Ambient Music Guide.com
Top 10 best albums 2012
With his third collection of solo and almost-solo piano pieces, I can confidently declare that Bruno Sanfilippo now dwells in realms inhabited by such gifted artists as Harold Budd and Tim Story. Piano music with ambient qualities is hardly new – Eric Satie (1866-1925) was doing it well over a century ago – and yet Piano Textures III reminds us what a potent vehicle the style remains for the gifted artist. It’s interesting that the versatile Sanfilippo is not even a piano specialist; just look at his wide and often wonderful discography including last year’s Subliminal Pulse (2011). Like its two predecessors, Piano Textures III is essentially a solo piano album, with a smattering of environmental samples, some subtle synthesiser effects, and on one track some warm sympathetic cello. The music swims in a slightly reverberating space but the sound isn’t as blurry and washed-out as, say, some of Budd’s trippiest pieces. The slowest numbers – “Part I” “Part II” and the closing track – exist in kind of emotional twilight; neither dark nor light, reflective but not sad, steeped in mystery and quiet wonder. The spaces in between are as profound as the notes. “Part III” is more openly loving relaxed, an impressionist piece suggesting a sunlit grove or peaceful riverside . The fast, looping patterns of “Part IV” suggest wind or running water and also echo some of a Philip Glass film scores. “Part VII” meshes piano, harp and organ build a lovely, droning wall of sound.