A crisis, as a turning point, is a time of opportunity for those who make it through discomfort.
Like never before, in moments of despair we can allow our butterfly to free itself from its chrysalis and spread its wings. Like never before, when we are caught in the deepest discouragement (Unable goes «I had to reach the bottom») and we have nothing left to lose, we can get completely naked, tearing away the clothes we wear in order to play our role in life.
Then we get back in touch with aspects of ourselves that were lying asleep, buried under piles of dismissed clothes, abandoned in the dressing room where we tried so many ones, in search of those that we believed would fit us best, so many that we cannot even remember what we look like when we are naked.
So, on the bottom of the lacuna of his crisis, Fabio Scagliola found that piano tune he had recorded in 1996 and now introducing Hand in hand, one of the most inspired tracks of Portrayed by a blind painter, the first studio album produced by his personal music project Nothence.
One winter night at the end of 2009, five friends got together in a rehearsal room in Lugano, Switzerland, to cover a few songs; Fabio is on the bass. On the third rehearsal session Fabio finds himself in company of Oscar Armanini, whom he switches role with (from now on Oscar is on the bass and Fabio on the guitar), and Francesco Sabatelli, sitting at the drums. Francesco and Oscar suggest that Fabio play his songs and they manage to overcome his initial resistance to share such a personal matter. On July 31, 2010, the first amateur recordings. Soon after, unfortunately, due to work engagement, Francesco has to leave the band, and the drumsticks pass into the hands of Rodolfo Wacker.
One year later, the time is ripe: Fabio calls his old friend and music producer Alberto Rapetti, under whose masterly direction, between April and August 2012, in Verona, Italy, they record the 15 songs (including the hidden track) that make up the first studio album by Nothence. Fabio plays guitars, bass, and piano, and he sings; Pietro Micheletti plays the drums.
Pietro is a current member of Nothence, together with Fabio's brother Massimo (bass), and Giorgio Marcolungo (guitar).
Portrayed by a blind painter is made available for streaming on September 1, 2012 (birthday of Fabio's son Matteo), published as a digital album on October 1, 2012 (birthday of his friend Herbert Jansen), and released as a CD on November 1, 2012 (birthday of his friend, and first Nothence drummer, Francesco).
Unable, the song that, better than any other, condenses the essence of Fabio's first independent production, is chosen as the first single extracted from the album. It inspires a video directed by filmmaker Luca Adami, published on November 23, 2012.
Started as a game, for Fabio the Nothence project becomes an extremely serious exercise of personal catharsis, soaked in a magma of literary, musical, and psychological elements.
The sources are a place for inspiration, but not for repetition; recognizable, but reworked; they are suggestions: riffs, distorted sounds, a couple of songs in 7/4; everything recalls grunge music, so much consumed during the formative years.
The songs on Portrayed by a blind painter tell the descent of a modern Orpheus into his personal Hades, to sing his grief, his anger, his loneliness. But the tale is modern, the metamorphosis is no longer that of Ovid, but one that, even before you start listening to the album, is returned by the self-portrait on the back cover: among the tears, "something" emerges, comes out, comes to light, reborn.
Through the grief and anger cried in It hurts and Unable, the loneliness sung in Alone and Empty room, the questions without answer of Where are you? and Who am I?, we relive the crisis. However, like in every actual crisis, there is evolution, there is hope: The sun is coming back are the words written by Matteo for his father to sing them.
It is a hard, merciless music; it gives no discounts; it does not come to terms with a mainstream audience; it is intimate and touching; and that is why everyone can reflect in it like in a mirror for black days, knowing that behind the clouds the sun will still be there.
In May 2013, Fabio returns to the studio, once again under Alberto's invaluable guidance behind the control room glass, to begin recording the second album, despite the origin of the name Nothence, which conceals the initial purpose: it should have been "the nonce", which in cryptography indicates a number used only once, later anagrammed to "nothence" after a typo.