On Decorar Silenzio (Decorate the Silence), Italian ambient sound-composer Lorenzo Montanà paints an album of soft undercurrents where the drifts of movement and stillness linger within muted and heavily processed electronic and acoustic instrumentation. With melody and texture, emotion and reserve, the nearly-beatless music is powerful, emotional, mystical, and visionary. Cloistered echoes are uncovered as decorative elements like frescoes hidden under an increasingly elaborate electronic plaster. The light and color blend in continuous combination as senses lose their usual points of reference; time expands and perceptions seem hushed.
The track “Soffuso” (translated as “suffused”) gradually evolves, spreading within a veil of magic. “I feel a sensation of walking without touching the floor,” Lorenzo reflects. “Walking towards a soft light with indefinite contours. The title comes from a small shaft of sunlight that entered my first rehearsal room where I often listened to music. I tried to capture the soft and subtle feeling I felt those years ago listening to albums like Brian Eno and Harold Budd’s Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror — the first ambient album I bought. On Decorar Silenzio I didn’t want to create precise melodies. I wanted to give small decorative touches in a way, filling something in only where I felt the need when silence took over the space. I worked with small melodies that led silence to a more organic dynamism; the musical textures remind me of the environment and the room where — as in a sound art exhibition — every interruption of the silence spreads instinctively as if to decorate the blank canvas.”
From the faraway cello of “Ornato,” to the strings of an old guitar on “Lucifugge,” from the soft mbira mallets of “Soffuso,” to the piano of “Primaombra,” the music is a glimmer of details appearing along a path made of warm pastels and delicate color. The album ends with “Sentiero,” passing from a magical rhythmic atmosphere to the distant notes of a nostalgic waltz.
Lorenzo Montanà is a musician, producer and sound engineer who began his sonic explorations in the early 90s. He published a 5-CD series (Labyrinth) with Pete Namlook of FAX Records and worked as a soundtrack composer whose work landed in the trailer of The Hunger Games 1 & 2, Blade Runner 2049 and more. He’s released 3 solo albums and 2 collaborations on Projekt.
Reviews Editor –
From Audion #73
An Italian soundtrack and ambient music artist that I don’t recall coming across before, he has also apparently featured on two releases with Alio Die, and has other titles available.
Based on this new one, he’s one of the many pianist musicians in this field nowadays, venturing on from where the likes of Harold Budd, Roger Eno and many others started, embellishing such instrumentation with more depth and space. As such, his music also bridges synth and new age, thus also drawing comparison to some Steve Roach. All very fragile and relaxing, it has enough depth and uneasiness to give it a unique character, and with eight tracks ranging from 2 to 14 minutes there’s also plenty of scope for variety. -Alan Freeman
Reviews Editor –
From Prince Faster
20 Albums Released in January to Listen To
A magnificent journey through deep space made up of imaginative and visionary worlds. One of the best albums of its kind.
Reviews Editor –
From Art’s Excellence
Lorenzo Montanà is an Italian soundtrack composer (he contributed to the trailers for the first two parts of The Hunger Games and Blade Runner 2049), electronic music producer and sound engineer. He is probably best known among connoisseurs for his collaboration with Pete Namlook on the masterly five-part Labyrinth. On Decorar Silenzio (Decorate the Silence) you can hear a much more organic sound than on those tight but therefore also somewhat cerebral mazes. On Decorar Silenzio he sketches a dreamy world full of warm and soft sounds that never gets tacky or tasteless. The atmosphere is often reminiscent of the long-form ambient work of State Azure, although Montanà’s sound worlds are somewhat more varied. What is striking is that Montanà never just uses rhythms. The patterns he creates always have a strong melodic structure, they are therefore part of the composition on a much deeper level and the tracks get a very nice flow from it. The vast and transparent production proves that Montanà has mastered his recording and mastering studio down to the last detail. -Max Delissen
Lorenzo Montanà is een Italiaanse soundtrack-componist (hij werkte mee aan de trailers voor de eerste twee delen van The Hunger Games en van Blade Runner 2049), producer van elektronische muziek en geluidstechnicus. Onder kenners is hij waarschijnlijk het bekendst door zijn samenwerking met Pete Namlook op het meesterlijke vijfluik Labyrinth. Op Decorar Silenzio (Versier de Stilte) is een veel organischer geluid te horen dan op die strakke maar daardoor ook wat cerebrale doolhoven. Op Decorar Silenzio schetst hij een dromerige wereld vol warme en zachte geluiden die echter nooit plakkerig of smakeloos wordt. De sfeer doet vaak denken aan het long-form ambient werk van State Azure, hoewel de klankwerelden van Montanà wat gevarieerder zijn. Wat opvalt is dat Montanà nooit zomaar ritmes gebruikt. De door hem gecreëerde patronen hebben altijd een sterk melodische structuur, ze maken daarom op een veel dieper niveau deel uit van de compositie en de tracks krijgen er een erg fijne flow van. Dat Montanà zijn opname- en masteringstudio tot in de puntjes beheerst bewijst de weidse en transparante productie. -Max Delissen
Reviews Editor –
Wafting in through the window like a gentle gust of warm air, the spirited and mystical nature of Italian sound sculptor Lorenzo Montanà’s latest creation (which translates roughly to Decorating the Silence) is at once a captivating and enigmatic dreamworld that crosses the divide between ambient texture and pure sonic beauty. Far more than a simple floating backdrop of featureless electronics, Decorar Silenzio has a magical character that offers timeless sounds in cavernous splendor, full of emotion and rich undercurrents that will sweep the listener away to heady and shimmering worlds of fluid imagination. The fourteen-plus minute epic “Celesti” is a powerful and exemplary piece of what’s on offer here. Breathing in and out as it evolves slowly over its duration, with glistening fragments of eastern instrumentation and odd dreamlike portals opening and closing as the listener proceeds down its spiral path, it is a trove of muted environmental color bathed in starlight that beckons a listener to reach deep within its subtle echoing spaces. Most of the pieces don’t reach such epic lengths, like “Primaombra,” the album’s shortest piece, which is essentially a vignette that joins the longer pieces surrounding it.
The sounds Montanà uses on most pieces evolve from multiple layers of synthesizers, informed by gentle touches of non-Western instrumentation, zither, santoor, bells, sometimes percussives, but avoiding any steady cadence, instead bubbling through in a natural spiritual order with a cosmic semblance. The best example of this would be on the closer “Sentiero,” where slow percussion and synths stretch out infinitely while a soft soaring electric guitar glides overhead. The soft mallet introduction to “Soffuso” evolves quickly with veils of magical bells ignite the listener’s imagination, truly one of the more beautiful pieces among the eight. Much like his earlier ambient works and his collaborations with Alio Die, Montanà has struck a shimmering chord of gossamer beauty with Decorar Silenzio, a captivating soundworld that a listener can get lost within. -Peter Thelen
Reviews Editor –
Lorenzo Montanà returns to release new music for Sam Rosenthal’s Projekt. On the recent Decorar Silenzio, his Italian origins emerge more evident than ever: the melodies, once again inspired by the classics of Brian Eno and Harold Budd, are wrapped in an almost Baroque atmosphere, full of pathos and sighs. Guitars, violins and piano help to underline the dramatic sense of the ambient of the eight tracks in the lineup. “On Decorar Silenzio I didn’t want to create precise melodies. I wanted to give small decorative touches in a way, filling something in only where I felt the need when silence took over the space.” IMMERSIVE. -Roberto Mandolini
Lorenzo Montanà torna a pubblicare nuova musica per la Projekt di Sam Rosenthal. Sul recente Decorar Silenzio emergono più evidenti che mai le sue origini italiane: le melodie, ancora una volta ispirate ai classici di Brian Eno e Harold Budd, sono avvolte in un’atmosfera quasi barocca, ricca di pathos e sospiri. Chitarre, violini e pianoforte contribuiscono a sottolineare il senso drammatico dell’ambient delle otto tracce in scaletta. “On Decorar Silenzio I didn’t want to create precise melodies. I wanted to give small decorative touches in a way, filling something in only where I felt the need when silence took over the space”. IMMERSIVO. -Roberto Mandolini