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Opalio, Roberto

Once You'll Touch The Sky You Will Never Return To Dust

Opalio, Roberto : Once You'll Touch The Sky You Will Never Return To Dust (Opax Records / Elliptical Noise)

Half of the Italian improvising duo My Cat Is an Alien, Roberto Opalio uses prepared mini-keyboard, handmade shortwave receiver, alientronics, and vocalizations to create this improvised prelude and statement, a shifting work that draws the listener into mesmerizing sonic environments of alien origin and transports them deceptively between ringing and textured vistas.

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product information:

Label: Opax Records / Elliptical Noise
Catalog ID: AO6578CD
Squidco Product Code: 25781

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Italy
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at My Cat Is An Alien's secret Alien Zone HQs in Western Alps by Roberto Opalio.


Roberto Opalio-prepared mini-keyboard, handmade shortwave receiver, alientronics, wordless vocalizations

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Artist Biographies:

"Roberto Opalio is a sound and visual artist from Torino, Italy, now living in a remote region of the Western Alps.

Self-taught, outsider artist, his work includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, poetry, film/videos, audiovisual installation, and live performance.

Since 1997, in duo with his brother Maurizio, he runs the musical project My Cat Is An Alien, for which Roberto created the band's "alien cat" logo, and has always been curating the artworks of all of their records. My Cat Is An Alien play a relevant role within the international avant-garde and experimental music scene, as The Wire magazine's cover dedicated to them shows.

In the last years the collaboration between the two brothers developed more and more in the field of visual art as well.

The artist's creative act comes through a proper ritual, whose process originates, develops and is achieved like an act of violent determination, where both a strong intellectual awareness and the pure unawareness of the fortuitous moment melt in a clash / crash which is performed around an action in real-time.

In visual art, from paintings to photography and videos, Roberto Opalio's takes elements of highly physical, terrestrial nature (glass and crystal fragments, wax, rocks, bark and branches, iron wire, etc.) and elevate their essence to pure cosmic matter, thus returning them to the atemporal dimension of the Spheres.The main feature of most of Roberto Opalio's paintings and drawings is his own Alien icon. A stick figure with extended arms and legs, its head is represented by a single, big elliptical eye, permanently wide-open and staring out at the universe that surrounds it.

The artist prefers the use of analog and obsolete means, supports and materials, such as expired polaroid instantaneous films, slides and b/w films, 8mm and super8 reels, handmade phonograph records, in an ongoing research of new experimental languages.

In the last few years Roberto Opalio has performed his videos and specific audiovisual installations in various arts & music spaces and festivals in Italy and Europe, including the Sage Gateshead Newcastle and CCA Center of Contemporary Arts Glasgow (UK), La Casa Encendida Madrid, Victoria Hall Geneve and Fri-son Freiburg (CH), Les Instants Chavirès Paris, Galeria Ze' dos Bois Lisbon, Torino BIG Biannual of Young Artists 2000, Interzona Verona, Init and Rialto S.Ambrogio Roma, Zo' Catania in Italy; group exhibition at Promotrice Delle Belle Arti Torino, as well as many private audio visual solo performances in secret non-art locations of the Western Alps.

Roberto Opalio's drawings and poetry works have been published in journals worldwide, including Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, Thee Flat Bike and Dream Magazine in USA, Cocktail Molotov Journal in Brazil, The Sound Projector in UK, Sloow Tapes' My Favourite Magazine in Belgium among others.

In 2005 Roberto Opalio was invited to contribute an original painting for one of The Wire magazine's exclusive limited art t-shirts.

From October 19th to November 11th 2007 Roberto Opalio's 'Frammenti Cosmici' first solo exhibition took place at gallery space Zuni in Ferrara, Italy, presenting several new paintings and drawings, photos, installations, and an opening audiovisual live performance; recommended event by The Wire.

In 2008 he was commissioned an exclusive artwork illustration by Studio Voice multi-media magazine, Tokyo, Japan.

In February 2008, Roberto Opalio's dual film 'Light_Earth_Blue_Silver', with soundtrack by My Cat Is An Alien, has been published in DVD format by Atavistic Worldwide (USA), and presented at Netwerk Center for Contemporary Art in Aalst (Belgium) in March 2009, and at NETMAGE.10 International Live-Media Festival in Bologna (Italy), January 2010.

From 2008 to 2010 Roberto Opalio participated to SONIC YOUTH etc.: SENSATIONAL FIX touring group exhibition, featuring works by Christian Marclay, Richard Prince, Mike Kelley, Gerhard Richter, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Matt Groening, Vito Acconci, George Maciunas, Paul McCarthy, Cameron Jamie, Ed Ruscha, Gus Van Sant, Raymond Pettybon,John Cage, William S. Burroughs, Robert Smithson, Christopher Wool, Jonas Mekas, to name a few.

The exhibition, curated by Roland Groenenboom, was presented in several European museums of contemporary art: LiFE, St. Nazaire (France), Museion, Bolzano (Italy), Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (Germany), CA2M Madrid (Spain),Malmo Konsthall (Sweden).

Roberto Opalio contributed '#6' of his "Alien Guitar Case Series" mixed media installation, and his film 'Alien Blood' with soundtrack by My Cat Is An Alien. Both works are published in the official catalog of the exhibition (Walter Konig), winner of the first prize of 2008 competition organised by L'Arbre à Lettres, Paris.

Two artwork illustrations by Roberto Opalio in collaboration with his brother Maurizio are published in the compendium catalog SENSATIONAL FIX ZINE #2 'NOISE', featuring contributions by selected artists participating to the exhibition SONIC YOUTH etc: SENSATIONAL FIX. Among these artists: Marco Fusinato, Marnie Weber,Kim Gordon, Christian Marclay.

In December 2009 Roberto Opalio took part to ART'AMBIENTE LIGHT & RECYCLE group exhibition at Spazio Etoile, Rome, presenting two works: 'Alien Guitar Case #3' and 'Tear in the Void', published in the official exhibition catalog."

-Roberto Opalio Website (

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track listing:

1. Prelude 3:13

2. Once You Touch The Sky You Will Never Return To Dust 46:47

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Once you'll touch the sky you will never return to dust is the fifth studio album by Roberto Opalio ("the more sinister half of My Cat Is An Alien" according to Byron Coley).

Along with My Cat Is An Alien's 'The Sky With Broken Arms', this solo release officially opens the duo's 20th Anniversary in 2018-a year rich of exciting projects, collaborations and releases.

In addition to his innate, idiosyncratic improvisation skill, Roberto's contribution to My Cat Is An Alien was to give the project a strong multimedia and visual esthetics which still stands out as a distinctive trait. He indeed created the "alien cat" logo, My Cat Is An Alien's trademark, which was initially hand sprayed on the handcrafted covers of MCIAA's first 'self-titled' CD-R, then associated with the brothers' own Opax Records private imprint, printed on posters and t-shirts, even used as subject of some of the duo's artist books. Having been doing painting, glass art and photography for several years before MCIAA formed, his own works in visual art revealed a rich source of material to use as cover artworks of the band's 200+ albums released worldwide so far. Especially, Roberto Opalio's iconic figure of the "Alien", "[..] a stick figure with widely extended arms and legs, its head a single sharply elliptical eye, permanently open and staring out at the universe that surrounds it [..]" (Ken Hollings / THE WIRE), symbolizing the transfiguration of the existential vision of the last human being on Earth, gets painted, drawn or sculpted in iron wire in most of his works, including his "cinematic poetry" films projected during MCIAA's live performances. Photography had a great impact on MCIAA's imaginary as well, Roberto capturing with b&w 35mm films, slides and Polaroids thousands of views of his hometown Turin's industrial monuments of early 1900's before politicians demolished almost everything-this is the reason why the cover of MCIAA's 'Landscapes Of An Electric City' released by THURSTON MOORE on his Ecstatic Peace! label is now a prime example of "ghost cover". Polaroids played a distinctive role also during the band's live performances: Roberto's 'On-Stage Live Action Series' art installations testimony hundreds of shots taken while playing his trademarked "space toys", which he abandoned in 2012 for primitive, modified electronic devices called "alientronics".

Well known for his unique wordless vocalizations, his more sporadic spoken word poems reveal Roberto Opalio's mastery in entitling all of MCIAA's albums and pieces since the beginning. Roberto Opalio exhibited alongside artists such as MIKE KELLEY, RAYMOND PETTIBON, TONY CONRAD, JOHN CAGE, WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS, GERARD RICHTER to name a few. With his brother Maurizio he's been under the radar of thousands of visitors during the opening days of the 57th VENICE ART BIENNALE in May 2017, when MCIAA activated the Studio Venezia project at the French Pavilion invited by artist XAVIER VEILHAN and curator CHRISTIAN MARCLAY.

Once you'll touch the sky you will never return to dust is a new 1-hour long instantaneous composition performed with a prepared mini-keyboard, a handmade shortwave receiver and Roberto Opalio's patented alientronics and wordless vocalizations. It is a masterpiece of modern minimalism, an ecstatic voyage where time and space lose their meaning, thus glorifying the poetic lyricism of the "here and now", that "eternal now" that other visionary artists and vanguards of the past have always dealt with, from FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE to MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS. "Towards the Sun", headed ARTHUR RIMBAUD. "Space Is The Place", asserted SUN RA."-Opax Records / Elliptical Noise

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

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