EP Premiere: Onirologia – ‘Bernardino da Siena’

Italian-American, trans musician Onirologia a.k.a Costantino Toth has released a three-song single EP that collides together techno, black metal, and ambient in order to confront the Roman Catholic Church’s treatment of Queer people.

Bernardino da Siena was released through the Berlin-based Verlag label, produced and mixed entirely by the artist, and mastered by Emme Moises at Soundlab.

Inspired by the likes of Lingua Ignota and Pharmakon, Onirologia uses sound to reclaim their body from intergenerational trauma and to evoke “themes of transformation and homemaking.” Bernardino da Siena continues this conceptual focus and can be streamed in full below:

Bernardino da Siena is Onirologia’s most recent multi-track project. In 2020, they self-released their first album, O, under the ‘Onirologia’ moniker, taken from the Italian word for “scientific study of dreams.” In between these releases, Onirologia worked as executive producer on rapper McKinley Dixon’s album, For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her, slated for an upcoming release on May 7.

Onirologia also contributed a track titled “Rage Gives” to the second volume of the Red Shadows compilation, alongside Ixindamix, Produkkt, Lady Maru, Anna Bolena, and more. The compilation was organized by the Witches Are Back collective to collect funds for sex-workers in Italy, who currently receive no social assistance from the government during this COVID pandemic. Costantino is also currently writing music for a dance choreography that will premiere at the National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv.

On the creative process behind Bernardino da Siena, Onirologia states:

Bernardino da Siena took almost three years to make, despite the short running time. It went through countless revisions, compositionally and mixing-wise. But Bernardino’s spiritual roots date back even further. I was beginning to grasp my gender-queerness towards my last year at university (2016-2017); a realization that brought me incredible amounts of questions and stress.

I lost many nights of sleep by envisioning countless scenarios in which my attempts at coming-out were met with rejection and fury from my family. All this coincided with when I had started to listen to extreme metal, an activity that comforted me greatly during this strange time.

I remember something that my friend, Kevin (who I credit the most for turning me on to metal), had told me: ‘Metal has always been about depicting trauma.’ This phrasing really helped me understand why I found such belonging in a music that many might call ‘harsh’ or ‘abrasive.’ The very sounds that invite these descriptors; blast-beats, errant feedback, screaming, dissonance, etc; have always reflected my own feelings, as a trans person, of dysphoria, fear, anger, and hope.

So, I thought to process said-feelings by making some harsh and abrasive music of my own. Almost five years later, I give you a result: Bernardino da Siena. It isn’t a decisive victory, but it is a coming-out letter. Maybe it will give you some type of solace like it did me.”

Stream the Bernardino da Siena EP through Bandcamp here.

Follow Onirologia on Instagram and Soundcloud.

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