Oliviero Biella - Accade
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Oliviero Biella
Accade: pl das
FolkClub Ethnosuoni (www.folkclubethnosuoni.com)

cd cover Oliviero Biella is behind a lot of projects: CorOrchestra Cantarchevai, Jhala, Mireille Ben Ensemble, Le note svizzere. On this one he is close in spirit to CorOrchestra Cantarchevai, but he is high on inspiration. It is a tour-de-force of different traditions and he delivers a group of songs and tracks that fill the room, and your heart, with warmth and inspiration.

From "Parigi de ncc" ("Paris at night," based on a poem by Jacques Prvert) sung in Catalan and French, through "Tre canti giudaico-spagnoli" and "Lozzy's Scottish," this record trots around Europe. Stylistically varied but musically unified, it has a very specific vibe which delivers a sense of equilibrium, beauty, serenity and inspiration. This is due to the balance between songs and instrumentals, self-penned and traditional songs, Italian or not. As a result, it is quite difficult to pick out specific songs, although "Fantasmi," "Tre canti giudaico-spagnoli" and "Lozzy's Scottish" with its echo of Michael Nyman's music do stand out. With such an eclectic mixture of sources to make sense of, the booklet with its accurate translations in Italian and English is very welcome.

A great selection of musical instruments are featured and the record is all the better for that. It is quite a treat to hear very different instruments played concurrently: guitar, violin, tabla, transverse flute, bass, percussion on one song; guitar, violin, Arabian lute, tabla, clarinet and percussion on another; guitar, violin, ribeca, clarinet, musette, transverse flute, alto sax and percussion on yet a third one. It is a mix that works particularly well and I get the feeling that Biella is a true master when it comes to orchestration. Particular mention is due to the tabla which acts as something of the leitmotif of the whole project.

This CD with its overtones of classical music, jazz, world music and the Italian tradition should appeal in particular to anyone interested in classical music (and present-day composers working in the style), as well as friends of chill-out or lounge music, but it is true that anyone interested in exciting orchestration and the limits of acoustic instruments and powerful juxtapositions between them would find a lot to like in this record. FolkClub Ethnosuoni are known as a label that takes risks with its releases and this time they have delivered a really exciting record. - Nondas Kitsos

CD available from cdRoots

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