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NASCITA DELLA SFERA

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Nascita Della Sfera biography
"Nascita della Sfera" (Birth of the Sphere) produced this sprawling conceptual work based on the life of Italian sculptor Luciano Ceschia (1926-1991). Carlo 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." ItalianProg.com 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-garde. Barbieri and his young son supervised the reissue of this super-rarity from the master tapes, and included extensive liner notes. [Jim Russell/Finnforest]

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Per Una Scultura Di CeschiaPer Una Scultura Di Ceschia
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$24.41
$41.35 (used)
Per Una Scultura Di CeschPer Una Scultura Di Cesch
Import
Imports 2008
Vinyl$64.19
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3.90 | 11 ratings
Per una scultura di ceschia
1978

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NASCITA DELLA SFERA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Per una scultura di ceschia by NASCITA DELLA SFERA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 11 ratings

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Per una scultura di ceschia
Nascita Della Sfera Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Metal Mucus Snail

Ever since my good friend Steve talked about moving together with this album, I've felt the need to listen to it. Again and again.....It's a couple of years old friendship I've had, which now is beyond the rather peculiar opening meeting that first left me on the verge of delirium.

Birth of the Sphere, or Nascita della Sfera, created a tightly woven piece of art back at the tail end of the 70s, one that takes library music to another level altogether. I've seen many folks affectionately talking about it as one of the great obscure library albums, and if there's anything I am absolutely certain of, then it's that I'll never in a million years bump into this baby down at the local library! Not even the hippest book borrowing businesses will have the balls to play this.

Based around the Italian sculptor Luciano Ceschia (1926-1991) this album wields equal amounts of theatrical avantguarde electronics, freak folk and something else entirely. Not altogether indecipherable, the record seems to have a gentle way about it that very eloquently takes you through melodic "authentic" sounding music, recalling an acoustic take on Jerry Garcia's work for Zabriskie Point - to more daring electronic experiments, that I personally feel are closely related to a certain Italian sound. You hear it in Pierrot Lunnaire's RIOesque Gudrun, Battiato's Fetus (more outspoken on Pollution and the subsequent albums though), and then again it's also present in a remarkable more dark, brooding and sawing album like Claudio Rocchi's complete mindf*ck Suoni di Frontiera. It's a brand of electronics that not unlike The Floyd did on Saucerful of Secrets with organs - very slowly larvals it's way through the music like a mucus engulfed metal snail. The wonderful feel of this musical trade is the equivalent of diving straight into a pool of soft wet clay. Thick gooey gelatinous - words that all very aptly convey the real force of these electronic critters.

A small note should go to the audiophile connoisseurs out there though. I know some of you, and my guess is that you're most likely going to hate the production side of things. Per una scultura di ceshia at times sounds like it was recorded in a rather large plastic bucket. Especially the rare moments, where the more earthly businesses of saxophone, guitar and drums appear, takes on this absurd cartoonish cardboard sheen.

With 7 people behind the vocals, including head honcho Carlo Barbiera (keyboards, vocals, composition), you can also expect quite a vocal affair - though not in the way you probably think. Bouncing back and forth through sections of soft talking, voices and what genuinely sounds like a mic stuck in a room with two people having the most life altering conversation of their lives - the focus of this thing lies elsewhere - more specifically on the panoramic electronic scenery, saxophone experiments and droopy rainy day silhouettes.

When I hear this album now, it reminds me of Steve, who at the moment probably is celebrating his birthday(Godspeed comrade - feel the potatoes)............... Funny how some records remind you of people, and what's perhaps even more funny, is that music this mad and mosaic actually is capable of reflecting genuine personality in a kind flattering manner. For me personally, I have always had a lust for bewilderment, to get lost and hopefully stay there for a bit. Maybe I'm mad, but to me the backstreets and jungles just have so much more swoof and zing than all the world's highways combined. This facet of me is multiplied a thousand times when it comes to music, and I suspect that Steve most likely understands this better than any. Have a good one buddy! I'm sending you a box of koalas in the winter.

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 Per una scultura di ceschia by NASCITA DELLA SFERA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 11 ratings

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Per una scultura di ceschia
Nascita Della Sfera Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by 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.

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 Per una scultura di ceschia by NASCITA DELLA SFERA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 11 ratings

BUY
Per una scultura di ceschia
Nascita Della Sfera Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
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." ItalianProg.com 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.

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