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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Thomas Canna – mi sembri frastuono, sussurro (MUPE, 2023)

By Guido Montegrandi

As Stef Gijssels wrote on this blog some weeks ago : “Listening to solo percussion albums requires some special attention and attention span as well” and indeed that’s what this album asks of its listeners. Mi sembri frastuono, sussurro by Thomas Canna is the third output of MUPE, a small artist-managed label that is focused on providing documentary evidence of its evolving artists and their sonic search.

It is a solo percussion totally acoustic album: “the record has been initially developed last winter while I was studying the concept of “resonance” on my native instrument - the drum kit in its most traditional configuration” (T. Canna, personal communication)

This investigation seems to move from music to alchemical psychology and back as most of the titles suggest (Nigredo/Blackness, Albedo/Whiteness, Rubedo/Redness - are names traditionally used to describe the different steps in the alchemic path ). The result is six different pieces that (at least to me) seem to form a sort of suite.

The music is framed by the initial and final tracks made of vibrating bass harmonies (Nigredo and Unificazione) while in between things get more percussive and concrete (made of metal and skin), sometimes focusing on a rhythm, sometimes dispersing in sounds and whispers. The central piece Testimone (Witness) seems to find a balance in the tension field created by the diverse sonic sources: “I was looking for timbres that would allow to hold notes/harmonics over so as to create a vast array of overlaying colours … like some background cosmic radiation with no beginning and no end existing just in the here and now.” (T. Canna, personal communication).

In conclusion this album offers an insight of the musical landscape of its author and leaves us with some moments of wonder for a primeval sound that brings echoes of the sound of the elements, something like the “vibrational dew” that Ornette Coleman was searching for. Worthy listening.

You can listen, buy and download this album on Bandcamp.