AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Samora – Quasar [Rizosfera/NUKFM]

Samora is the solo project of Enrico Marani, but on Quasar, a multimedia work encompassing sound, visual art, and text, Marani expanded Samora to a complement of five. For the ten-part musical suite that makes up the work Marani, an electronic musician known for his wide range of collaborations with international artists, is joined by Eraldo Bernocchi, a composer, producer, and electronic musician associated with the post-industrial and ambient genres; and Silvia Corda, the Sardinian pianist/toy pianist/composer fluent in both freely improvised music and contemporary experimental art music. In addition to these superb musicians, Marani brought in philosopher Davide Bertolini to write an essay and visual artist Stefano Ricci to provide images.

Quasar’s ten parts find the three musicians in differing configurations: five for the full trio, two for the duo of Marani and Corda, one for Marani and Bernocchi, and two for Marani alone. Despite the variation of voices in combination, there is a consistent overall sound linking all ten pieces—a meticulously composed ambient impressionism made up of a richly woven tapestry of audio colors. Unlike much ambient music, which relies on predominantly dark and hazily-defined layers of sound, Quasar favors a brighter palette calling up the sounds of mallet percussion, flutes, rainsticks, and tintinnabulating bells. From the harp-like glissandi and embroidering piano chords of Part One, through the electric guitar, chromatic piano, and thick bass harmonies of Part Three, the vintage synthesizer sounds of Part Six and the jet-roar chords of Part Nine, the suite casts sound as a plastic material—something to be molded into coherent forms driven by the dynamic interrelationships of contrasting timbres. To make music this way is, as Bertolini puts it at one point in his essay, “to make something from that which is other.”

Daniel Barbiero


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