[Minstrel in the GalleryBest Of BowieLodgerHeavy HorsesA Mediterranean OdysseyPawn HeartsMusic for a New SocietyDesireStreet Fighting YearsIslands
Music always gives rise to deep enchantements, and following its magic power we can fly high, wandering beyond the secret unexplored spaces of our emotions, and thanks to its unconscious bond with our heartbeat, we are shifted away into the primitive rhythm of life which is beating, asking, wanting!
Going into detail, music embraces two distinct worlds: the one of 'the voice' and that of 'the sound', and if while talking about voice we are also involved to think to our body and to all its limits - when dealing with sound we are allowed to come closer to something more abstract and unlimited, a sort of magic element grazed by the supernatural breath and flowing into the world of myth.
So, with our voice supported by the vehicle of music we can surely 'throw a bridge' and easily get in touch with 'the Others' - this seems to be the real Sandro G. Masoni's message enclosed in the album title, 'Istmi'; not only a geographical meaning but also a subliminal message: "East me"... to say a strong mutual call asking for musical contaminations, peace, and brotherhood among all people.
Listening carefully to Masoni's melodies we can perceive the voice of a crowd of souls revealing the presence of the child and his pleasure, the one of the aged man torn by his regrets, and also the well-known 'dark side' dwelling in the deep labyrinths of our minds.
When giving free band to the child's voice, music starts playing with improvisations, fast, wild rhythms, and free sounds lightly echoing on the walls; but also with willful voices - sung, shouted, and repeated -, whose lament contains not only the universal sorrow but also the shade of that Man who has been betrayed, humbled and beaten, but whose soul will never die.
Like the swinging movement of a tide, the violin sings in perpetual motion, resembling the voice of a thoughtful parent, a sort of 'violin-father' remembering and singing his/our own story, and flying high with beautiful virtuosities and rhythmic melodies all able to give deep relief and warmth to our hearts.
Flutes, guitars, percussion, and all the 'other things' featured in track 1 - 'Isles' - give rise to a real 'Hymn to life', whose growing sequel can be felt in track 5 - 'Aggju paldutu lu sonnu' - leading with a crescendo into track 15 - 'Il rasoio di Ockham' - the real keystone of this Masoni's album, the description of a metamorphosis, of a change, the fulfillment of a dream.
Then, apropos of the singing, I realized how it sometimes turns into medieval ballad style, becoming love song or even howled serenade, underlined by the poignant voice of the violin, or stressed by light, bold registers flying together with all the instruments like windborne leaves, then all of a sudden it changes in beautiful celtic ballads characterized by the presence of sweet echos of flutes, launeddas, and percussion in a magic dance with pizzicatos and bold arpeggios on the high-strung guitar.
Particular attention surely is deserved by track 18, entitled 'Mr. Soft' - a Steve Harley's song (the only cover on this album) - wholly played on that particular accent distinctive of the balcanic music, and whose forced articulation on the consonants creates an intense histrionic effect, carrying on our minds to old Fellini's oniric images 'en travesti'
To the Italian actor Tino Petilli and his warm, beautiful voice reciting one of Leopardi's masterpieces, 'L'infinito', is given the task to complete this musical journey, and to seal the close relation between poetry and music; and then its clear referring to track 1 - 'Isles' - magically crowns the archaic meaning of universal Love, deep respect for the mistery of Life, and full awareness of being part of a group of blessed.
But the real magic lies in that musicians' light breath playing all over Masoni's work, giving back to music a human core; a tender mix of genius and frailty peculiar to mankind only, and capable to bring on through the centuries our unchanged voice together with intervals, silences, and all the infinite noises belonging to life. That same breath which gives our hearts the energy to pulse, love, suffer, enjoy, live...
Maria Grazia Casagrande - Turin, Italy