Bruno Sanfilippo blows all his previous releases out of the water with InTRO, a work of impressive imagination and virtuoso artistry on an assortment of electronic and acoustic instruments. One of the more original works in recent years, InTRO demands the listener's attention in order to reap the rewards of an emotionally satisfying listening experience as the artist explores a wide landscape of musical motifs.
Frankly, this CD left me spent the first time I listened to it all the way through (which, by the way, I highly recommend you do).
"InTROworld" starts off with a bass-heavy sensual tribal beat, layers of electronic tones, and an assortment of ethnic instruments, such as what sounds like an erhu (an Asian string instrument) and what might be a duduk (a warm-sounding reed instrument popularized by the
artist Djivan Gasparyan). The music throbs with primal energy and raw naked sensuality. At about the midway point of the nine-minute
cut, it all starts to quiet down and morphs into a subdued subterranean/tribal hybrid with the drum beats eventually fading into the distance, replaced by the sound of falling rain.
"InTROmental" opens with decidedly Asian influences as bells and gongs are struck echoing and reverberating with a warm melodicism. Synthesizers playing a circular texture emerge from the background along with the familiar buzzing of a didgeridoo, but subdued enough
so that non-fans of the Australian instrument can still enjoy this. A two-note refrain with a back-forth cadence to it anchors the track
while ebbing and flowing synths and swirling keyboards fill the air with a heady dose of mysticism.
"InTROsacro" moves the album into a more conventional ambient soundscape of layers of electronic tonalities and reverberating effects. The mood straddles the boundary between neutral and brooding, but never crosses over into foreboding. At ten minutes, it is the longest track on the CD (although only one selection here is under six and half minutes long).
Assorted bell tones, slightly abstract noises, some sampled ethnic chanting (faint and brief), twinkling synths and what sounds like chorals
are added in later in the piece.
"InTROpiano" is a sparse, minimal, evocative and touching piano piece, with the instrument deeply echoed.
Background electronic textures, not unlike the sound of gently rushing wind, and the sound of crickets flesh out the song.
"InTROvoices" has a dreamlike quality with soft synth strings, delicate bird song, and an angelic choir wordlessly singing a gentle and serene lullaby (with one brief moment of power and crescendo).
"InTROvisions" features a warm flowing melody played on synthesizers, decidedly electronic but also with a warm organic quality.
"InTROpassion" concludes the CD with a blending of piano with the duduk-like sound and an assortment of background electronic effects and tones. As the song progresses, female chorals are added to dramatic effect, as well as shimmering bell tones.
InTRO's original music and mixture of styles defies easy categorization. I hope the words above give you at least a glimmer of Sanfilippo's brilliant accomplishment. I also hope that open-minded ambient and new age music fans alike will give this album the recognition it deserves
and not be dissuaded by its variety of moods or musical motifs. If you dedicate an hour of your time to immersing yourself in this CD,
I think you will be as enthralled with it as I was. Highly recommended.
This release from 2006 offers 54 minutes of engaging ambience.
For the first track: softly drifting textures are augmented by dreamy strings and sedate percussives, generating a lush and pleasant
dose of ambience.
Environmental samples enhance this soothing tuneage, contrasting the aerial violin with placid rainfall.
The next track is ushered in by wind chimes winding their way through cyclic electronics breathing in tandem with didgeridoo.
The serene tones maintain a steady flux that excellently suits an introspective reverie.
The third piece wafts in on a shuddering breeze, orchestral airs vibrating in the distance while fragile electronics lazily cavort in the
foreground amid softly ponged bells.
Stately piano commands the next track, describing pensive chords in an ethereal fog of wind-borne electronics.
Relaxation becomes mandatory.
Heavenly hosts rise in the next track to meet a rain-swept wash punctuated by pastoral zephyrs.
The next track employs singsong tones to achieve a contemplative milieu that is as captivating as it is dreamlike.
The melody sways with tender intention, caressing the psyche with tendrils of sweet resonance.
Piano reappears for the final piece, waxing emotional and conspiring with persuasive soundscapes to achieve a sweeping return to externality.
A superb dose of ambience whose power is understated but vibrant, evoking a series of entries into the inner mind.
Argentinean composer Bruno Sanfilippo already has eight albums to his name and,
even though I've never heard him before,I sense a mature musician's poise and sense of craft all through this exquisite CD of tone colour ambience.
A thin veil covers these melodies and impressions, unifying a quite varied sequence
tracks with the soft-focus that "pure" forms of ambience always seem to have.
"Intropiano" sounds like a superior Budd & Eno moment. "Introvoices" suggests floating through a glowing nebula or standing on a mountain peak in the Himalayas on a pristine clear day."Introvisions" sounds like a violin and cello making love in a very large cave.
On "Introsacro" layers of bells, guitar delay, whistling winds and very subtle chants gel in such a magical way that it cuts far deeper than a mere impression of something sacred.
Exactly what's electronic and what's acoustic on this album is difficult to tell and I'm sure an organic sound was Sanfilippo's intention.
Many elements have a familiar old-school ring to them but what Intro proves is that nothing need sound cliched in the hands of the gifted.
A sensual and memorable piece of work. Rating 4/5
Ambient Music Guide
Bruno Sanfilippo make a visionary statement of such extraordinary beauty and diversity that it seems to have been conceived by a
collective of gifted artists.
Each track on his new album deliver a specific mood. InTRO is a subtle work of alchemical invocation which summons the inner worlds.
The soundscapes painted with piano (meditative piano playing a la Harold Budd), duduk, didgeridoo and electronic instruments will soothe, caress and lull you into feelings of extreme serenity.
Bewildering and beautiful by turns, this is one of those records that I can imagine still offering up new insights many years from now.
Journeys to the Infinite Radio
The beautifully designed “InTRO” marks a new chapter in the nice organic ambient music of Bruno Sanfilippo, of which the impact seems
to grow with every new release.
While listening, the seven tracks pleasantly go by as a dreamy, very relaxed journey.
Its impact is strongly imaginative and cinematic, featuring nice piano interludes, great synthesizer pads, soft soaring sound textures and transparent soundscapes.
It all comes to a highlight in the closing track “inTROpassion”.
The outcome is an impressive 50 minute painting of both mental and emotional inner soundscaping.
Pure introspective beauty and a real treat for ears and soul. Well done Bruno !
The artist dreams and builds dreams, turns the imaginary into free experience.
He works there, in the blue mystery InTRO letting his soul fly, so naked... as its effect... admirable, useless and non-concrete.
How much reason has he. This cd supposes exactly that, the composer´s dreams became reality, his ideas represented in an accessible
support for everyone who wants to appear to them, an opportunity that we don´t let pass.
I have to admit an special admiration for this composer.
His jobs, since the first time I have the opportunity of listening them, never let me indifferent, besides an anecdote about one of his track
that allways would be in my memory.
His music, has the virtue of knowing how to transport us, how to make fly our imagination to the imaginary places the composer indicates.
What is InTRO? It´s go deeply into his ideas, in the origin of his music, but in the deep, no more than a guide that transport deeply into ourselves.
This job is a walk through seven " Introductions" like the seven sins and is that became a sin not enjoy this job. We begin with the
InTROduction in the world, in the depth of our planet, a track that transport us to those far places that we only can visit with our imagination.
We go on with an InTROduction in our mind to descover the origin of ouerselves. InTROduction in the sacred comes next, the man needs the divine and sacred protection since his origin, Bruno brings us nearer it with his music. Then we go into something more earthly,
the InTROduction in the piano, that instrument with so beautiful sounds that make our feelings fly.
The voice, what is the voice ? We can introduce ourselves in the voice trough the sound, because the voice is the sound we emit to
unserstand each to others but, Is there any language more universal than the music ? InTRovisions, the dreams, the false reality,
the hope, all is posible where the unreal becomes real. Finally the InTROduction in the passion, what does the human move,
that attribute that make us reach the impossible.
There are composers that create their own music, but besides this Bruno Sanfilippo introduces us in it with this cd full of dreams and hopes,
a job to taste little by little, slowly while we submerge in all the ideas that brings note by note, track by track.
There are few composers able to transport us to other places with their music, to other dimensions,
to show us imaginary views became reality, Bruno Sanfilippo is one of them.
A mixture of rhythmic and beatless cinematic ambient. Bruno Sanfilippo brings together a broad range of ethnic instruments, environmental sounds and digital effects to develop his underlying musical structures here laid down with synthesisers, strings, bells, chimes and pianos. Ambient zones, soft and faint build into harmonious passages where melody can be dominant, clear and tuneful or at times understated - simple motifs rolling over humming drones. There are introspective piano lines that reverberate against sonic breezes - curling, unhurried bars of dreamlike music, blissful and quite beautiful. There are airy pads and meandering mists and hazes of sound - crisp percussives or droplets disturbing the smooth surfaces. The final track is a delightfully wistful piano piece with an eastern pipe dolefully entwining the main theme - truly emotive and achingly heart-rending.
Sepia imagery covers the outer panels of this CD jewel case - uncertain montages, small photographs overlaid upon an indistinct figure - shadows and bright lights. Track titles are on the reverse in a simple elegant font. The inner booklet contains a monochrome portrait of the artist on stone steps and recording details and credits. Behind the CD is a dual language portion of text expounding the project in poetic language. A coil of copper wire sits in the frame of the jewel case - delicate and ornamental - a nice touch of individuality.
This series of seven contemplative compositions further explores Bruno Sanfilippo's interest in the unfettered possibilities of dreams.
Each piece has a title beginning with the letters InTRO - InTROvoices, InTROpassion, InTROvisions. Serene and otherworldly - InTRO has moments of haunting weightlessness, pools of comfortable warmth. In general an inviting and harmonious album that draws the listener into restful reverie - on into emotional swells and wonderfully indulgent quiet melancholy.
Bruno Sanfilippo’s music often is more cinematic than electronic, using synthesizers as a means of painting sound pictures for imaginary
movie soundtracks. His InTRO album is an excellent example of his signature sound, showing the depth and range of his talent.
InTROworld starts the album off with a primitive, visceral feel that sounds half tribal and half Middle Eastern.
InTROmental is relaxed and introspective, very nice.
Each composition seems simple yet assured, and the titles hint at the intended picture, InTROsacro having a touch of the sacred, for example, with soft bells and trickling water. InTROpiano is self explanatory, a beautiful piece that may have inspired his follow up album Piano Textures (see review this issue).
The inspiration for InTROvoices is less obvious, as the predominant instrumentation is soft melancholy strings, and a similar,
somewhat sadder theme follows in InTROvisions.
Pretty piano returns for InTROpassion, closing the disc with a classical or new age feel. Sanfilippo’s music is emotional and powerful.
"Lush and beautiful organic ambience..."
Bruno Sanfilippo is an artist who is quickly developing a well-respected name for himself in ambient circles. With this in mind, the aptly titled "InTRO" is a great place to acquaint oneself with Bruno's talents. Made up of seven distinct pieces, "InTRO" presents a variety of styles and sounds that all showcase Sanfilippo's skills.
"InTROworld" opens the disc with a combination of eastern percussion and woodwinds. Voices, or maybe it's something else, play on the
edges of the track, adding a mystical and engaging sound to the proceedings. A very impressive opening and a suggestion of things to come.
"InTROmental" follows, drone textured ambience oscillating through the soundfield.
There are some interesting layers here, each stacked one on top of the other, only visible with careful examination.
It's an engaging track, one that begs further listening.
"InTROsacro" has a melancholy beauty to it, the sounds of wind and chimes and all manner of beautiful tones.
Slight melodies float through the track, lightly hinting at a theme or an idea, small phrases just on the tips of tongues.
Simply wonderful. "InTROpiano" features lovely piano work set against a drone backdrop.
It's a fascinating blend of natural and unnatural sounds, a very effective meeting of sonic worlds. I imagine that this is a track that may well have inspired or at least influenced Sanfilippo's later release "Piano Textures" as it has a very similar flavor to it.
"InTROvoices" begins with a simple drone, building in volume and strength, eventually joined by the sound of a rainstorm and other sounds
from nature. It's a beautiful example of spaces created through the use of sound and imagination, quite simple and quite effective.
"InTROvisions" blends in directly from the last track, a slight melody played through alien strings.
Slight variations on the melody play as the track increases, giving it a feeling of being a living organism, slowly undulating underneath
the sun's light. Very beautiful.
"InTROpassion" closes the disc, lovely piano and mournful strings overtop a quiet drone.
A delicate blend of sounds and feelings combining to create a full environment and space. Lovely work.
I've often thought that the mettle of an artist is proven in their ability to work equally comfortably in a variety of styles.
With "InTRO", Bruno Sanfilippo has shown that he's capable of working in a number of different forms, moving easily between styles and sounds, showing an ear and an ability in all of the areas he presents here.
Certainly Sanfilippo's reputation as an artist to watch is well deserved, and I would cite "InTRO" as a fine piece of evidence to support that claim.