Alio Die & Lorenzo Montanà: The Threshold of Beauty (CD)

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Tracks

1 On the waves of fate – Part 1
2 The closest place to the soul
3 Lighthearted expansion return
4 Dark dhrupad
5 Vacant lights disclose the shadows
6 On the waves of fate – Part 2

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Limited edition of 500

Purchase in Europe for fast, inexpensive shipping:

Information in English here. Click to order CD.

On their second collaboration, these cult Italian musicians create an hour of meditative dream-infused soundscapes and beatless mystical textures. Following their 2015 Projekt album Holographic Codex, Alio Die (with 65 releases) and Lorenzo Montanà (with 17 releases) come together for six tracks of deep ambient soundscaping, intersecting a potent alchemical brew of pure organic sounds.

The threshold of beauty is a transcendental vision of beauty as an integral part of the cosmos. The connections of the music with nature and human spirituality are mixed in an ineffable picture that create a contemplative frame of mind.

The recordings started with Alio Die performing on a psaltery (an ancient medieval instrument like a dulcimer but played by plucking the strings) augmented with real time electronic improvisations & processing by Lorenzo. The tracks were then edited by Alio Die adding layers, additional effects and loops to complete the expansive ritualistic tapestry.

Undeniably calming and moving, the breathing slows, the mind quiets and opens. As the introspective ambience washes over the listener, a naturalistic dronescape unfolds with alluring aural scenarios of evolving, intimate sounds.

* Alio Die has over 65 releases, 7 on America’s Projekt Records and others on his own Hic Sunt Leones label. Montanà recorded 5 collaborations with Pete Namlook on Pete’s German FAX label, plus released 12 solo albums with various European imprints.

Release notes:
Limited edition of 500, May 31 2019


Explore Projekt’s Italian Grotto

Sam curates a Spotify playlist featuring Italian ambient/electronic artists on the Projekt label. Earthy, textural, enveloping soundtracks. Listen: Italian Grotto

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Reviews

  1. padmin

    From Darkroom

    Seconda collaborazione tra il veterano dell’ambient italico Stefano Musso e Lorenzo Montanà della Disco Dada Records, dopo Holographic Codex uscito quattro anni fa. The Threshold Of Beauty, edito nella tiratura limitata di 500 copie, consta di sei brani impalpabili costruiti su linee tonali sottili, soffici e continue, mai battute da ritmiche o frastuoni, sempre tese alla ricerca di una pace interiore, a metà tra fotografie di scenari naturali e riflessioni intimiste ai confini del mondo. Gli stessi titoli fanno leva su situazioni altre, distanti dal contingente e protese verso un infinito che ci si sforza di descrivere in angolazioni plurisensoriali. Puntate verso scenari più plumbei compaiono inaspettate (“Lighthearted Expansion Return” e “Dark Dhrupad”), con echi semi-rituali che rimangono comunque collegati ad un imprinting di base sempre teso ad osservare il cosmo da lontano. Il confine tra suoni e soundscapes tonali è breve, giocato costantemente su flussi audio dilatati, traduzione perfetta di uno scorrere perpetuo, velato da un mood semiorchestrale e raffinato. Il tutto appare ottimamente in linea sia con i recenti prodotti di Alio Die che con certe produzioni della Projekt di Rosenthal (Forrest Fang, ma anche lo storico Steve Roach), garanzia per chi ama un certo tipo di release, curate sia dal punto di vista compositivo che tecnico. Confezione essenziale in digipak apribile ed eccellente resa audio, come da sempre per le uscite di Musso. -Michele Viali

  2. Reviews Editor

    A review from Sequenzer Welten
    Stefano Musso und Lorenzo Montana gehören beide zur italienischen Garde, die sehr mystische Klanglandschaften bilden. Ihr zweites, gemeinsames Werk The Threshold Of Beauty, welches beim Label “Projekt.com” herausgebracht wird, bietet genau dieses mystische Bild. Sowie man sich auf diese Klänge eingelassen hat, was zugegebener Maßen nicht unbedingt leicht ist, so bekommt diese spirituelle Reise einen sehr meditativen Charakter. Die Wirkung schwankt immer zwischen beruhigend und belebend. Das mag sich zwar im ersten Moment widersprüchlich anhören, aber so spüre ich es ….. wobei “belebend” vielleicht nicht der richtige Ausdruck ist. Man könnte es auch als eine etwas “unheimliche Spannung” empfinden. Aber versucht es selbst herauszufinden-
    -The Threshold Of Beauty- ist eins der mysteriösesten Alben, das ich kenne…. trotz der Stille….

    Freunde des Deepambients werden sicher ihre Freude an diesem Album haben. Ich empfehle aber, vorher hier reinzuhören. Es ist ein sehr schweres, aber auch sehr spannungsgeladenes Album, welches ich sehr empfehlen möchte.

  3. padmin

    From Textura

    The second collaborative effort by Alio Die and Lorenzo Montanà on Projekt adheres more closely to ambient-electronic soundscaping convention. Arriving four years after Holographic Codex, The Threshold of Beauty blends Alio Die’s zither, sitar, psaltery, and field recordings with Montanà’s piano and electronics on six meditative ambient settings. The recording project began with the latter augmenting Die’s psaltery string plucks with real-time electronic treatments and processing, after which Die applied editing to the results and completed the process with additional effects and loops.

    Timbre and sonority are critical to the music’s effect, with the exotic shimmer of the psaltery lending the material a mystical quality that points it in a New Age direction; further to that, bell tinklings and enveloping synthetic textures deepen its meditative character, while wordless vocalizations by Die bring out a choral dimension. By titling one piece “Dark Dhrupad” and thereby alluding to the ancient tradition of Hindustani classical music, the collaborators also acknowledge the influence of Indian culture on this East-meets-West project. Said details suggest music of determinedly peaceful character that’s tailor-made for contemplation, yet while that’s true, moments of turbulence also surface during the recording’s hour-long presentation. An overall sense of calm is more pervasive, however, which makes The Threshold of Beauty a non-chemical means by which to achieve if not nirvana then at least serenity.

    Representative of the recording are “The Closest Place to the Soul,” which, with the pluck and strum of Die’s string instruments draped across its droning foundation, thrums like some primordial entity, and the oceanic meditation “On the Waves of Fate – Part 2,” a seventeen-minute bookend to its shorter counterpart. The album’s largely homogeneous in tone, but the two do spring a surprise or two on the listener, the inclusion of what sounds like saxophone on “Vacant Lights Disclose the Shadows” a memorable illustration. The press release pitches the recording as “a transcendental vision of beauty as an integral part of the cosmos,” but don’t let that grandiose claim put you off. The Threshold of Beauty is a thoroughly accessible exercise in ambient soundscaping design that can be experienced on purely sonic grounds or with however much cosmological meaning you care to affix to it. -Ron Schepper

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