This debut recording from Martino Vergnaghi blends traditional, even classical, elements with ambient electronica. Yet the blend is definitely his own. I ordered my copy through CD Baby
and it arrived in good time and well packaged. Possibly too well-packaged - violence was considered in an effort to get at the contents!
The album opens quietly, yet confidently with If only I could reach ...
. Layers build up slowly and it soon sounds like he's got a whole orchestra in there. You need to remind yourself this is just one guy with a synthesizer. Lullaby
makes for a logical progression, a melodic, mid-tempo piece. It put me in mind of Alan Stivell's later, self-composed work. Then comes Miserere
one of my joint favourites. It starts appropriately with a church organ sound and proceeds to play around with words from a Latin service. It bounces along nicely.
Track 4 Paradise lost
continues the meditative vibe. The music has a full sound and the lyrics are spiritual, but don't push any particular creed. A pleasant, rippling sound announces the start of White man dancing
. The synth sounds mostly like a synth here, and there's the odd flute and chiming sound for variety. I guess this is a tone poem, though not one I've deciphered very well. Vergnaghi slows the pace down for To find my way
, which tells of struggle in difficult times, but is ultimately positive - an approach we need in these times.A soldier in the snow
is another tone poem. It starts with tension, like film music when something is about to happen. A military rhythm builds up as the soldier comes into view and then the chiming snow flakes fall. Very effective. Foggy Lombardia
is another strong track, my joint favourite with Miserere
. I have trouble picturing Lombardy as foggy though - to my northern mind, it must be hot - but that's a minor detail! A swirling synth and a strong beat help me picture a foggy scene of my own. The title track is very hummable, with words that tell of faith and doubt.
The collection ends with Solitude
a slow quiet piece, with complexities that only reveal themselves slowly. It sounds final, somehow, telling us that our musical journey has come to an end.
All in all Martino Vergnaghi knows his way round the studio and his instrument. Well worth a listen. I look forward to the next set. His LastFM page is here:http://www.last.fm/user/vm20729