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Eraldo Bernocchi: Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It

Mark Sullivan By

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Italian multi-instrumentalist and composer Eraldo Bernocchi created this music as the soundtrack to a documentary film on the American visual artist Cy Twombly entitled Cy Dear. Bernocchi was given complete freedom, and quickly found that his ideas naturally reflected those of the film's creators. More than that, he found himself becoming part of the story, bringing his own memories. The album title is taken from the Twombly painting reproduced on the cover, but the track titles refer to words and phrases said in the movie, or moments from it.

Guitar is the composer's main instrument, and 80% of the sounds were generated by guitars. But the sounds were processed electronically to such an extent that the results definitely do not sound like a guitar album. The opener, "Meet Me Where You Know," is a beautiful soundscape that immediately recalls pianist/composer Harold Budd, but with a bit of percussion underneath. "To Make Things Float" may actually feature a piano, so the Budd association is further strengthened. It's not just the spacious reverberant sound space; Bernocchi takes similar care placing his notes. Guitarist/composer/producer Michael Brook would be another point of reference, especially the places where guitar is audible.

"From A Distance" features a backdrop that swells and builds like some celestial choir, a ravishing demonstration of the composer's skill at manipulating layers of processed sound to emotional effect. The heart of "Like I Wasn't There" is a yearning, lyrical guitar theme, but the reprise strips the piece back to pure atmosphere. The final track, "Near By Distance," has the most pronounced pulse, a recurring steady dance rhythm that inspired Bernocchi to dedicate it to a friend, the late DJ Robert Miles. The track also packs a surprise, a noisy distorted piano and white noise coda that erupts out of the silence following the music.

When experimental music pioneer Brian Eno coined the term "ambient music" he described it as music which can be actively listened to, or easily ignored. Music which truly strikes that balance is rare. But Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It easily clears that bar. It is an album recommended to fans of ambient music without reservation.

Track Listing: Meet Me Where You Know; To Make Things Float; From A Distance; White; The Silver Laugh; A Child And A Pencil; The Gold House; Like I Wasn't There; A Letter And A Place; The Never Ending Pier; 1-10 Of Happiness; Swirling Colours; We Had A Good Time; A Crack In Time; The Space Between; Out In The Blue; Like I Wasn't There (Reprise); Near By Distance.

Personnel: Eraldo Bernocchi: guitars, treated guitars, electronics.

Title: Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords

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