Not only well known as a mail artist, Vittore Baroni, was also a music producer appearing on many underground releases.
I can’t remember exactly when I began my tape exchanges, it was a long time ago. Let’s see, I discovered mail art in 1977 and I started corresponding straight away with a huge number of international contacts. I was already a music freak, budding rock collector, contributing regularly to small underground music zines. But I never considered myself a musician, more like a collagist, a creative dj. I think the early cassettes I sent out were simple “theme compilations” I assembled for some artists, like a tape with songs all about mail and postmen I remember doing for mail art guru Guglielmo Achille Cavellini. Some of my early correspondents were active in mail art but also in music, like Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire or Masami Akita of Merzbow. Receiving those early home-made cassettes was an illuminating experience, I realized that I also could do something like that, even if I was tone deaf and I never learned to play a guitar. I quickly acquired an ear and a love for noise, cut-up and lo-fi recording in my bedroom with the cheapest equipment available. The poet, musician and mail artist Rod Summers in Holland was putting out in the late Seventies a series of V.E.C. compilations on cassette, and I recorded short pieces for some of them, something between noise and sound poetry, those were probably my first “published” audio works. Seeing my name printed on a cassette cover gave me enough confidence to decide to start my own editions. In early 1980 I conceived the “multiple name” Lieutenant Murnau, releasing and circulating under this name several cassettes (and a vinyl EP)I created with “plunderphonic” techniques. In 1981 with Piermario Ciani I founded the TRAX group/label and at that point the Tape Network was in full swing. We printed tapes in editions of several hundreds of copies, so I had all the material I needed to increase exponentially the number of swaps and collaborations. It all became very hectic and busy (and I haven’t stopped yet!). I still pick up now and then an old favourite cassette and enjoy listening to it after thirty years…
Also check out more of his work in the Mail Art section of this site.