Author Topic: My review of "Amidst The Circling Spires" CD by Alio Die & Sylvi Alli  (Read 297 times)

richardgurtler

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Alio Die & Sylvi Alli "Amidst The Circling Spires" CD

The long awaited collaboration between Italian sound explorer Stefano Musso/Alio Die and in Berkeley, California based singer Sylvi Alli was released during January, 2014, on Projekt. While prolific Italian sculptor Alio Die is widely recognized, the name Sylvi Alli was new to me, thus she deserves here a little introduction. Sylvi Alli has started her artistic career with classical piano, but soon she turned into painting (1976-1993) and since 1995 she began singing. Her discography includes several solo CDs and soundtracks for theater and film, which feature also underground movies directed by Sylvi's husband Antero Alli (Sylvi is also acting in many of Antero's films). They both run Vertical Pool Productions, an intermedia arts group. And on the top of this, Sylvi Alli is also designing and handcrafting original jewelry on her LunarMuse shop.

As usual for all Alio Die releases, "Amidst The Circling Spires" CD is housed in gorgeously designed 6-panel digipak, with cover photo and concept by His Sunt Leones, while Sam Rosenthal handles the graphic design. The album opens with "The Inner Sea (Silver Sea)", it's a very tranquil and meditative neo-medieval flavored composition. Alio Die's gorgeously evocative and distinguishing soundsculpting is more than apparent, this time is precisely enriched by ethereal voice magic by Sylvi Alli. The harmony between Stefano's electroacoustic textures and Sylvi's vocal expressions is absolutely magical, a truly embracing effect is quickly achieved. I am hooked immediately by this serenely captivating composition!!! Bravo, Sylvi & Stefano!!! "Dreaming Tree" starts with minimal texture, slightly more cacophonous and primordial blending all those acoustic and organic subtleties. Sylvi Alli's colorful vocal wizardry adds a new dimension to this mysteriously fragranced reverie. On the next piece, "Crepuscular Birds", the two main protagonists are joined also by Lingua Fungi (taking care of zither, e-bow and effects). Poignant neo-medieval strings quietly intermingle with more droney parts, organic sounds occasionally emerge, all safely guarded by utterly gorgeous heavenly voices. The more sparser is the texture, the more expressively intense is its overall mood, which paints a really wonderful state of serenity!!! With "La Grotta Delle Naiadi" the listener is invited to enter into spectacular cavernous domains, where velvety tinkles hauntingly interact with warmly expanding and meandering washes. Soothingly engrossing fragile rainy sounds inconspicuously sneak in through the large opening. Sylvi's gracious voice bravura distinguishably enriches these uniquely magical and deeply contemplative sceneries. Lorenzo Montanà is credited for additional electronics and effects on this masterpiece. Yes, be prepared for nearly 12 minutes of pure sonic bliss!!! The following piece, "Numinous Veins", remains in deeply mysterious terrains, deliberately merging slender electroacoustics, comprised mostly of tenser strings, eerie howls and mesmerizing percussive transitions, with crystalline field recordings and excelling emotional voice. "Across A Splendid Vista" immediately shifts into neo-medieval paths leaded by dazzlingly beautiful zither magic, flimsy tinkles and warmly undulating atmospherics. The track title exactly displays this delightful journey!!! On the closing "Revenir" Sylvi Alli returns with her heavenly voice virtuosity. The soundscape keeps on floating and circling, with distant beat unobtrusively hanging above, and painting pleasingly meditative images.

"Amidst The Circling Spires" album is absolutely triumphant collaboration of two artists, who are deeply dedicated to their artistic expressions, their unrestrained passion and unique fragrances make from this recording a truly gracious and majestic listening experience, and certainly fully rewarding too. Another big one from this Italian master and big grazie to Stefano for bringing Sylvi Alli to this artful spectacle!!! Once again, bravo to Alio Die & Sylvi Alli (and their guests)!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 06, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Re: My review of "Amidst The Circling Spires" CD by Alio Die & Sylvi Alli
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 03:52:09 AM »
Interesting to note, Steve Roach is not selling this CD at his website.  This usually means he does not endorse it based on his personal taste.  Which is surprising as he usually stocks the projekt ambient stuff.  From the samples I heard this one seems a bit awkward with the female vocals.  But I should give it a few more listens on bandcamp I guess to be sure.  Nice review as usual, Richard.