Sanfilippo, Bruno - Suite Patagonia

Year of Release: 2000
Label: AD21
Catalog Number: AD 104
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:58:00

I wouldn't be at all surprised if somewhere in the Sanfilippo home one could find a sign which says "genius at work," because when you listen to Suite Patagonia for the very first time, there's only one word you can think of and that's genius, G-E-N-I-U-S!

As Vangelis tackled the discovery of America by Columbus on his 1492 soundtrack, Sanfilippo here delivers a view into history, into the southern extreme of the Americas that reached the South Pole, Terra Incognita Australis. The booklet is filled with interesting information about this period and its history, whilst the music really has you explore that huge territory by means of instrumental storytelling beauty. Opener "Sayhueque" is bombastic yet contains the true feel of the Mapuche Indians by introducing their authentic instruments such as quanas, quanachos, pifilca and trutruca, all skillfully performed here by one Paulo Carri. Sanfilippo himself plays kultrum and chaschas, two other authentic instruments from the Mapuche heritage. Next to the rich patterns on synthesizers and samplers, Bruno has also added the richness of real violin as performed here by Natalia Chiambaretta. In several of the tracks you can also hear the true recordings of Patagonian birds, which of course bring the synthetic music and the true spirit of nature closer together.

The underlying repetitive pattern makes "Giant Patagon" into a dragging rhythm, again complemented with birdsong and detailed instrumentation. "Terra Incognita" contains loads of classical references and in fact sometimes sounds as if a real orchestra is at work. It contains a very addictive rhythm and fuses Celtic-like elements within the music. The classical reference goes one step further when classical piano melts together with kettle drums and a huge choir to extra emphasize the repetitive nature of "Terra Incognita." Towards the end I notice a bit of early-Oldfield influences as well.

"Magallanes" holds a fair amount of Arabian elements not in the least the addictive nature of the rhythmic pattern, which kind of places you on a flying carpet overlooking the vast Patagonian landscape. "Fuegia & Jemmy" contains an original recording of a ritual song by extinguished Indian tribes of the most southern tip of Patagonia. This chant is embedded in very powerful and bombastic strings building like the waves that crash on the beach. To top it all, this song also includes the sound of authentic "ballena Franca" whales. The actual "Suite Patagonia" is a fine example of the compositional skills of Sanfilippo, introducing subtle melodies backed by some outstanding majestic strings in the best Vangelis tradition. Again Celtic influences spring to mind when you hear the inclusion of tin whistle that complements the superb orchestral arrangement. The album closes with "The Andes," a repetitive pattern that sounds like a loop fading in the distance.

Get that Grammy ready as this guy truly deserves it! In the meantime, film directors can stop their quest for the right soundtrack as Bruno Sanfilippo will certainly do an outstanding job. Superb!

Sayhuegue / Giant Patagon / Terra Incognita / Magallanes / Fuegia & Jemmy / Suite Patagonia / The Andes

Bruno Sanfilippo - keyboards, synthesizer programming, samplers, kultrum, chaschas
Natalia Chiambaretta - violin
Paulo Carri - quenas, quanachos, pifilca, trutruca

Sons Of The Light (1991/1998)
The New Kingdom (1995/1998)
Solemnis (1997/1998)
Suite Patagonia (2000)
Visualia (2003) Indalo (2004) Ad Libitum (2004) Anthology (2005)

Genre: Electronic

Origin AR

Added: December 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 845
Language: english


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