K11 is the nom de plume of the Italian sound artist Pietro Riparbelli. On his last release as K11, 2009’s “Voices From Thelema” (Aurora Borealis Records) Riparbelli visited the ruins of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema Abbey in Cefalu, Sicily, where he entered and proceeded to record and document signals and sounds coming through short-wave radio receivers. An instrumental trans-communication ritual, acting as a conduit for whatever spirits remain in the Abbey.
Continuing with his interest in cathedrals, with the new K11 release “Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D.”, Riparbelli entered Assisi Cathedral in the Umbria region of Italy, not far from Riparelli’s hometown of Tuscany; the 1230 A.D. in the album’s title referring to the date of completion of the original cathedral. Audio was recorded in the cathedral’s lower basilica, the oldest area, where the actual relics of St. Francis Of Assisi are kept.
Again utilizing short-wave radios as his primary “instrument” Riparbelli has captured a haunting array of cavernous sounds, displaced signals and found ambiance. With the addition of some voice and organ elements, Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D. sounds not unlike the recordings of experimentalists Philip Jeck and William Basinski under the influence of Crowleyean Magick and Sacred Geometry. A psychedelic meditation from some medieval crypt captured out of time in the present.
The numbers used in the songtitles are chosen with purpose, all related to the Gematria, the ancient system that assigns numbers to words and how they relate to each other. A video shot inside the cathedral by Riparbelli is included on the disc to give the listener a visual picture of the aging structure. As in all K11’s work, the themes of magick, religion, numerology and esotericism are present throughout this reverent document of aural mysticism.