Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Nascita Della Sfera - Per una scultura di ceschia CD (album) cover


Nascita Della Sfera


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.76 | 19 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A dreamy experiment for fans of the avant-garde

Do you like Ummagumma's studio side? How about "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast?" If you answered No you can probably stop reading. But if you like that kind of weirdness you may enjoy this super rarity from late '70s Italy that is being released by BTF for the first time ever on CD. Carlo Barbiera, keyboardist and composer of this group begins his description of the project as follows:

"To wrap up sculptures in a cloak of sounds, in search of tri-dimensional music."

"Nascita della Sfera" (Birth of the Sphere) produced this sprawling conceptual work based on the life of Italian sculptor Luciano Ceschia (1926-1991). Barbiera wrote the piece and assembled a large troupe of musicians to record it. In the '70s the LP was a very limited private pressing, but BTF/AMS have remedied that with a tasty gatefold mini-lp sleeve CD release. I have seen the results described as "experimental electro-acoustic progressive" and also "proto-folktronica." says the work reminds a bit of early Battiato. In general there are just enough flavors of the '70s RPI scene to appeal to its fans and the rest should be fans of the avant and electronic genres. It is a product of its time and a bit rough around the edges so be aware of that. If you like your prog polished with top notch production values and linear sensibilities, this is not for you. This is a home-made sounding project that pays no lip service to any commercial conventions, something that not everyone will appreciate but only adds to the fun for me.

It is charming and absolutely successful progressive music to my ears. While the CD is chaptered 32 times, the pieces are connected and this album plays like one long daydream. You move from one short sound experiment to the next: some are beautiful, some are dissonant, some are fairly traditional, some are totally musically insane. In short, just what the adventurous listener craves. To give a bit more description I'll describe some of the more common track scenarios. One track will be an acoustic guitar just frittering away like Gilmour does during Psych Breakfast, very soft, nostalgic, beautiful. The next track will be short flute or sax solo that drifts off down a dark hallway. Then you might have cacophony of hideous loud clanging noises over voices. Then a piano solo or clocks ticking or running water. Then spoken word vocals. Then a variety of synthesizers creating a wall of sound. Then a child's laugh. You get the point? It's the kind of album one either loves or hates, which is why I referenced the two widely known Floyd pieces. This album is even a bit more "out there" and frankly a bit more sincere than the Floyd works I mention-Ummagumma sound a little contrived in places whereas this album feels more natural. The guitar playing is quite frequent and very enjoyable as the players try out several different styles from spacey acoustic to blues to jazz to even a brief bit of hard rock. The acoustic guitar of "Campenelli" literally sparkles with effervescence to great effect and are back by strange piano and synth sequences. The saxophone excursions near the end are like a person coming apart.beautiful at first but descending into some chaos. What I really like about this album is the complete freedom from the chains of a rhythm section. So much music is a slave to having constant drums thumping away-this album allows musicians to play free-form without being constrained by that. Like a situation comedy that is brave enough to not use a laugh track there simply are no rules here. This is about sound and the moods the sounds conjure, it is not about "songs." Overall I find this album enchanting and perfect for a rainy day. My guess is that some fans of today's more hard-core avant-garde projects may find this album a bit "quaint" as it doesn't pack the in-your-face edge of someone like Toby Driver. But that doesn't mean it isn't viable. This album is interesting to me musically, historically, and has the charm of its creator coming through via boundless enthusiasm.

The BTF reissue is even more generous than usual with two separate, thick booklets, one in English and one in Italian. The liner notes written by Barbieri are some of the most heartfelt and humorous I've ever read. He recalls moments of his life in a sort of stream-of-consciousness burst which fits well with the music here. Great detail is given about other contributors also, their backgrounds, and what they are doing now. The sound is taken from the original master tapes and while not exactly awesome it is certainly acceptable to me. Barbieri and his 13 year old aspiring musician son worked together on processing 13 additional bonus tracks adding more than a half-hour to the dream sequence. There is some real bang for the buck here for the experimental music lover but it requires a listener with patience as well as an open mind about what "music" really is.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this NASCITA DELLA SFERA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives