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Nascita Della Sfera - Per una scultura di ceschia CD (album) cover

PER UNA SCULTURA DI CESCHIA

Nascita Della Sfera

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.88 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

coasterzombie
4 stars Equal parts electronic avantgarde and traditional acoustic folk sandwiched in a sound collage, Per una Scultura di Ceschia is the 1978 work of mastermind Carlo Barbiera and musical collective Nascita Della Sfera. The album plays like a movie soundtrack to the life of sculptor Luciano Ceschia and in fact reminds me of another soundtrack - Goblin's score to Solamente Nero, released that same year. Both works rely on a blend of structured composition and calculated improvisation, electronic experimentation, tape manipulation and tons of atmosphere. In Barbiera's favor are a talented ensemble cast full of risk-takers, competent enough to bring melody to the table when necessary, but humble enough to step aside if the piece dictates. Per una Scultura di Ceschia is noisy and seemingly random yet there is a simple logic to its intended purpose: Music is more than just notes and rhythm, but a journey; a discovery waiting to be made, a blank canvas ready to be filled in. Nascita Della Sfera in their search for three-dimensional music have left a curious yet memorable mark on the Italian Prog map, and I can't recommend it enough to those with an open mind.

Though the painfully rare LP is sequenced into 19 separate tracks, each side runs seamlessly from one musical vision to another with only brief transitions between them. The actual running order is an art form unto itself, as these transitions, whether they be jarring or fluid, add nearly as much to the music as the music itself. To play the album on shuffle or random order creates an entirely different experience. Of the two sides I prefer the latter, folky one to the former, more abstract one. The first side may seem somewhat slow at first but it sets the template for the album's cohesive conclusion. Side B begins with the honky-tonk horror of "Puntine," before a ticking alarm clock abruptly stops; the gentle "Verdi Prati" and its solemn flute then calms the listener. We fade to Echoplex nightmares as a distant fingerpicked guitar announces "Magia." Spoken word and sound effects introduce "Adam," the highlight of the disc, as a beautifully played folk jig is buried beneath heavy breathing, childlike speech and even animal mimicry. The guitar chimes harmonically and segues to "La Fonderia" which briefly mixes spacey minimalism with tape loops. "L'incoronazione" layers these sounds with flute and airy synths, echoing the melody of "La Sfera" from Side A. The jazzy "Luci Dal Pianeta" leads into "Sotto Il Ponte," which sounds like a twisted theatrical rehearsal. "Nell'Universo/Sul Ferro" anticlimactically concludes the album with a lo-fi electric blues. Weird.

To describe Per una Scultura di Ceschia is a bit like giving directions to someone who's never driven a car. In order to get where you're going, you first have to understand the methodology. Barbiera and Nascita Della Sfera knew where they wanted to go, they just didn't have the directions. The anecdotes included in the generous CD liner notes paint a serendipitous picture of how this group of kids went from being a sleazy cover band to art- rock pioneers in only six gigs; perhaps some embellishment livens the story but Barbiera seems like a captivating character and his accounts only add to the value of this package. Also included are some forty minutes of bonus tracks, featuring live rehearsals, outtakes, and additional material that didn't make the final cut. Per una Scultura di Ceschia may not fit the traditional RPI mold but its contribution to the genre is worthwhile and heartily recommended.

coasterzombie | 4/5 |

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