The Squid's Ear Magazine

Raia, Antonio : Asylum [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

Naples tenor saxophonist Antonio Raia's album of solo saxophone improvisations employs a mix of traditional and unusual techniques in 12 concise pieces that fragment "scraps" of melody into a diverse ruminating streams, recorded at the city's Filangeri Asylum by sound artist Renato Fiorito, using ten microphones to capture the unique qualities of the space.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063104851

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF485LP
Squidco Product Code: 26672

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: LP
Recorded at l'Asilo, in Napoli, Italy, on September 11th-16th 2017, by Renato Fiorito.


Antonio Raia-tenor saxophone

Renato Fiorito-Engineer

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"A chuckle or a grimace of memento, a shiver of rage or the same, but due to a steamy game and, most of all, a urge. Let the whole world in, and turn it out into an exploration, a clash of fire with this crooked, wooden, coppery, galvanized sort of dragon. You cannot help but tailoring a path, especially if necessary to ultimately represent yourself, so you can either choose a so called neutral recording studio, in order to dry up and focus every shift, or seize live connections with people, a not-so-aware public capable of supporting the crystallization of that once-in-a-lifetime show.

To build Asylum up I've gone for the 3rd option: me (and my instrument) and Renato Fiorito along with his 10 mics, aiming to portray 1000 m of mere space. In the very core of Naples, the whole Filangeri Asylum former dining hall played with us, in a harmony of wood and tuff, an everlasting patient background for the shifting valzer of thousands, a living, breathing, sizzling organism, bouncing notes and fragments of past and future lives, but also ticking together with leaving, stopping or passing by folks' steps. Looking forward to welcome and share freedom with a world in need of it, now more than ever."-Antonio Raia

"Antonio Raia is a young and talented Italian saxophonist who chose not to take the path of extreme music-shedding to carve himself a name and shape his identity. His few and very well planned outputs, both as records and concerts, are always arranged with exceptional care and Asylum, his second album, is no exception.

The record, out for the Portuguese label Clean Feed, contains twelve tracks for 31 minutes of play. A collection of short pieces, small postcards suggesting colourful memories and scented glimpses of antique melodies that unleash countless references to Mediterranean timeless traditions.

A welcome gift starting by its name Asylum, containing in itself the concept of acceptance, affording an open attitude that we find again in his approach to structure. The melodic lines in the pieces are fragmented and each fragment then investigated, providing a different angle for us to consider. This exposition follows a well-established and linear continuum in which Antonio takes the listener by the hand and gently guides them along the path, from the beginning to the end.

Across the whole album a strong relationship between the saxophone and the performing space is established. Renato Fiorito, the audio engineer who recorded and mixed Asylum, comes from the film industry and experimented with unusual microphone placement techniques that introduce proximity and take advantage of the peculiar reverberating space in which the album is recorded. The in-situ experience blends together with the sound of the saxophone and offers a rich and deep design of textures that become even more evident when Antonio plays in the lowest frequency range as in “There is wind among the rocks” or when he introduces noisy elements like in “the sound of voice migled with scraps”.

The choice of not recording in a studio nor recording a live concert setting becomes crucial in tailoring the identity of the whole work and contributes a lot to its unicity. Track after track Asylum is always able to surprise and to leave us wondering of what more is that tenor sax capable of. I guess we will hear more from Antonio in the future as we keep our eyes open for important collaborations to come."-Giuseppe Pisano, Toneshift

Also available on CD.
Get additional information at Toneshift

Artist Biographies

"Antonio Raia was born in Naples on 22/03/1988. At the age of 19 he began his tenor saxophone studies and graduated with honors in jazz sax at the Conservatory of Music of Salerno, G. Martucci, in 2013. He studied and attended master classes with many saxophonists and composers of the national and international scene, including : Jerry Bergonzi, Adam Rudolph, Archie Shepp, David Ryan. He played and shared the stage with: Adam Rudolph, David Ryan, Decibel Ensamble, Colin Vallon, Zu, Zeni Geva. Conduction experiences with Adam Rudolph and Elio Martusciello with whom he is still in concert activity.

In 2014 he released for Auand Record "Chaos Magnum" in collaboration with Forefront. In January 2015 he released for Auand Record "Infanticide" for Caterina Palazzi-Sudoku Killer; Sudoku Killer member since 2013. In April 2015 he released "Stories of a vain diary" concept-work video & music, project by and edited by Antonio Raia.

Since 2013 he has been involved in the jazz-core / free form in concert activity and performance art for over 70 performances a year. He has performed, and still continues, in national and European festivals, festivals and museums (Switzerland, Slovenia, Norway, France, Croatia). From 2015 he studies instant photography."

-Rockit.IT (Translated by Google) (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Composer, performer, sound artist and sound engineer.

Born in Naples, 07/28/87. Since his childhood, he was intersted and obsessed by sound and its innumerable declinations and experiments.

After the degree in DAMS Music at the University of Bologna with a thesis on Ginevra di Scozia by Johann Simon Mayr, he attends for a year a course at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, where he gained the first skills in the microphone recording modes.

Back in Naples in 2013, he dedicates himself completely to sound research and sound engineering. His aesthetics is the result of a thin balance between roaring sounds and irregular rhythms, through field recordings as the main material for the creation of immersive sound environments.

He collaborated with some artists such as Fabrizio Elvetico, Antonio Raia, Bob Ostertag, Gino Robair, Orchestra Elettroacustica Officina Arti Soniche, Crossroads Improring.

He performed at some italian sound research festivals like Flussi EU, Free Flow Fest, Solchi Sperimentali Fest Campania.

He takes part at the Infrasuoni table, the group that deals with the music offer of l'Asilo in Naples. With that group, he gave birth to NISE, a non-collective that aims to the spread of a different sound culture.

Under the Matz! moniker he made some performances and interactive installations, such as Capera! and Diade, aimed at bringing the audience closer to a sonic world often considered difficult to spread and enjoy."

-Sonorus Records (

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Track Listing:


1. Torna a Surriento 2:08

2. Refugees 4:08

3. The lights inside scream 3:31

4. There is the wind among the rocks 1:19

5. Dicentencello Vuje 3:09

6. The sound of voices migled with scraps 1:20


1. Fire on heart 1:41

2. Follow the trail 1:53

3. Misty 1:53

4. The children in the yard 3:27

5. To Giulia Asylum 1:41

6. Lullaby Asylum 4:02

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings
Record Store Day 2023

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