the CD "Al Nur"
I have been
listening to Cipriani's works for five or six years and I thought
I knew his music. I was completely wrong because after this new
CD I can no longer recognize him. "Al Nur" is the revolution
of a musical language. Why? Cipriani writes in the booklet "My
latest works are a rewrite of pieces of oral traditions (more
or less complex), including a trilogy on religious chant (Gregorian,
Islamic, Jewish), a traditional Chinese piece, another Arabic,
fragments of a piece of rock music composed without writing the
music and other fragments from memory". What does it mean?
The melodic and rhythmic structures absorbed into these compositions
are not simply quotations put in only for the taste of something
exotic, but they signify an alive element that flourishes step
by step. We can sometimes listen to polyphony that doesn't belong
to the old composition but to the new one. There is always great
respect for the oral traditions; in fact the music of these civilizations
has not been shattered, camouflaged and reduced to a loop for
a schematic composition that nowadays we can easily hear everywhere.
The melody, the rhythm, the single sound revive to create other
melodies, rhythms and sounds. Cipriani puts a mosaic together
and its tesserae are: time and space of music, the witchery of
silence, spirituality, time/space seen through a soul. This is
Cipriani's new ways to constitute his medium.
Computer Music Journal Volume 26 Number 3 Fall 2002
Cipriani uses cutting-edge technology to bring us closer to the
music of a timeless oral tradition, including religious chant from
the three Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Musically and conceptually, this is an extraordinary CD, with wonderful
sounds and human warmth. And as a result of Cipriani's great sensitivity
and gift for sound, the music becomes more a part of us, more a
part of our contemporary language. And as the music sings to us,
we feel more a part of the humanity it represents.
Chadabe , Electronic Music Foundation site: www.cdemusic.org)
on the CD "Il
primal magmatic thought trascends temporality. Within this time
continuum, the musical phrases are enticing and evoke rich imagery.
At the same time the plain, spoken voices bring things to earth
and to the present (...) After the slow introductory music, the
choral setting is delightful, creating mysterious sonorities of
an eerie character (...) The guttural and fragmented vocal utterances
create rich strata of vocal colors, well matched by the instrumental
and recorded sound." (Alcides Lanza - Computer Music Journal)
Alcides Lanza, Computer Music Journal
On the video"Still
Blue" at Bourges
penultimate day of Synthèse 1999, in the ultimate year
of the twentieth century, continued with more international open
works being heard for an hour in the TJC, followed by two more
art videos, then a demonstration of the music software laureates
of the 1999 Bourges Competition. Indeed, time and the times were
the afternoon's essence. Counting consumed the first art video
of the afternoon, Gilles Charalambos's 00:05:23:27, a light/dark,
always-changing, rhythmic scene, amusing, sad, and always counting
time. Still Blue, by Alessandro Cipriani (Italy), followed.
Beautiful vocal sounds, underpinned with a constant undertone,
evolved into a simple melody, and our eyes began to see forms
of sea life in the hazy blue, underwater scene. Now, a man's body
is seen floating-gone. A voice grieves "the death of David".
A beautiful memorial.
Austin, Computer Music Journal
the textbook "Virtual
and Cipriani provide a thorough grounding in the basics and do
an admirable job of explaining Csound's potential beyond note-by-note
generation. The text describes how to build orchestras that can
serve as rich compositional resources, even to the point of generating
multiple musical ideas.
clear from the presentation, flow of materials, and general tone
of Virtual Sound that the authors are experienced composers
of electroacoustic music as well as effective teachers. The pervading
attitude in the book is that computer-generated music is expressive
and evocative... I felt as I read that I was in the hands of master
teachers whose love of their subject and musicianship comes across
on every page.
Overall EM Rating (1 through 5): 4
Electronic Musician, Sep. 2001
It's a good
time to learn Csound. With the publication in the last couple
of years of The Csound Book, the Csound Catalog with Audio, and
Virtual Sound, there are more resources available than ever to
aid in learning this powerful, arcane, and free synthesis software.
Virtual Sound sets itself apart from the other materials by its
measured, explicitly pedagogical approach clearly aimed at the
beginning to intermediate Csound user. Virtual Sound appeared
in 1998 in Italian as Il Suono Virtuale, and the translation by
Agostino Di Scipio seems quite good with only a few awkward turns
of phrase that are nevertheless perfectly understandable.
is organized clearly by synthesis/processing topic with a careful
one-by-one introduction of Csound features and opcodes. In addition,
there are appendices covering a Csound shell programmed by one
of the authors (Riccardo Bianchini) and Mathematics and Trigonometry,
and a section of "Readings" covering specialized uses
of Csound. An additional feature of the text is a section called
"Extensions" that follows each chapter giving the more
experienced user a deeper look at that chapterÕs topic that could
easily be skipped by the novice. Although these sections are uneven
in their depth of content, they give the book an added life after
the first reading. Given the step-by-step approach, Virtual Sound
could have been quite limited without these extensions. Even so,
I would like to see greater depth there to make the book stand
on its own as a general introduction to software synthesis as
well as a primer on Csound. As it is, there is not enough depth
of coverage for most of the topics to make this book a self-contained
introduction to computer music, and it is necessary in many instances
to refer to a text like Computer Music by Charles Dodge and Thomas
Jerse or Curtis RoadsÕ The Computer Music Tutorial for a decent
understanding of a given topic.
design of Virtual Sound is excellent: a topic-by-topic introduction
to software synthesis through Csound with features such as "Extensions"
and "Readings" to provide the depth of coverage necessary
for continued reference by intermediate Csound users. However,
the realization of this design is uneven. Virtual Sound is a decent
and useful book, but it could have been a great book providing
an inspiring introduction to this powerful language and medium.
Virtual Sound's primary attributes are its step-by-step pedagogically
oriented approach and a great deal of complete Csound code. ....
I would still
recommend Virtual Sound to those interested in creating computer
music that is not bound by the restrictions of commercial software,
but I would also have to recommend a more complete computer music
text to mitigate some of its weaknesses.
Computer Music Journal, Volume 26 Number 1 Spring 2002
To read the
entire review first enter this site
and then clic
CD "Al Nur"
ultimo lavoro rappresenta una vera svolta nella produzione di
Alessandro CiprianI (...) La Luce ("Al Nur") illumina
questo disco dal fascino ammaliante, solare. Dal brano iniziale
"Jasminb", con la splendida voce del marocchino Nour-Eddine
Fatty, alle melodie cinesi di "Into the Light". Ma è
proprio nella "Trilogia" dedicata al canto religioso
che Cipriani ci stupisce e ci regala momenti di rara intensità
espressiva: quasi 40 minuti divisi tra canto islamico ("Al
Nur", ancora con la voce di Fatty), canto gregoriano ("Aqua
sapientiae/Angelus Domini") e canto ebraico ("Mimaa'
Assai azzeccati gli arrangiamenti e la strumentazione, rigorosamente
tradizionale, accostata a rielaborazioni elettroniche molto personali
e mai forzate, che anzi si amalgamano perfettamente con la fonte
musicale originale. Affascinante è aggettivo che rende
a malapena l'emozione che si prova ascoltando, e lasciandosi andare,
la musica proposta. Veramente un disco da ascoltare, con mente
libera e aperta.
Petitti Musikbox (nuova serie) n.2 mar/apr 2001