by Rik MacLean · Ping Things
It should come as no surprise to any of my readers that I'm a big fan and supporter of Bruno Sanfilippo and his music. His "Auralspace" release has been in permanent rotation in my CD player for almost a year now, and I regularly return to his other works when I'm looking for something to listen to. You can understand that I was very pleased to hear about his latest release "Piano Textures 2", a follow up to 2007's "Piano Textures", which was a stunning album of inspired environments using only a processed and effected grand piano as a sound source.
Now that I've had a chance to listen to it carefully, I'm pleased to report that "Piano Textures 2" continues the idea with similar beautiful results.
"Piano Textures2 I" opens the disc with a theme from the earlier "Piano Textures" release, which leads into a new meditative piece of great beauty. Employing sparse and simple melodic work over a slowly drifting pad Sanfilippo creates a relaxed environment for the listener to discover at their own pace. Rich in texture and layers, "Piano Textures2 I" sets the tone for the disc as a whole, establishing a mood and a feeling that will continue throughout.
"Piano Textures2 II" is up next, a bit more melancholy in tone but certainly just as engaging as the album opener.
A quiet drone drifts through the background underneath a forlorn melodic line. There's a really clear emotion at play here, a very organic and real feeling that breathes through the track, made all the more impressive by the minimal number of notes being used.
A truly impressive piece of music.
"Piano Textures2 III" follows, a slowly drifting track where forms and shapes are vague and amorphous at best, but still just as warm and beautiful as we've come to expect from Sanfilippo. Tones ebb and flow through the soundscape, gradually becoming clearer and more defined as the track progresses. It's all very languid and beautiful, bringing to mind images of floating on a still lake on that perfect summer's day.
I've always enjoyed how Sanfilippo's music can transport me to another space like that.
"Piano Textures2 IV" begins with a deep drone that slowly rises out of the soundfield, rich tones building in strength alongside it.
As time passes, the melodies become more complex, more pronounced, weaving throughout the music but never overtaking the initial drone, just complementing and adding to it. A lovely piece of work.
The sound of twinkling stars begins "Piano Textures2 V", leading into a beautiful example of minimalist space music.
There's a rich, organic feeling at play here, something very natural and clean developed from simple sources rather than the processed synth work that largely defines the genre. I can't help but think of slow orbits around alien worlds, a solitary beauty.
"Piano Textures2 VI" brings us back to earth, a lush piano piece with minimal processing, just some really wonderful playing that makes me incredibly jealous of Sanfilippo's talents. I really can't do justice to this track, but trust me when I say that it's the most beautiful piece on an album of very beautiful work.
Sanfilippo's talent and mastery of the genre are on clear display with this release and I have no doubt that I will have to find room in my CD player for another one of his releases that I'll be playing all year long. "Piano Textures 2" is a stunning collection of music that I whole heartedly recommend to existing fans of Sanfilippo's work and to those who are looking for carefully crafted organic ambience.
Another great release from one of my favorite artists!
by Paul Jury · Morpheus Music
Delicate piano atmospheres with subtle electronic support. Bruno Sanfilippo presents here a series of very beautiful compositions that feature an 'Steinway D grand piano' recorded during the night hours. Smooth electronic washes and drones are laid down in gentle layers forming light, hazy expanses within which the master instrument luxuriates. The piano playing is mostly of an understated, unhurried melodic form calling to mind the purity and tranquil grace of Satie, touched with delightful melancholy and haunting airy wistfulness. Spacial structure is masterful, creating an incredibly enchanting ambience, the arrangements seemingly having the meandering freeness of improvised playing whilst at the same time obviously exhibiting the kind of harmony and refinement that comes only from painstaking crafting and control.
released November 13, 2009
Music by Bruno Sanfilippo
Recorded & mastered at Onix Studio, Barcelona
Includes artwork download