abstract Blues Experimental music piano review

Bruno Sanfilippo – “Piano Textures 4” Review

Opening up a piano to see what's inside
Bruno Sanfilippo
Bruno Sanfilippo

Long term readers will know of my love for most things piano and so when composers like Bruno Sanfilippo create music around some of the more abstract ways you man manipulate and play a piano I am all ears.

“Piano Textures 4” is a nine track mood piece that is a continuation of a project where Bruno explores  the many sounds a piano can make that aren’t just tinkling the ivories. From the more laid back singular notes of “PT1”, we are introduced to the more percussive insides of the instrument with “PT2” as the hammers are used like brushing guitar strings. It’s still quite minimalist but it creates a tense and intimate atmosphere at the same time and feels quite off kilter. “PT3” is more melodic but plays with muted notes being reversed behind the main pitter patter of the keys. The result sounds like a mysterious mix of piano and ringing bells in a metallic room, whereas “PT4” is more atmospheric like a blues track slowed down to a crawl with synth effects filling the void between keys.

Other tracks are more about piping the piano through effects. “PT5” uses an old watery gramophone speaker effect to create something that wouldn’t be out-of-place from a Silent Hill game, whilst “Pt6” plays with some bass notes to give us something more Sci Fi. The final three tracks to me feel like their own mini suite. They are darker and more broody than the rest, with the first relying on a tension of the low notes and a heavy echo on each time a low note is played. It’s a clever nuance because its subtle but adds so much. When the warped synth effects bleed in for “PT8” everything reaches its culmination and shows off Bruno at his melodic and abstract best before the echoed “PT9” leaves us empty with white noise and tube effects creating a hollow and unclear ending to an intriguing collection.

Part of the charm of “Piano Textures 4” is its intimacy and I feel like I am inside the piano at times. It feels like the whole album purposely holds back from going for a full melodic approach though and so some people who are less likely to get lost in mood pieces, may not find what they’re looking for here. Sanfilippo though has created an excellent mood piece for those who do want to get lost in an audio mystery as new layers of piano are unveiled – and if you have your imagination with you – you can wander off anywhere.

Recommended Track : PT8

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