Thursday, March 30, 2006

Listening: Solyaris

With a break from composing and recording comes more time to listen.
Among the more fascinating packages to come my way of late is one from Italy
containing CD-Rs by composer-recordist Giorgio Robino, who releases his work under the name Solyaris (a tribute to great visionary film maker Andrei Tarkovsky.)
I've been listening for a few days now to MELLOW STASIS (REDUCED EDITION) and CELLAR DOOR. On these recordings, Robino uses the ringing, crystalline tones of lap steel and standard guitars as the starting point for long, emotionally evocative electronically-processed compositions (in particular, Robino utilizes long echos, delays, and looping) that manifest a highly-developed sense of tonality and resonant spaciousness. The music of Solyaris is engaging and engulfing, with a slow-motion drift; its subtle underlying structure might suggest the majesty of massive wind-swept sands or the infinite shimmer of stars at night.
On the surface of these works one might at first detect an undeniable sonic debt to ambient pioneers like Robert Rich and Steve Roach. But to my ears, Robino's work sounds wilder; more free and open to surprise than that of his musical forebears. I've really enjoyed falling into these adventurous and panoramic fields of sound.
For more about Solyaris, check out Robino's website here: