FERDINANDO ARNÒ – MUSIC FOR RADURA
The name Ferdinando Arnò may not immediately ring a bell, which is why I added the name of Melanie Di Biasio to the title of this post – assuming this might generate a bit more attention. But to be clear, this album is a Ferdinando Arnò album, released under his name, with Melanie Di Biasio as a guest performer and co-composer on three of the five tracks. Along with Marco Decimo (cello) and Giorgio Cocilovo (Moog guitar), Arnò himself performs on piano and electronics.
Radura is a sculptural sound installation in Milan, Italy – ‘a public space for decongestion where to stop, rest, wait…offering a sonic solace from the din of the day and the outside world’. A circle of 350 cylindrical wooden columns with an external diameter of 10.5 metres. the wooden columns are functioning as a resonating chamber.
Ferdinando Arnò wrote this music especially for this installation: more info about this project can be found on the Quiet Please website.
It must be a pleasure to sit down on the inner bench and watch the sculpture – especially when appropriate music like this is played, music that was specifically composed for this environment.
I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to get up and leave until I was sure the performance was finished!
The music feels as if you’re listening to a full orchestra, yet they are performed in a minimal setting. The compositions are minimal too, with an exception perhaps for the opener Angelicus which was composed by Vince Mendoza. All four following tracks are ‘originals’, their structure mainly based on repeating loops and structures. But this does not feel like ‘strict minimalism’ at all – due to the way they are orchestrated and of course also because of the soft persuasive voice of Melanie Di Biasio.
To my surprise, Music for Radura is only available on a few digital platforms, like iTunes, Google Play and CDBaby (with $3.99 for the full album, the latter is being the cheapest option by far!). There is no physical edition available, wich is a bit of a shame, because this release should definitely be available to a wider audience than it will probably find now!
I really hope it will find a label and turn into a ‘proper’ release. But I would not wait for that if I were you!
FERDINANDO ARNÒ – L’ENFANT DE LA NUIT (with MELANIE DE BIASIO)
DELILAH GUTMAN + DRAWING VIRTUAL GARDENS – CHARCOALS
Delilah Gutman is a pianist, singer, teacher and composer living in Italy. She is founder of the D.G.M.A., researching and producing musical and multi-media events: an artists with an impressive track record!
David Gutman (husband? brother?) is an electroacoustic/ambient/drone artist known as Drawing Virtual Gardens (you may remember his Osmotic Memory of J.J. Bhagee album).
On Charcoals, Delilah plays piano while David creates the background atmosphere. The cover (a charcoal painting, of course) shows a couple dancing in ominous surroundings, which matches the music’s atmosphere. The bright, naturally recorded improvisations (I assume they are improvised, but I’m not sure) on the piano contrasts with the background environment; which is the reason these compositions transcend most of the formulaic contemporary modern classical music.
OTTO LINDHOLM – OTTO LINDHOLM
Three tracks, 36 minutes: the perfect length for a vinyl release. And so it is: a vinyl-only release, that comes with a digital download. A separate download version is available from Otto Lindholm‘s Bandcamp page.
Otto Lindholm plays double bass and merges this with electronic drones and loops. He does so with such subtlety that it is amazing to realise that these tracks were recorded in one shot.
The tracks starts with the string instrument in the foreground, themes with a modern classical touch. But slowly but surely the instruments sink away in their background, like in quicksand, and the tracks’ focus becomes more electronic.
Intense and with a fairly ‘noir’ mood.