LCAO is an innovative musical project that combines a purely scientific approach with electronic music. Its creator, Michele Scarpetta, is originally from Italy and has been driving Berliners wild with his sophisticated sound in exclusive clubs since 2015.
Can music and chemistry go together? The answer is absolutely yes. That is what the LCAO project is all about. Inspired by Primo Levi’s book The Periodic Table, the name says it all. The acronym stands for the Linear Combination of Atomic Orbitals, and represents the ideal fusion of the passions of Michele Scarpetta, the project’s creator. In fact, the author perfectly mixes his scientific approach to music with his passion for chemistry and the formulation of the laws of nature. All this gives rise to perturbing melodies, which captivate the attention of its listeners, taking them into another dimension.
Michele defines his music as eclectic electronic: from an electronic base, the author skilfully composes harmonious pieces full of influences ranging from post-rock to modern free jazz and pop music. The narratives proposed are therefore abstract and referential at the same time. In each beat, there is the scientist’s need to translate and make concrete languages, such as those of physics or chemistry, which are only apparently distant.
With a past as a sound technician, Scarpetta declines in a digital key all his attraction to different musical genres: new wave, post-rock, dub and electronic, with various incursions into the environments of pop, jazz, hip hop, songwriting and R&B.
“I was born in the province of Salerno in 1984 and I lived until I was 24 in my small town, Roccapiemonte, basically studying until I graduated in chemistry,” he says. “As a teenager I realised that records would condition my life and I started studying modern guitar. I played post rock, new wave… After illuminations from Mogwai first, David Sylvian and the 80s later. In 2009, with the desire to make music part of my daily life, I started a two-year course as a sound engineer. From there, a path that is still ongoing between being a sound engineer, producing and packaging sounds with technical skills, discovering and espousing the cause of the language of electronic music“.
The LCAO project has been active since 2015, when an EP and a full-album, Forbidden Transitions, was released on a Portuguese-German label, with graphics and titles inspired by quantum mechanics. Science pervades everything, not only the music: it is living matter in the videoclips, in the titles, in the graphics… Everything is thought and influenced by concepts that Michele particularly loved during his university years.
The following year Michele moved to Berlin, where he still lives and works. Over the years, LCAO has enjoyed success and acclaim, receiving support from Rui Vargas and Jazzanova, as well as media support from Antena 3, CDR Berlin and most recently XLR8R. But his fame doesn’t stop there: LCAO has remixed several songs, his original video clip ‘Allowed Transitions’ has been featured at film festivals in Italy and China, and finally he also has his own monthly radio show, eloquently named ‘The Periodic Music of Elements’, broadcast on RBL Berlin.
Where can you hear him play? He is scheduled to play a DJ set on 11 March at the Christa Kupfer , a popular dancing club in the Kreuzberg district, at the opening of the ‘Alles Paletti’ event. This is a musical event that has been curated by “Radio Banda Larga Berlin” in the city for years. You can buy your ticket here:
In addition, it will be at KAOS, a creative and multidisciplinary co-working space that hosts a variety of events, and located in an atmospheric location directly on the river Spree. Here LCAO is an integral part of the 2022 concert programme, and will be holding a live-set as the evening’s headliner.