Title: Sounds on Canvas
Artist: Gaetano Fontanazza
Release Date: 2015 Jan 14
Genre: Ambient
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Sucu Music

Introduction

The guitar fueled textures of Gaetano Fontanazza: Sounds on Canvas reveal the intimacy of the relationship of father and son as interpreted through the latter’s art work.  As explained in the release notes for this work:

Gaetano Fontanazza’s latest release, ‘Sounds on Canvas’ is the live soundtrack to an exhibition of paintings by his father, the late Edoardo Fontanazza. As people admired the remarkable works of art hanging on the walls of a gallery in Enna, Gaetano supplied a live soundtrack to the event which was then recorded for this release.

While these were pieces that were produced for a specific event, they stand on their own as pieces for us to listen to and enjoy.  And, maybe, we can even gain a little bit of a glimpse into the feeling that Gaetano has for his father.

Gaetano Fontanazza: Sounds on Canvas

The release opens with ‘Masks’ a surprisingly-dense textured, lower register piece that has a foreboding feeling. As if you were standing in front of a woods, peering into the darkness, uncertain if you should enter.  Slowly over over time, the dense texture fades off into the distance to reveal clear, clean lines of light being emitted from within the darkness.  The implication being that while we might see overwhelming darkness in someone, within there is a glimmer of light that always manages to find it’s way out.  This is about revealing what is being the masks that we all wear.

‘Woods In Pink’ is reminiscent of being lost.  Drifting along, not knowing where we are.  It’s like finding a hidden cove, or something new where we thought we knew everything already. Gone is the darkness, and almost claustrophobic feeling of ‘Masks’.  In it’s place we find a vast and wide open space to explore.

‘A Painter’ brings part of the darkness of ‘Masks’ back to the fore.  But this time the foreboding and density is diminished.  This isn’t the darkness of what is hidden, it’s more about the process of the artist.  The darkness that one makes his or her way through, seeking the little glimmers of light that we reach out for and grab on to.  Sometimes the light is clear and obtainable, while other times it is little pieces of the darkness that twist and turn out of our reach.

All of the tracks on this release are mold able to interpretation of our own experiences.  They form a back drop on which we can project our life’s experiences and expectations, despite having been composed for a specific event they carry an indeterminable quality that allows the listener to form his or her own relationship with each piece.

One of the most eternal feeling pieces on this release is ‘Nude’ with it long glissando notes sweeping along a sustained, drone-like back drop.  There is a purity to the textures in this work that transcend the human body in it’s most natural form.  The form in which we are born, and the form of our bodies under all the layers of masks we wear both physically an metaphorically.

A couple of other notable pieces on this release: ‘Horses’ marks the only piece with a rhythm track.  But it’s not built from a drum machine or specific percussive instruments, it’s made with glitches and noises from the guitars themselves to add a feeling of motion to riding a horse, as Gaetano and his father used to.  And finally, ‘I’m Asking Again’ is the only piece that has been presented on a previous recording, and in this live version is unlike any of the other works on this release with it’s processed acoustic guitar, and layers of voices that interrupt and punctuate the experimental soundscape.

Conclusion

The nature of a live recording is often difficult to pin down.  In many cases artists are just regurgitating versions of songs they have previously recorded in front of an audience.  This release, on the other hand, is quite difference, being presented more like an installation work to accompany the viewing Edoardo Fontanazza’s paintings.  These works are a testament to the complexity of the relationship between father and son, as seen through the son’s interpretations of his father’s artwork.

Gaetano Fontanazza: Sounds on Canvas

Free / Donation
8.5

Rating

8.5/10
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Posted by George De Bruin

4 Comments

  1. A selection of tracks which highlight Gaetano’s skill at playing guitar and using effects to create wonderful emotive and thought provoking soundscapes.

  2. thank you so much! A track is missing to your sharp description “The way (home)”.
    Let us know if it is missing yet in your copy.

    1. Actually I didn’t mention two or three tracks from the release. I wasn’t writing a track-by-track review, although I almost fell into one.

      I do love ‘The Way Home’ though…just thought I would leave it as one of the tracks that listeners can discover on their own. 🙂

      George

      1. 🙂 ah, thank you!

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