Giancarlo Vulcano

Giancarlo Vulcano: Ve Tro

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Giancarlo Vulcano: Ve Tro Review

by Richie Unterberger

Guitarist Giancarlo Vulcano presents eight of his instrumental compositions on Ve Tro, with some assistance from other musicians on piano, violin, and clarinet. Minimalism might be an overused word to describe this sort of music, but certainly it fits that billing in terms of the economy of its phrasing and the sparse arrangements. "Upbeat" might be a word that's not overused in reviews of such recordings, but certainly this is lighter and brighter in mood than many such works that share similar characteristics. There's also a playful whimsicality to much of the melodies, and the way in which they're interpreted, that fits easygoing reflective moods rather than making for heavy plowing. Though himself a guitarist, Vulcano also emphasizes different instruments according to the piece, going for impressionistic piano (played by Yvonne Troxler) on "Portrait of Arthur Rimbaud" and "Piano Death Theme," and featuring Enid Blount's clarinet on "Music for Fish Tanks," though the synthetic-sounding percussion of "Self Portrait" doesn't seem suitable for his style. "Tierra Del Fuego," incidentally, is a score for a film of the same title by Elizabeth Whitney Bedford, while three of the other tracks were commissioned by the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels for a 2004 exhibition of Arthur Rimbaud.

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