In April 2018 I was featured on Noisey Italy with photoshoot and an interview by Diego de Angelis, focused on the local underground scene in Bologna (Italy).
Photos by Giuliana Capobianco.
The interview is available in italian here and hereby translated in english.
“Irene a few years ago was one of the two voices and guitar player of a synth-pop group called Le Ceneri e i Monomi. In those days Irene was just over 18 and hearing her new work under the name of Guenter Råler is amazing. There is an abysmal distance, especially in originality, between the old and the new world of Irene. We decide to portray her in the Giovanni Battista Martini Conservatory, the place where she recently graduated after a bachelor in electronic music and sound design.
We shot pictures into one of the rooms dedicated to the electronic music studenrs and while we were talking a little boy a few meters from us was playing the organ in the main aisle, probably sacred music.
“In second grade I had friends who made electronic music. I installed my first cracked software in those years. The relationship with music was born almost secretly from my parents, who would have seen it as a waste of time. I did very cheap-sounding stuff in the beginning, approaching the world of electronics with more easy listening music like Slow Magic or Tycho. I mainly am self-taught in music production, so I felt like I needed a place to learn to produce. During my Erasmus in Stockholm I put together all the stimuli I had received in the previous year and in my time in Sweden and found my own personal aesthetic. I needed to get away from the theoretical path too tied to old pioneers like Cage or Stockhausen; in Stockholm I developed a lot, finding a very fertile environment. I began to be interested in visual arts and interactive installations too; in north Europe there is a crazy scene, like Kablam or Toxe, more like disrupted EDM, with unstable rhythms. I really loved it.".
Today Irene works as a sound designer as well, including video games, interactive installations and audiovisual pieces.
When you visit the Soundcloud page, you realize that Guenter's aesthetics (and poetics) are obviously linked to the world of cyberspace.
“Guenter Råler is a name I found in cracked plugin. I chose to use it because it was someone without a precise identity to me. It reconnects to the theory of cyberfeminism, using a name or a platform where you are not obliged to share a certain representation of yourself ".
Irene runs a website site where she collects posters and aesthetics on the cyberspace, the realm of the liberation of bodies from the old patriarchal world.
"I started from the Fluxus movement to get to Marina Abramovich's manifesto ‘Art Vital’, then the xenofeminism manifesto and many other".
Listening to Guenter Råler's compositions is a bit like ending up in a digital graveyard or, perhaps, in paradise or its limbo. It is the reason why I decided to include it in this chart. The concepts that inspire her and the music she composes, in this part of Europe, and in Bologna and its surroundings, is quite unique for a girl of her age. Irene's music reminds me of the concept of hauntology originating in Derrida but reinterpreted by Mark Fisher. One of the ways to define the word hauntology is to imagine it as a ghost of things, being, in an ontological crisis, something that is neither alive nor dead. Guenter Råler's music made me think that it is made of this hauntological non-matter, dysfunctional melodies on an empathic level, which do not come from the world outside the computer but that they have a soul. Ghosts.
“The concept of energy in Akira really interests me, of an uncontrollable force; as well as the aesthetics of the film, in its epic-dystopic landscapes, the lights of Neo-Tokyo ... there is an ecstasy, but it’s decadent. "
Listening to Guenter's music, from her singles as well as in the entire side dedicated to her in St. Nicolai, it is possible to travel - miraculously without having to take drugs - towards the abyss of history.