Time Elapsing Handheld
The boundary between leftfield atmospheric electronica and modern classical is forever getting more blurred as musicians cross-pollinate each genre with elements borrowed from the other. Composers such as Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson or Ólafur Arnalds have done a lot to democratise the use of electronic textures and field recordings in classical music through their respective work, while on the other side, the likes of Murcof, Deaf Center or much of the Miasmah roster have incorporated classical forms and instruments into their electronic set up. One such musician is Italian experimental sound artist Emanuele Errante, whose previous two albums, Migrations (Apegenine, 2006) and Humus (Somnia, 2008), treaded the line between electronica and classical rather convincingly, drawing comparison to Deaf Center, Marsen Jules and Rafael Anton Irisarri amongst others. With Time Elapsing Handheld, Errante continues to refine his sound, weaving acoustic instruments, field recordings and electronics into tight soundscapes which he applies onto delicate pieces, in turn placing them around beautiful melodies or using them as simple atmospheric components. What characterizes much of Errante’s work though is the extensive use of acoustic and electric guitars, which are often locked into fascinating interactions with each other, at times used as a fine mesh upon which the entire sonic structure relies (Counterclockwise), at others splattered across the fore in delicate formations (Inner, Later, Earlier). On Made To Give, Errante is joined by Simon Scott for perhaps the most atmospheric and dense moment of this record. While the rest of the album feels somewhat pastoral, this is toned down slightly with the addition of sombre undertones and low end drones, but the guitar motif on top retains some of the fluidity heard elsewhere.Although extremely detailed and refined, Errante’s soundscapes often appear slightly distorted and ethereal, as if heard through a lightly psychedelic filter. This is particularly true on the rather sumptuous Inner, with its sweeping guitar textures and soft hues, or later on the feverish winter glow in which bathes Dorian’s Mirror, while on Memoirs, the constant hammering of a single note creates an shimmering ripple effect over which Errante progressively adds more melodic layers. With his third solo album, Emanuele Errante has created a wonderful cinematic soundtrack which, although feeding on both electronic conventions and modern classical music, is neither one nor the other, but something altogether different. Time Elapsing Handheld is difficult to pigeonhole, and it is not the least of its charms.
01 Leaving The Nowhere
02 Made To Give (feat. Simon Scott)
05 Later, Earlier
06 Dorian’s Mirror
The distinction between nature / planet earth on the one hand and mankind on the other hand is a purely dogmatic and ideological one. And, after all, these roots we share with the oceans and the wild live, flora and fauna, makes itself felt in all kinds of unexpected places. Which probably is a main theme on „humus“ as well, and the consequential thought that therefore we should take some time and effort to save the planet. The cover design also hints in this direction, looking as it does like a sign for a fair trade or development project.
For instance in the music of Emanuele Errante, where no matter how the keyboard sounds of the more static and minimal tracks on „humus“ have come to be heard, the tracks themselves always seem to flow with the gentle and easing pulse of nature. Which makes this a laid back and wonderful record, one whose music might flow around you like a warm breeze or a nice warm bath, and helps you to relax. There are many undertones and second thoughts within the tracks to give them substance that you can bite into. And meditate on all kinds of facts of life to clear your mind.
05 radio hopes
08 primo tema
09 ant’s trail
10 magic wood
11 ultimo tema
There is a poetry, a grace and a lightness of touch to his compositions, and although there is, like Deaf Center and Marsen Jules, a leaning towards electronic production methods ‘Migrations’ is a far cry from the electronic tomfoolery we were threatened with five years ago. This album is indicative of a great change in the way electronic music is being made, a change which allows producers to use the technology now available without necessarily getting caught up and eventually shackled by it. Indeed Errante seems to have just as much love for Steve Reich and Arvo Part as for more contemporary producers, and with tracks such as ‘Wheels’ there is a sense that he has had a musical grounding which far outstrips many of his more electronically minded peers. As you’ve probably guessed we’ve been totally won over by this debut, it’s one of those albums I can imagine going back to again and again, an engrossing record which will supply you with an untapped wealth of warmth and sonic innovation. Fans of Marsen Jules, Arvo Part or Deaf Center should investigate immediately.
08 waltzing chiara
Contains a bonus video track of Rugiada designed and performed by Mattia Casalegno