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Embodying Formlessness

by xu

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This special limited edition release is in a run of 100 copies, modelled around the classic gatefold vinyl LP. It includes printed front, rear and inner sleeves featuring photography from Peter Nejedly, along with a card sleeve which houses a printed vinyl-effect CDr.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Embodying Formlessness via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 100  5 remaining

      €10 EUR or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €5 EUR  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 20 xu releases available on Bandcamp and save 40%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Something More Beautiful Than Perfection, Arising & Ceasing Of Things, smlsnd, A swirl in slow motion, Gathering, Embodying Formlessness, Taking Refuge, Whisper my world, and 12 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      €34.20 EUR or more (40% OFF)


Equipoise 06:13



The next album in the Xu catalog is ‘Embodying Formlessness’, which Nicola created by recording improvisations performed on his daughter Nina’s toy ukulele and then setting these into non-synchronised loops. These were made by using various pedals by experimenting with ‘blind looping’, a technique used to create unpredictable variations of a certain loop. Additional sounds were layered into the compositions by adding minibrute parts which were also fed into effects pedals and these provide an array of high and low frequencies.
The resulting sound throughout the six tracks that encompass this album is one of a tactile minimalism and the sound itself is a representation of the concept.

In the period during which Embodying Formlessness was created, Nicola was studying the Two Truths, fundamental points developed by Buddhist philosopher Nāgārjuna. These consist of Relative Truth, which is the conventional way in which we perceive reality and Absolute Truth, which is the theory that objects and events have no intrinsic existence and no individual identity, except in our thoughts. Both perspectives are true and neither intellectual position is the correct one. So in summary, phenomena are both real and not real; things exist, yet nothing exists.
There is a sentence in the Heart Sutra which inspired the title for this album:
Form is no other than emptiness; emptiness no other than form. Form is exactly emptiness; emptiness exactly form.

Embodying Formlessness sets out a short collection of existential pieces, crafted from the random placement of melodic source material, adorned with subtle electronics. This provides an ideal backdrop to contemplate the theme of the Two Truths, as you try to separate the difference of what is real and what is perceived.


released September 14, 2019

Written and produced by Nicola Fornasari
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Photography by Peter Nejedly
Packaging design by Harry Towell



A very sensitive, lunar, intimate and sensorial sounding experience, a subjective and contemplative dive in environmental tones and not so familiar sounds. Recommended for fans of impressionistic electronic minimalism, field recordings, mellow ambient sceneries and experimentations which draw on a freeform electroacoustic canvass.

Philippe Blache on Igloomag


Fornasari's blend of cadences is quite mellow, and a bit reminiscent of outtakes from some lost Joni Mitchell recording. And for all the toy jewelry box harmony herein you’ll enjoy the balance found in the roughly hewn mix [...] Fans of Japanese folk music and shoegaze need apply.

TJ Norris on Toneshift


In piena coerenza con l’approccio creativo per cui qualsiasi fonte sonora può costituire materia viva da plasmare [...] Fornasari ricava contenuti armonici da frammenti sparsi, operando una sorta di gioco di specchi la cui duplice natura trova sintesi in singolari connessioni tra vuoti e pieni, tra materia e incorporeità.

Raffaello Russo on Music won't save you


Materiche miniature che disegnano i fragili tratti di un riflessivo universo pervaso da gentili sentori d’oriente. Torna ad ammaliarci con l’essenziale delicatezza della sua vivida tavolozza elettroacustica Nicola Fornasari, sotto l’abituale pseudonimo Xu, regalandoci un nuovo prezioso scrigno di crepitanti visioni ispirati da pensieri su forma e sostanza estrapolati dal pensiero buddista. [...] Una meditativa oasi di quieto incanto.

Peppe Trotta on So What


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xu Cremona, Italy

Xu is the solo project of Nicola Fornasari. It combines elements of ambient, modern classical, minimalism, drone and field recordings.

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