One of the hazards of mixing some folk instruments with Western orchestral instruments is that folk instruments are rarely tuned according to Western equal temperament. Tunings differ from culture to culture and often from instrument to instrument. While this makes for a pungent spiciness when the instruments are heard on their own or with like tone colors, it often makes for grating, out of character dissonances when combined with equal-tempered instruments. This is the problem with this release.
Much of what Epinfrai does is of an experimental nature, "free from result mania and the need for strict definition," as Emanuela Garampelli writes in the liner notes. Ironically, the strongest tracks are the ones that present the piffero in a more traditional light. The dronier, driftier, folkier tunes, such as "Perigurdino" or "Alessandrina in La" that depend less on functional harmony are quite haunting. Domenichetti occasionally gets in some Coltrane-like licks, as on "Bela Növa," and sometimes those work, too.
The musicians in Epinfrai show great promise. Most of Cercando, however, sounds like an experiment gone slightly awry. - Peggy Latkovich
This CD is available by special order from cdRoots
Song: "Allessandrina" by Epinfrai
Comment on this music or the web site.
Write a Letter to the Editor