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Reviewed by:
  • Alessandro Cipriani: Al Nur
  • Giuseppe Rapisarda
Alessandro Cipriani: Al Nur Compact disc, Compagnia Nuove Indye CNDL 13172, 2001; available from Compagnia Nuove Indye, Via Vivaldi 9, 00199 Rome, Italy; telephone (39) 6-8639-8559; fax (39) 6-8632-9627; electronic mail; World Wide Web

I have been listening to Alessandro Cipriani's works for five or six years and I thought I knew his music. I was completely wrong, because after this new compact disc I can no longer recognize him. Al Nur is the revolution of a musical language. Why?

Mr. Cipriani writes in the CD booklet: "My latest works are a rewrite of pieces of oral traditions (more or less complex), including a trilogy on religious chant (Gregorian, Islamic, Jewish), a traditional Chinese piece, another Arabic, fragments of a piece of rock music composed without writing the music and other fragments from memory . . ."

What does this mean?

The melodic and rhythmic structures absorbed into these compositions are not simply quotations put in only for the taste of something exotic. Instead, they signify a living element that flourishes step by step. We sometimes listen to polyphonies that don't belong to the old composition but to the new one. There is always great respect for the oral traditions; in fact, the music of these civilizations has not been shattered, camouflaged, or reduced to a loop for a schematic composition that nowadays we can easily hear everywhere. The existing melody, rhythm, or single sound is revived to create new melodies, rhythms, and sounds.

Mr. Cipriani has put together a mosaic, and its tesserae are: the time and space of music; the witchery of silence; spirituality; and time/space seen through a soul. This is the composer's new method of constituting his medium.

The fourth track, Aqua Sapientiae/Angelus Domini, thanks to its pure and natural beginning, creates a lot of perceptual and cognitive interconnections. These generate symbols, figures, and backgrounds for a wonderful imaginary soundscape.

This disc is a new musical world imagined and designed by the composer—it's a multidimensional reality. The first track, Jasminb, is so beautiful that the listener should not hesitate to listen to the following ones (including Into the Light, Al Nur (la Luce), Mimaa' Makim, and Net). This is Al Nur by Alessandro Cipriani. [End Page 94]

Giuseppe Rapisarda
Paternò, Italy


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