John Shanahan · Hypnagogue
Expect to get comfortably lost in the breathy drifts
and long-horizon washes of Bruno Sanfilippo's latest outing, Auralspace.
The seven tracks here exhibit a patient grace as they're crafted in
velvety tones with the occasional bit of rough edge left on for texture.
Overall the feeling is one of shadowy contemplation, excellent for
quiet looping. "Mimosa Hostilis" starts the disk off with
the high, slightly disonant trill of a flute that fades away to long
pads accented with bird sounds.
(This may be one of the first ambient CDs to not only mention on the
inside cover that bird sounds appear on it, but to also bother to
identify the featured species--which in my book is pretty cool.) There's
a church-organ feel to the synth here, bringing an appropriate sense
of quiet reverence. The flute reappears toward the end, a nice touch
to bring the piece full circle. "Imagined Reality" is constructed
of fairly straigthtforward synth pads and downward-spiralling electro-glissandos
with space for breath between them, bolstered by a simple tribal beat
for a nice classic sound. The title track eases in with broad sweeps
and a slowly building rhythm.
I like the almost tinny sound Sanfilippo's chosen to put in the forefront
here. It adds an intriguing mechanical edge to the piece.
"Divine Moments" wraps the listener in a warm coccoon of
sound--a perfect 10-minute meditation that eases the breathing and
mind with its gently wavering pads and the soft vocal samples that
slip in toward the end.
This moves into "Poema Electronico," where a heavy drone
and urgent flute cut a path through a darker space.
Sanfilippo hangs a sense of uncertainty in his pauses, and shifts
the mood subtly at the halfway mark--lightening slightly while not
losing the edge. "Pampa" is an easy-drift piece of long,
smooth drones with the right amount of electronic tweakage at the
edges to give it a spacey sensibility. Auralspace closes with "Surreal
Sense," the longest track on the disk.
Light and pulsing, it's a spacemusic-style journey with a subtle,
implied beat. Sanfilippo takes the pulse and morphs it across the
16-minute span, keeping its identity fresh and interesting and bringing
the whole disk to a quiet, satisfying close. Each piece on Auralspace
has room to fully establish its identity, the shortest clocking in
just to the thin side of 8 minutes. And within those spaces, there's
no sense of too much or too little. It's a well balanced disk. In
addition, the work is presented nicely, with artwork by Sanfilippo
For its quiet beauty, depth of construction and the way it just gets
better on repeat play,
Auralspace is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.
A suite of flowing ambient expanses - some with rhythm, some without.
This series of seven tracks is arranged into a continuous fluid whole.
Although each track has a distinct character of its own the connections
are almost seamless as subtle sonic morphing takes one piece smoothly
into the next. The various compositions are united by a tranquil drifting
quality that ebbs and flows in ponderous undulation - very restful,
mesmerising. Yet there are great depths here, and strong sonic colour:
distant jangles, twittering birds, soaring air movements, muted whistles,
echoing crystal-like electronic phrases, distorted ethnic flutes and
patches of dense, heavy sound that in turn fall apart and disperse
back into the atmosphere. When the music rolls into rhythmic motion
the effect is one of easy transition from steady state into electro-organic
groove, the percussion or sequential patterns having a timeless, placeless,
universal quality about them.
The mood throughout Auralspace is one of wonder and serenity. Moments
of mystery and exotic twilight are highlighted by beats as soft as
the rhythms of the human body. Lighter passages seem to take the listener
high into the clouds, delicate vapour trails of transparent tone wafting
weightlessly past. There is often a sense of blissful abandon and
pleasant warmth inviting one to let go and sail off into the seemingly
endless liquid space that Sanfilippo has so carefully conjured up.
ARTWORK: Auralspace is a deluxe digipack presentation
- a sharp matte card gatefold in three panels. The front and back
a human ear overlaid with a bold weave texture - rich additional surface
layers and shadowy obscurity combine to create an impression of mystery
that holds the eye. This is a tasteful object in itself. The remaining
outer panel when unfolded, holds all the relevant information;
a tracklist with associated timings, a quote from Jorge Luis Borges
and a gear list. Within, the space is wordless, given over entirely
to visuals that symmetrically fill the extreme right and left panels
- a profile of a strongly grained face, partly turned away.
The ear of this figure holds a bright burst of light that sends beams
The disc itself is central, hiding a final, lush weave design.
This album sees Bruno Sanfilippo develop his
solid solo discography deeper into ambient
The delicate pianos of the past few releases are replaced here with
gently heaving beds of tone and layered electronics.
Coming as the artist's twelfth release it is delivered via his own
ad21music label and will be available through Musiczeit as well as
well-known download platforms. Clips can be heard on Bruno's website.
LIKE THIS ALBUM Auralspace will appeal to ambient fans that enjoy
strong flavours and warm infusions.
There is plenty to 'listen' to if you so choose, yet melody is minimal
and restrained or emergent. If you have enjoyed the peacefulness
of Bruno Sanfilippo's most recent albums, then that feeling is still
here only this time without the piano focus.
Spains Bruno Sanfilippo makes some of the most creative
cinematic ambient music around, and he has done it again with Auralspace.
Seven tracks in a continuous flow tell compelling stories through
sound. Its as though Sanfilippo has written the perfect soundtrack,
and now someone needs to make the movie that goes with it. Mimosa
Hostilis starts as a brooding, pulsating piece, but after its
somewhat dark beginning it glows warmly midway through, with bright
metallic timbres as birds twitter in the background. The music seems
to swirl around, wrapping the listener up in it. Imagined Reality
slows things down and seems like pure floating music, ebbing and flowing
not unlike Steve Roachs Structures From Silence, until a percolating
little percussion line appears.
It keeps pace for the balance of the track, fading into delicate softness
at the end.
The title track is next, another delicate floater at first, with cool
electronic twitters and pulses eventually joining in.
And for ethereal floating music it doesnt get much better than
Divine Moments. The album has a very cohesive feel, each
piece having a distinct character that warrants its inclusion, adding
to the overall flow of the disc which is quite seamless and seemingly
Bruno Sanfilippo is always good, and Auralspace is my favorite CD
of his so far.
by Matt Howarth · Sonic Curiosity
This release from 2009 offers 72 minutes of soft ambience. So many
ambient releases strive to achieve a stratospheric air,
but this one actually focuses on a tranquillity that exists all around
us at ground-level.
Pacific drones coalesce but remain tenuous and vapory, never reaching
a real density.
These atmospherics mimic the air we breathe. Faint rattlings and wispy
whistles hint at an ethereal realm that coexists with our material
Expansive tones create languid ripples in the fabric of reality. Subtle
percussion, muted by distance, emerge from the electronic fog, soon
followed by sighing electronics that lend an illusionary substance
to the milieu. Some of the sounds used to punctuate the fog are, in
quite corporeal (in a drastically understated manner). Vibrating pulsations
twinkle in the pleasant murkiness, guiding the listener through the
haze, leading the way to deeper regions of introspection.
Bird noises lurk within the gentle whistles, blending aspects of the
real world with the coexistent realm of psychic space.
A union of outer and inner territories is achieved with delicate fusion.
Sanfilippo's compositions flavor a harmonic presence with melodic
traces, elusive but tangible enoughto stimulate the listener's cerebellum.
Auxiliary electronics wafting in the sedate flow coax the mind from
a state of rest into subtle cognitive activity.
by Rik · Ping Things
"Auralspace" by Bruno Sanfilippo
is one of those discs that completely astounds me. I've quite enjoyed
Sanfilippo's work for some time, but with "Auralspace" he's
surpassed any expectations I've ever had about his music. This is
quite simply a masterpiece of the ambient genre, an album where every
tone, every melody, even the silence, is perfectly placed in the soundscape.
To be honest, I think I'm doing it a disservice by trying to describe
it in words, so do yourself a favor and go out and buy it now. But
if you still need any convincing, I'll do my best
to describe it. Just remember that the time you're spending reading
about what I think, you could be listening to it instead...
It all begins with "Mimosa Hostilis", and
a silence that is slowly broken by a drone steadily increasing in
volume. As it builds, there are the sounds of metal blowing in the
wind and a breathy woodwind enters the soundscape, expanding the track,
filling it out from the inside. As time passes, all of these tones
and more blend together to create a real space, a beautiful environment
ready for exploration. "Imagined Reality" follows, the track
growing out of swelled tones rising up to the listener from silence.
It's a very natural progression, very organic, and as time passes,
the soundfield becomes more distinct, more full, until the listener
is enveloped in this newly created space.
The rest of the disc is equally powerful and engaging.
Title track "Auralspace" builds around minimal melodies
and slowly rotating pads, steadily repeating pulses creating a rhythm
for the listener to identify with. The track drifts on the edge of
the senses, right at that point just before awareness ends, just beyond
recognition. "Divine Moments" ebbs and flows, a tidal pull
of tones that slowly tugs at the senses. It's a stunning piece, a
sensory experience that's sublime in it's beauty. With time it swells
and grows, but never enough to be obtrusive or aggressive, always
staying soft, warm, and inviting.
"Poema Electronico" is built around a similar opening, a
swelling pad that rises and falls amidst a collection of noises. Horn-like
synths play in the distance, then fade away into nothingness leaving
only a quiet percussive element to be heard amid slight melodies playing
in the distance. "Pampa" begins with a rotating drone, a
sound that emerges from nothing. A whistling tone drifts through,
filling the sound space for a moment and then vanishing into silence.
Everything happens on a very tiny, very quiet scale, and it's all
very beautiful, very slight and serene. It's difficult to pinpoint
particular sounds or noises or tones, instead it all comes together
in a collection of sounds that work together in perfect harmony. The
best is saved for last though, with the epic "Surreal Sense"
closing the disc. A series of echoing tones and repeated musical phrases
building up into a beautiful wall of sound where tones grow and move
through the space of the track, becoming something beautiful that
connects and resonates with the listener. Around the ten minute mark
the track finds a new direction and the soundscape starts to change,
become something else, but nothing at odds with what's been done so
far. Rather it becomes something complementary to the earlier half
of the track, something that fits in nicely, effectively, with the
sound that's gone before. An evolution? A change? Perhaps it's just
easier to say something new...
Over the last few years, I've truly enjoyed listening
to Bruno Sanfilippo developing as an artist and honing his craft.
He's made some wonderful music to this point, some truly magical discs
that never cease to appeal and inspire. And on this latest release
"Auralspace" Sanfilippo has made a disc that brings together
all the best elements of previous works and expands and builds on
them, resulting in a stunning collection of ambient music that I cannot
recommend enough. Now go, get yourself a copy of "Auralspace"
and find out what you've been missing. I can assure you that you won't
Roberto Vales · Lostfrontier Radio
Nuevo trabajo del compositor Bruno Sanfilippo,
un hombre que siempre nos ha deleitado con todas sus obras, que siempre
nos ha sorprendido con sus ideas y con sus composiciones, un clásico
"Auralspace" es el título de este nuevo disco, presentado
en un precioso digipack, con una elegante tonalidad oscura y con esas
como la que podemos observar en la portada que nos indican que estamos
ante algo muy especial.
"Auralspace" significa el regreso del compositor a la música
ambient, a esos paisajes misteriosos, oscuros, a esos mundos imaginarios
que siempre ha sabido describir de forma magistral, a esos lugares
que en los que nos vamos sumergiendo a medida que va discurriendo
la música, que su sonido nos va envolviendo, nos va atrapando.
Bruno nunca ha abandonado esa faceta, pero en sus últimos trabajos
había dejado los instrumentos electrónicos para adentrarse
en las tonalidades del piano, pero ahora vuelve a regresar a esos
ambientes electrónicos, a esos sonidos ambientales, a esa recreación
del espacio y del tiempo.
Siete composiciones son las que aquí nos podemos encontrar,
más de setenta minutos para disfrutar, para dejar diluir el
sonido por nuestra mente, para sumergirnos en ese espacio infinito
al que la música nos transporta, porque la música de
Bruno Sanfilippo nos lleva a esos lugares que solo nuestra imaginación
nos puede llevar, a esos espacios recónditos que de otra forma
no podemos alcanzar, a ese "auralspace".
Bert Strolemberg · Sonicimmersion
in a beautifully designed digipack, "Auralspace" marks the
12th album of Bruno Sanfilippo.
The cd, which took nine long months of preparation and intense composing,
offers a 71-minute spacious ambient tapestry.
Its slowly spiralling, hypnotizing beds of continuous drifting synth
textures (with no piano this time) are accompanied by occasional whistles,
tribal rhythm, assorted sounds of nature and birds, all creating a
sense of wonder.
Although drifting in a minimalist manner, the music remains quite
active with its cascading tones and morphing character. It keenly
avoids the gap becoming new agy, venturing into deeper, surreal lands
beyond imagination to keep the attention of the listener.
In addition, the recording confirms the motto of the ad21music label:
"we believe that the instrumental music can lead the soul into
a state of sacred intimacy".