...Simple and elegant, mesmerizing and haunting. I
absolutely love turning up the volume, and letting
every hypnotic and melancholic note weep gently through the night.
For the lovers of Max Richter, Eluvium, Rafael Anton Irisarri, and
Zbigniew Preisner. I highly recommended this gem!
Alejandro Hinojosa · Amazing Sounds
Enchanting, enigmatic and fully capable of powerfully awakening
Thus is this new disk by Bruno Sanfilippo.
Combining in a very skillful way the basic approaches of Ambient with
the sonorities of Classicism, these latter presided by the use of
the piano as a soloist instrument, the composer succeeds in weaving
lonely sceneries, in some occasions turning melancholy even, where
beauty and mystery become intimately merged.
Although the piano has a remarkable prominence for most of the time,
the artist adequately accompanies it with other instruments and sound
accompaniments, which enriches the quality of the music.
Phil Derby · Electroambient Space
This album is what it says, eight pieces
of piano music recorded in night sessions on a 1923 Steinway, along
with strings, synthesizers,
and something called an Armenian duduk. Needless to say, this is not
This is music for having friends over for wine and quiet conversation
or perhaps for just having an evening alone with one special
The piano playing is delicate and beautiful.
The strings complement the music nicely, although I find they add
considerable sadness to the beauty. Most pieces are sparse and slow,
although track four is a notable exception, a more serious piece with
occasional interludes of faster playing with more discordant notes,
interspersed with brief periods of silence.
My favorite track by far is number five, a more ambient work that
keeps the piano in the background and relies more on atmospheric electronics.
Track six is also interesting, a more experimental piece where perhaps
the piano samples have been processed in some way.
The first half of the album makes me too sad, but it is very well
However, I much prefer the later tracks as it gets more ambient, leading
up to the excellent closing track which blends piano and electronics
Lloyd Barde · BackroadsMusic
The Argentine with the keyboard touch
has always favored the sound of the piano.
By adding a variety of treatments and synthesizer effects, Bruno has
come up with a release that echoes of Harold Budd in terms of spatial
feel and textural approach. For those who fear "too much piano"
you will find a smooth yet atmospheric arena in which to immerse yourself.
For those who have awaited Sanfillippo's move away from the layered
synth sound, the wait is over and the rewards are very fulfilling.
rik · pingthings.com A wonderful
melodic ambient journey...
Textures", the latest from Bruno Sanfilippo, is a wonderful example
of the less is more school of recording, a stunning disc that revels
in creating a series of environments using only minimal instrumentation.
Largely based around live work using a grand piano with some processing
and sparse accompaniment, Sanfilippo has crafted a powerfully emotive
and beautiful disc.
Featuring minimal piano-based loops and patterns, Sanfilippo masterfully
creates mournful melodies that are delightfully dark and haunting.
Tracks range from sparse tracks where piano is the only instrument,
to more complex works where metallic pads and a smattering of strings
add to the environment, filling out the sound but never detracting
or overpowering the delicate beauty of the piano found throughout
all of the disc's songs. It's a disc of rich sounds and subtle nuance,
where Sanfilippo is able to alternate between deep atmospheric pieces
"Piano Textures V" where tones are effected and processed
to create a spacey almost drone-styled environment, to the simple
"Piano Textures VII" where the piano is played organically
Taken as individual pieces, Sanfilippo shows himself to be equally
comfortable in a variety of styles, and taken as a whole, "Piano
proves him to be a bright new star in the ambient scene.
Dreamlike and emotive, by turns both very beautiful and very sad,
"Piano Textures" is a wonderful disc that showcases Sanfilippo's
talents and skills. A truly wonderful work to become acquainted with
this very talented performer.
Matt Howarth · Soniccuriosity
a grand piano is the main source for the sounds utilized on this release,
strings and duduk are also sampled and heavily treated to contribute
to the tunes. This union results in a haunting mood that goes beyond
melancholy to inject brooding with a touch of optimism.
serves as a focal point, expressing sedate chords of accentuated desolation.
The strings, elongated and often flipped sideways, provide an emotional
counterpoint for that ponderous mood. Their classical edge imbues
the melodies with a vivid humanity,
a sadness that remains unemotional as it strives for an objective
are also present, often producing a ghostly backdrop tapestry for
the music's more prominent aspects.
compositions explore a desire to temper despair with a greater neutrality,
revealing the transience of depression and its skewed
viewpoint once the bigger picture comes into focus. Classical sensibilities
are fused with an ambient model, producing tunes that are
modern yet nostalgic. Surprisingly uplifting, all things considered.
Bill Binkelman · Zone Music Reporter
Sanfilippo continues to impress/amaze me with Piano Textures, his
most audacious recording yet. Talk about truth in advertising,
"Piano textures" is more or less exactly what you get on
these eight tracks, achieved, in this case, on an 84-year old Steinway,
sampled and manipulated via sustain and other studio magic. Besides
piano, there is a sampled duduk (an Armenian wind instrument), as
well as sampled strings and some synths too. The recording earns its
title Piano Textures because it's the piano's "textures"
that grab a hold on you and crawl into your subconscious mind, evoking
emotions from profound sorrow to fear to solemnity and reflection
and, by the end, reflection and serenity.
This is an intricate yet primal album, appealing equally to the intellect
and to the primitive ego self.
are titled "Piano Textures" followed by the appropriate
"I" features a forlorn minimalist piano refrain on both
the lower and upper registers, accompanied by a wailing tone that
is "pretty" yet subtly scary at the same time.
In mood, this cut and the next two are similar to Mychael Danna's
more melancholic work on Skys, crafting a sense of isolation, foreboding
and unease. "II" strips away the more abstract sounds/effects,
leaving the densely echoed piano to be accompanied by warm tones from
a sampled cello. Again, the overall emotional impression is of pervasive
sadness. Sparse synths in the background lend some added depth.
"III" evokes the strongest comparison to Danna's Skys, with
a delicate series of echoed piano refrains (here, the piano could
compared to Tim Story's music) along with sampled duduk and bowed
Somber doesn't even begin to describe the tone of this piece, yet
it's intensely beautiful as well. "IV" presents abstract,
and dissonant (at times) solo piano which veers from sparse and minimal
to miniature explosions of intense drama.
I usually loathe experimental avant garde music but this track really
does it for me.
The music is creepy/scary (if you don't think of walking through a
deserted haunted house, you haven't seen enough ghost movies!) and
yet immensely compelling. "V" begins in an ambient vein
by "texturizing" the piano more through deeper sustain.
Here, the mood is peaceful and more in keeping with the traditional
ambient oeuvre (e.g. Brian Eno or Harold Budd ).
A warm drone/tone accompanies the extremely minimal piano notes (the
drone may actually be echoed sustain for all I know).
remaining tracks, "VI" contains warbling quavering tones,
whistling synths and shimmering bells but all of them, while draped
in shadow, still manage to be relatively calm (those bell tones can
be disquieting though). "VII" comes closest to being a straight-up
ambient piano piece, with the only noticeable additional effect being
that incredible sustain period, although some sparse synthesizer may
be present at the periphery, and "VIII" is an airy spacious
exploration of a frozen landscape, evoked through the delicate piano
notes that seem to hover in mid-air surrounded by lots of drones/textures/noises
imparting the vision of a vast stretch of land before you.
The counterpoint of the "warm" piano notes set against the
cold barrenness of the accompanying other musical/noise elements is
this release (as well as his previous effort, the overlooked and brilliant
Bruno Sanfilippo clearly stands apart from many other ambient artists
recording today. Frankly, I'm in awe of his unique musical vision
and the singular direction his music is taking in these last two recordings.
Whether or not ambient music fans can appreciate Piano Textures,
I personally think this is an amazing piece of work and consider it
one of the finest albums so far this year and staggeringly original
in overall concept and execution. My highest recommendation. Rating:
Paul Rijkens · Dutch progressive rockmagazine iO Pages
Sanfilippo, the Argentine multi-instrumentalist who lives and works
in Spain, has experimented with pianosounds on earlier albums (amongst
others on his last InTRO, as reviewed in iO Pages #68). However, this
CD almost only contains the sound of the piano
(for those interested: a Steinway model D from 1923), accompanied
by samples from stringinstruments and some contributions on synthesizer.
The CD has eight parts: Piano Textures I until VIII. The first, almost
silent, notes immediately call on an idea of the albums that the grandmasters
in this area, Harold Budd and Brian Eno, have created. Sanfilippo's
sounds are simple but full of beauty.
In the second part a fine sample of a cello can be heard, next to
a wonderful calm melody.
At the moment, the piano does well in filmmusic: many composers use
slowly moving moody pictures to represent certain emotions.
The third track could have come out of a film. Sometimes Sanfilippo
slightly experiments, like in the fourth part.
The sixth and seventh pieces could almost be called minimal. In my
opinion, the last composition is the highlight.
This is a wonderful track with an intense, great, atmosphere. In my
reviews I have often declared my admiration for the music of Bruno
Sanfilippo and also in this quiet setting this is again the case.
Bert Strolenberg · former journalist E-dition mag
Textures is an introspective album which offers center stage
for the processed sounds of a Grand old piano from 1923, accompanied
by some synthesizers, duduk and samples of strings. All eight tracks
have a more or less cinematic impact, their sounds tap from some kind
of subconscious source, breathing a sense of melancholy that was also
found in his former recordings.
Personally I find the third part the strongest exercise with its uplifting
timbre and warm duduk and stringsounds.
In all, this is very well executed music for the mind to make things
settle down. Well done Bruno!
Morpheus Music · UK
A suite of eight haunting piano ambiences laden with lush sustain.
Piano Textures is built around the rich, uncluttered sound of a solo
Steinway lady grand piano supported by a variety of strings, synths
and the unique strains of the duduk. Minimal melody lines unfold in
unhurried patterns - delicate, resonant - sometimes brief phrases
repeating with variation of intensity, structure, emphasis or perhaps
with the supporting sounds subtly altered. Sometimes the sonic air
is thick with reverberation, the piano accompanied by its own ripples,
low notes almost rumbling, eerie effects keening in the distance.
The processed notes seem to become increasingly tuneful as the album
progresses - yet never overly so - always restrained. Sleeve notes
explain that the compositions are arranged in chronological order.
MOOD: Bruno Sanfilippo plays with an elegant simplicity that is a
true delight to hear - restful arrangements that soothe, enchant and
absorb the listener. Many of the tracks have a melancholy feel that
is all the more doleful in such sparcity of expression. This introspective
sadness becomes almost tangible at times, in some of the more melodic
parts there is a beautiful aching sensation. There is also a brooding,
ethereal quality often present - the atmosphere both powerfully intense
and delicate at the same time.
ARTWORK: The front cover image initially hits the eye as a glowing
abstraction in orange/red - on closer inspection swirls of hair, fabric
and ambiguous colour present a variety of visual textures. On the
rear, another red texture image is montaged with a faint window photograph
- here is a simple track list with associated timings. Inside the
sleeve opens to reveal a muted portrait of the artist positioned at
ninety degrees to the text that could almost be missed on first glance.
Here we find some explanatory notes, a dedication, credits and contact
OVERALL: Piano Textures is the latest in a growing list of powerful
instrumental releases from Bruno Sanfilippo Suite
Patagonia , Visualia ,
Indalo w/ Max Corbacho , ad
Libitum , Anthology 1991-2004 , InTRO
, Piano Textures . This
album presents the sounds of the piano "sampled by post musical
instruments, with 10 recorded velocity layers with 10 separate sustain
pedal down layers and release triggered samples". The results
are truly amazing - lush, evocative compositions that fill the minds
eye with associative imagery. The recordings were made at night and
the tracks reflect this nocturnal influence throughout.
WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM: Piano Textures will appeal to anyone that
enjoys atmospheric ambience with just enough melody to touch the heart.
If you enjoy processed piano minimalism don't miss this one.
Moreau · France
a ouvert la voie à ce qui sera exploré par la suite
par le concept "ambient", De Brian et Roger Eno à
Bruno Sanfilippo est le digne successeur de ses ainés mais
s'approprie le genre et le rend plus émotionnel moins formel.
On pense indiéniablement à un film imaginaire. On se
laisse porter par ses flots de mélancolies et de rêveries.
Des samples instrumentaux ethniques s'immissent parfois. Piano textures
IV revêt une couleur plus contemporaine qui m'évoquent
compositeurs du début 20ème siècle (Debussy,
Ravel...) ou même Margaret Leng Tan.
Un disque aussi indispensable que " lovely Thunder" et"
White arcade" de Harold Budd.. indispensable!