[Reviewed by stark]
“Inside Life” is a mature work of an experienced musician, classically trained, but captured by ambient over the years, yet not forgetting his roots; and the aforementioned album is a clear proof of this.
Bruno Sanfilippo lives in Barcelona, but not much of the hustle and bustle of this city, that is as beautiful as it is big and noisy, pervades in his music. It’s more like a certain invisible wall separating the listener from the outside; as if Bruno, dealing with urban turmoil on a daily basis, was well aware that many people simply need the time to soothe their nerves when returning home, after a day of not always positive emotions. For some silence is enough, while others prefer to reset with music, and “Inside Life” is meant for such people.
Published at AD21, Bruno Sanfilippo’s own label, the album contains seven pieces for piano, violin and electronics. The third element is subtle, sometimes imperceptible, but after further reflection absolutely indispensable. The synthetic factor is responsible for the space and deep breath of the music, as well as enriching the background on which the whole essence is mounted. And just thanks to the electronics the release should be understood as rooted in ambient aesthetics, instead of say, chamber music. Anyway, over the years Bruno himself has collaborated among others with Mathias Grassow or Alio Die, therefore it can’t be a coincidence.
“Inside Life” is very soothing and intimate. Not “sleepy”, and I wouldn’t describe it as serene either. “Inside Life” rather calms one down like sitting on the balcony of a seaside villa late in the afternoon, watching the waves crash on the shore. There are very rare moments when darker, slightly dissonant passages creep in, such as in “The Place Where Dying Crows,” yet it doesn’t essentially interfere with the inner self contemplation or the meditation of a beautiful landscape. I feel the spirit of Max Richter, also a bit of my amazing fellow countryman Jacaszek. Despite the dissimilarity of the music I can see a fragment of Alio Die from the project’s warmest and most static period, like in “Camille”, enriched with precious though subtle vocals by Mariel Aguilar.
With all of this, there’s a vague melancholy drifting through the sounds. Listening to “Inside Life” I have a feeling that summer – although in theory it hasn’t even started yet – is about to end and autumn will soon appear, nice and warm, but nonetheless heralding winter. In such a blue-gold way Bruno Sanfilippo charms the listener. Sensitive souls will be carried away by this one, I’m sure.