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Ferdinando Arnò (with Melanie De Biasio) * Delilah Gutman + Drawing Virtual Gardens * Otto Lindholm

Radura Detail

Music for Radura

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.

Radura Image

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)


Charcoals

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 CharcoalsDelilah 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 – 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.

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Mauro Beltrán; Tatsuro Kojima; Drawing Virtual Gardens; JesterN

Maro Beltrán - Miere De Pier Los Árboles ....

MAURO BELTRÁN – MUEREN DE PIE LOS ÁRBOLES QUE NO SABEN CRECER
My Spanish isn’t good enough to translate the full title. And since all information on this release is in Spanish (such as the track-by-track info in the booklet), there’s a lot of guessing involved. But that doesn’t really matter, since it’s the music that does the talking.

Mauro Beltrán is a young (21) Spanish composer, already releasing his third album. An album with twelve pieces, together 2 hours and 35 long, and a wide range of style: classical, ambient electronica, cut-up soundscapes, ethnic influences, post-rock.
In Mauro’s own words: “12 Songs that tell nearly 4 years of my lifetime. Just a kid not wanting to grow up, but forced to do it, like everyone else.”
With scarce resources (‘just a crappy PC that explodes every two hours, some cheap guitar and tons of software’), he manages to create quite an eclectic array of styles, but they work together very well… The 24 minute Ojalá Solo Pudiera Recordarnos Cuando Estábamos Sonriendo is my personal favourite, because of its bright melancholic piano theme and the way it dissolves later on.

Mauro Beltrán is not in it for the money, it seems: the album is a (Name Your Price) ‘gift’ for everyone to take it. So why not help making his talent more visible in Spain (and outside Spain also)?


Tatsuro Kojima - Refraction and Reflection

TATSURO KOJIMA – REFRACTION AND REFLECTION
For Tatsuro Kojima, there is no real difference between making music and drawing a picture. Both concern the ‘handling of elements such as hue, saturation, brightness, mass form and texture’. 
The original recordings are field recordings and synthesizer sounds, which are heavily processed and reconstructed.
Some of them ‘retaining none of their original qualities, others are delicate noise, and then there are those which recreate the sounds of nature, such as that of treading on snow or tree branches, or the call of a bird.”
Thus, 
Refraction and Reflection might be called a ‘visual’ album, an album where Kojima ‘tries to bring into harmony both the tactile and the deeply spiritual aspects of sound’.


Drawing Virtual Gardens

DRAWING VIRTUAL GARDENS – THE OSMOTIC MEMORY OF J.J. BHAGEE
Drawing Virtual Gardens is David Gutman, US-born multi-instrumentalist now living in Belgium.
J.J. Bhagee , on the other hand, is not existing in real life, but a made-up person, with a made-up memory.
With these intricate soundscapes, field recordings and soft layers of guitar, Gutman offers ‘a conceptual consideration of the themes of waiting, time, identity, and the transmission and retention of memories’.
Which means that it may subtly – osmotically – mingle with your own memories, too.


modisti_77_cover

JESTERN (ALBERTO NOVELLO) – LE RETOUR DES OISEAUX
When pre-listening to this album (or listening on the vinyl version), you’ll hear the stereo version, but for optimum result the multichannel versions are recommended. For the download versions, you can choose between Stereo and/or  5.1. FLAC or Quad WAV‘s.
The surround versions are spectacular, so if you have the possibility to listen in surround be sure to do so!
But that does not mean the stereo versions are less interesting.

This is not ‘easy’ music to listen to, and it’s not meant that way. The work, and its title, is inspired by (and dedicated to) the music of Olivier Messiaen, and may need something of an ‘acquired taste’ to fully enjoy. The album starts out relatively quiet, but the intensity level slowly increases upt to what the Bandcamp tags appropriately describe as ambient electroacoustic breakcore…!
But if you’re prepared for it, the electronic sound manipulation of Alberto Novello (recorded at the Institute of Sonology at The Hague), together with the Flugelhorn played by Falvio Zanuttini, are amazingly adventurous.
(And, to repeat myself: espécially when heard in surround).

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