Bruno Sanfilippo is an electroacoustic composer based in Spain. From childhood, he had an obsession with the ever evolving sound possibilities of the piano. Unable to buy a better grand piano after graduating from the Galvani Conservatory (Buenos Aires), Sanfilippo extended his musical travels into the study of electronic music. He has been shaping diverse musical landscapes for more than 20 years. On his website, he shares a sincere apology: “I do love the sound of the piano just as much as I love electronic-based music.
I know some times I can get some listeners confused by this, if I do, I’m so sorry. But I will passionately explore both fields”.
The gorgeous soundscape that has evolved from ‘Inside Life’ is one worthy of enthusiastic and attentive exploration.
There’s an other-worldliness to this sonic landscape that requires quality headphones. I listened through a set of Beyerdynamic DT440s and enjoyed immersing myself in the tidal shifts of this aural treat. Sanfilippo uses depth of field and panning to maximum effect in these compositions creating a listening experience that’s wonderfully three dimensional.‘Sudden Quietness’ of the album’s opening is an excellent guide to the width of the sonic map as a synth pulses gently left to right. A cello calls solitary in from the middle left and further back.
It trails behind the piano which is gently treading water in the lower register buoyed only by occasional shifts to the upper register. There’s a warmth to the sound of both instruments which is only punctured briefly by the shifting undercurrent of the synth.‘Freezing Point’ makes fantastic use of noise and distortion.
The opening descends like a fog and fades to the background as the piano wanders in.
We’re guided into the deep blue with ‘Camille’, from the underwater cabin of cooled organ and prepared piano shards of lights a glimpsed from an exquisite soprano vocal line.
If it’s a stressful day, this track comes highly recommended for its dream-like beauty.Piano bells ring and till gracefully as delayed percussion pulses from left to right in the hopeful ‘A Door Opens Forever’. There’s a darker tone and more biting texture to ‘The Place Where Dying Crows’ with its macabre prepared piano clanking close to the ear.
Whistles and scratches pipe and haunt from its ghostly opening. The final tracks ‘Tea Leaves at the Bottom of the Cup’ and the album’s namesake ‘Inside Life’ return us to the water.
Piano motives move peacefully through an aquarium of reverberant cello and synth drones.If you’re wanting a very gentle introduction to electroacoustic music then I would suggest giving this album a listen. There’s little variance in tempo throughout, however, each sound world dabbles in ethereal textures and spatial difference. You must forgive Sanfilippo for his love of electronic music and the piano – because he really does use both to such exquisite effect.