Gregorio Bardini - Sentinelle Del MattinoSomething of a mixed release this one. Gregorio Bardini is an accomplished flute player. He's performed classical performances, and has worked with the likes of Vidna Obmana, Tuxedomoon and others, and from what I can gleam he was a member of the Italian post-industrial outfit T.A.C. in the late eighties / early nineties.
Sentinelle Del Mattino is his latest release issued under his own name, aided by numerous guests including Bleiburg. His flute playing dominates this release, but doesn't overshadow the compositions which are varied and, at times, quite surprising. The curiously titled 'Ezra Pound In Mantua' opens the album, and becomes somewhat clearer when you realise that it his daughter, Mary de Rachewilts, who is reading from her father's Cantos. Her voice contrasts nicely with the music that veers from short bursts of orchestral strings and background operatic singing, to stuttering electronics and electronic dance rhythms. The prolific neo-folk martial outfit Bleiburg supply the electronics for the next two tracks. The first a combination of eastern flute melodies, discordant e-bow guitar and martial electronics, while the second has Bardini's stern voice reciting (the first of two) poems by Christine Kortschal over subdued electronics before culminating in military snare. The voice of Ezra Pound features on the next track reading from his Cantos follows, over a flute with added and minimal experimental touches.
From then on Sentinell Del Mattino loses its flow. It jumps from style to style, with his predilection for all sorts of wind instruments taking centre stage. 'Zalmoxis' features Spanish guitar arpeggios and some sophisticated flute playing, 'Atla-Itla-Lati' is far more orchestral, with the words from the title sung and spoken, over gentle strings, and a delicate piano score. Once again the flute weaves a lamentful melody. 'La Bottege Dell'orefice' continues with classical piano and brief snatches of radio broadcasts before bagpipes blare across the top, ending on medieaval textures. Before it returns to the ethno-ambience of the closing track, it indulges in a couple of tracks of throbbing electronics and harsh aggro vocals pitted against improvised flute melodies.
Bardini has composed a varied release that continues his passion for, I guess, meditative wind instruments but flute playing and experimental music appear to make odd bedfellows, and while it follows its own path I'm not convinced that it's one that I'd want to travel down too often. For more information go to www.theeasternfront.org