Bill Binkelman · WIND and WIRE
a music reviewer, nothing is more frustrating than to listen to an
album, know you want to write a favorable review of it,
and yet not have a clue how to do it. That's where I find myself with
the latest album from Bruno Sanfilippo, Visualia.
I must have listened to this album at least ten times..
I know I like it (even love parts of it), but I simply can't wrap
my hands around 'why' except to say it is exceptionally
imagined as a musical voyage through an assortment of ambient, new
age, and EM soundscapes.
While it canbe somewhat uncohesive as a whole, Sanfilippo's
music has threads of commonality running throughout the entirety
of the recording.
There are moments of elegance and beauty here, such as on the first
track with its undulating keyboards and shimmering textures
(all the songs, by the way, are titled Visualia followed by a Roman
numeral to distinguish them, hence this song is Visualia I)
Visualia II opens with an ominous drone that ebbs and flows, building
in drama, until you realize that a pleasant bell-like cascading sequence
is emerging from the distance, as well as new age-style flowing melodies.
The pseudo-metronome effect of the cascade counterpoints the breath-like
quality of the ebb/flow drone.
Visualia III offers an opening dose of ethno-tribal percussive textures
merging with a swell of organ chords and rainstick rattles in the
The mood is ominous compared to the opening two songs, until the appearance
of a gorgeous female Gregorian choir appears
(and I mean real Gregorian, not that Enigma crap) as well as pealing
bells and symphonic strings that are right out of an adagio.
Sanfilippo specializes in on this album is infusing the various and
sundry electronic music stylings he creates with a real sense of the
humanity behind them.
Maybe that¹s what I liked most about the CD, i.e. I started getting
to know the artist and who he was.
This is not just a haphazard collection of tone poems or ambient noodlings.
Sanfilippo means something on every one of these tracks - I'm convinced
He's just leaving it up to you and me to figure it out. Whether it's
the Vangelis-like beauty of Visualia IV with its slow pace and stately
melodies, the more abstract ambient/tribal subterranean textures and
solemn chorales of Visualia V, the nature-sound enhanced
(falling rain) soft but sad drifting ambience of Visualia VI that
morphs into an almost spiritual celebration amidst bells and quavering
or the Danna/Clement-ish Visualia VII, this is an album that requires
a substantial investment from the listener, both in terms of time
and attention in order to really appreciate what it going on within
t even mentioned every song (by a long shot) and that will be part
of the fun when you hear this (as you should).
Unlike so many recordings, which are unrelentingly unexciting, Visualia
at least tries (and frequently succeeds) in doing something different,
i.e. engaging you, the listener, in participating and not just sitting
there letting it wash over you.
While the music is not challenging in and of itself, the album taken
as a whole is, since it stubbornly refuses to be placed in a nice
neat compartment.Personally, I'm glad artists like Sanfilippo are
still stretching the boundaries of this genre and I hope he continues
to do so.
Phil Derby · Editor & Publisher Electroambient Space
Visualia is filled with bright swirls of sound, brimming with
optimism, full of sonic imagery.
Simply titled Visualia I, Visualia II, and
so forth, the listener is able to project their own interpretation
into the music and what it represents.
Ambient background noise serves as a marker for transitions between
tracks water, people milling about, unidentifiable textured
and so on.
After two lighter tracks, the mood turns darker with III,
as rich drones and soft shakers turn to nature sounds, female choirs,
rattling metallic sounds from an unknown source, and strings. Simply
The disc blurs the lines between dark ambient, world, and new age
music. I cant really compare Sanfilippo to other artists that
I listen to regularly, though there are hints of everything from Phillip
Glass to Robert Rich.Visualia V has great spatial effects,
as water seems to drip from every corner.
After floating abstractly for over five minutes, primitive drums take
to the fore in convincing fashion. Water themes continue on VI,
a delicate atmospheric number. VIII even has sleigh bells,
but they fit perfectly with the rest.
Visualia is all about imagination, music that puts images in your
head and then carries you there
Marius-Christian Burcea · 'Journeys to the Infinite'
is another pleasant surprise for me.This work possesses a powerful,
ethereal quality evoking treasured meditations and awakening a new
appreciation of the numberless faces of the Sacred.
Through Sanfilippo's music and Janet Parke's fractal images, VISUALIA
shows us that the destiny of art is , independent of changing paradigms,
to forever reflect the light of infinity. From beyond this mutual
conjuction of sound and image,comes this incipient music radiating
into the intimacy of the heart and the immensity of the spheres.
Glenn Folkvord · Electronicshadows
Spain comes this ambient artist whose latest album Visualia
is inspired by the graphic computer art of Janet Parke.
Sanfilippo has tried to take the "form, colour, texture and light"
of graphic artwork into his music so that the listener will be "transferred
towards an inward and timeless dimension which encourages imagination
Most tracks are calm(ish) with a nice blend of semi-acoustic and electronic
sounds, usually structured as ambient pads with moving soundscapes,
tribal rythms or percussion sounds on top. The range of sounds are
wide, from human vocals to exotic percussion and pure electronics,
which gives an honest and organic overall feel to the album.
me, the music leans too much in the soft and bland new age direction,
rather than serious ambient music.
There are cute little melodies / sequences, passages of rain, thunderstorms,
flutes, windchimes etc, sounds I associate with fluffy and "beautiful"
new age music that unfortunately fails to connect on a deeper level.
Good production values can't compensate for a somewhat
"easy listening" collection of soothing tracks, but by all
means, if you need an hour of good non-intrusive electronic(ish) new
give Visualia a try.
Paul Rijkens · Dutch progressive rockmagazine iO Pages
being a reviewer has its advantages. You receive an album by an artist
or band you have never heard of, that
immediately grabs you and doesnt let you go again.
This is such an album. Bruno Sanfilippo is an Argentine musician who
already has made quite a lot of music and who has the gift to create
such an exiting atmosphere in his music that I hadnt heard since
the big days of artists like Michael Stearns ("Encounter",
"Floating Whispers"), Steve Roach ("Structures Of Silence",
"Quiet Music") and Thom Brennan ("Mountains").
The nine tracks on "Visualia" ("Visualia I-IX")
also have the atmosphere of these legendary albums: rich, intense,
slowly, excellently crafted, relaxing, uplifting, melancholic, slightly
romantic and very beautiful. Starting with very moody floating sounds
in "Visualia I", the albums goes through one to another
Take "Visualia III": it has churchbells in the background,
a little organic percussion and a soft womens choir. "Visualia
IV" is my favourite on
the album: a simple but extremely effective track with a superb melody.
This is some of the best EM-pieces I have ever heard.
Sometimes Bruno follows the path of Steve Roach some more as in "Visualia
This is rather dark stuff with the voice of a woman and ethnic percussion.
At other times his music, like in "Visualia VI", reminds
me a little bit of that of Sanford Ponder and also Harold Budd seems
("Visualia VII") The sequences in "Visualia VIII"
have some traces of Cliff Martinez music of the film "Solaris"
while the last track is a more rhythmic affair.
A masterpiece. I am looking forward to his collaboration with Max
Chuckvan Zyl · STAR'S END Radio
the album Visualia 59'39", Bruno Sanfilippo shows us that Ambient
Music can offer the listener more than just the pleasant passing of
time. Working in a genre steeped in neutrality, Sanfilippo has realized
a distinctive work at the upper edge of attention yet unbound in time.
Visualia exists as a series of nine tracks - moments of sensation
which the listener links together to construct a cohesive, however
dreamy, mindscape. The album drifts along gradually between frames.
His pieces are in constant motion,
wandering amongst dark and light tones and moods. Low synth tones
purr deeply beneath gently plucked metal strings while unique samples
and field recordings tease the analytical side of our senses. Reverberant
voices sing as layers of synth pads build alongside mad ethnic drumming.
Out of a windswept dream rises an evocative piano solo, ever so bright
against the dense drone.
Themes are repeated and rephrased just as an old memory is revisited
and again considered. Visualia roams and strays like a dreaming mind.
The territory covered is dramatic and beautiful. With its majestic
harmonies and heavenly voices, this album explores the more elegant
side of Electronic Music. Behind the experience is the composer's
intelligent, human design.
Bert Strolenberg · Main Editor & Journalist E-dition
With his 5th album he attempts to make music that awakes images hidden
in our memory,
but which also corresponds to the fractal art images of American visual
artist Janet Parke which are also featured in the booklet. Well, Visualia
sounds quite intimate and imaginative at times, in the 3rd track it
even turns a bit grand with beautiful symphonic textures, voice and
deep bass-tones. Things dont stay that quiet as Visualia
V gets things moving with great tribal percussion, before things
slow down again in the next track with deep, sometimes ethereal ambient
textures and environmental sounds. Visualia VII moves
Tim Story-environment with treated piano and bell-sounds. The dreamy
effect is a bit lost in the final track, which is a bit dreary.
All in all, Visualia is well produced recording, theres sure
something for any general ambient-fan to be found.