of several artistic disciplines and the intersections of the languages distinguish it. I have always aimed at poly-dimensionality and not at the mere sum of the elements. When the body, gesture, noises, sound, lights, colours, architectures enter my poetic game, they play inter-linguistic roles. But I always assign a fundamental role to the voice. A structural one. The voice not only mediates, catalyzes; it also forms, organizes, constructs, re-textualizes.

My poetic project that has roots in experiments of “sound poetry”, which began in the late ’60s, is founded on a close interaction between vocalism and writing, in the sense that the former interacts with the latter and vice-versa, creating continuously transforming areas of intervention, in which electronics occupies all but negligible spaces. My writing no longer produces texts, but pre-texts as places to transfigure acoustically and visually, pre-texts as territories of action to re-frame, beyond the page, in spatio-temporal terms, generating writings in motion, poetic performances, capable even of re-generating writings.


Released on June 15th, 2016


SWILL RADIO (Scott Foust):

Fucking brilliant Sound Poetry rescue by Recital. Giovanni Fontana is a Sound Poet active from the late 60s right up to today. Epigenetic Poetry is a survey of his career and is really fantastic. The first nine pieces are from 1968- 1983 and the last five are from between 1993 and 2014. I got a little nervous when the newer stuff started as increased technology is usually a detrimental factor, but, no worries, the newer pieces are just as great as the old ones. This is top notch Sound Poetry with a lot of tape work and some instruments. Epigenetic Poetry is right up there with the best Alga Marghen Sound Poetry reissues. Anybody who is interested in Modern composition should be very interested in Sound Poetry. Comes with a beautiful and informative colour booklet. If you are unfamiliar with Sound Poetry, this would be a great place to dive in.


MALACODA (Italian)