There's a snow storm headed your way. From the car speakers, the weather forecast calls for bad weather coming. The driver, whose name we do not know, is returning or heading to or from an undisclosed destination. A night show is aired, it might be a local radio she or he has just tuned in; its show host, while meditatively lingering around big topics like time, nature, human vs nature... acknowledges the driver directly - not to the metaphorical driver out there, the invisible listener - and points out different moments that happen outside of the vehicle for the driver to perceive.
During this night drive, the weather begins to pick up and change into a snow storm. With it, strange and anonymous voices are heard in the backdrop, bringing back distant sounds and moments in time that don't seem to add up...
Joe Cimino is an Italian-American visual artist, musician, producer, and podcaster, living and working between New Jersey, and Florence, Italy. Growing up traveling back and forth from the United States to Italy, he holds on to his dual cultural Identity and it remains present in his artistic practice. He holds a BFA in studio art from Rowan University and is currently in the middle of his MFA in studio art at Studio Arts College International, Florence Italy. Besides his visual arts career, Joe works as a producer and electronic musician, with his music located on Soundcloud. He is also the producer and co host of the Podcast, The Uncanny County Museum.
In The Midnight Drive Cimino's personal aesthetic emerges. The central plot builds up expectations that are never fullfilled: what are we listening to? What's the story? What's happening and when is it happening? Joe plays around with the language and the tropes of both radio and podcasts and he manages to never have them sound as one would expect them to.
It is in what Joe calls the peripheries of The Midnight Drive that the story lies. This is an invitation to not only pay attention to what’s in front, but what is also happening in the background.
To fully enjoy the sound, put your headphones on and add the prologue + the 4 episodes to Radio Papesse's playlist for a binge-listening.
Episode 1 | Welcome Back to The Midnight Drive
It's nighttime, it's the beginning of a road trip, we don't know where to or from, we don't know who's the driver, but we do know that a blizzard is coming. The radio tunes in to The Midnight Drive, the host talks about time, the philosophical concept of time and meanwhile a car accident has happened on the I 76 highway.
Episode 2 | The Cabin in the Snow
Same driver, same car, same radio show on, snow is coming! The Midnight drive's host is now thoughtfully talking about the weather and he soon starts reflecting around climate change and about our relation to nature. Mentioning the snowfall that is happening outside the car, the radio voice draws the driver's attention - yes, our driver - to a cabin that is coming up nearby: the light shining through the windows, the smoke coming out the chimney...they must be waiting for guests....
Episode 3 | Do You Remember?
The wind is howling outside, the wipers are on as the radio blurts out with breaking news regarding a severe snow storm and road closures. The driver is again greeted by the DJ. The DJ introduces Memory Lane, a special - and strangely cheerful - edition of The Midnight Drive. He addresses the driver: let's take a look at your earliest memory! Another (sound-rich) journey begins, into the driver's distant and close memories, from his or her childhood to a recent past. The DJ fast forwards the Memory Lane tape again and it stops at a point where a car alarm is heard in the background...
Episode 4 | It's Time to Wake Up
The robotic voice of an answering machine says “you have one missed call”....“Hey I'm sorry I missed your call, I just wanted to let you know I'm going to be getting to the party late...the address is 4 Milwood Lane right? Anyway, I'm not sure about this weather…” This is what we can tell you about the 4th and last episode, we do not want to spoil the end!