Reviews of Il Crollo della Mente Bicamerale (2006) and 8 Horror Vacui (2009) by Donatello Pisanello
Donatello Pisanello shows a curious personality: arranger of traditional Salento music and soundtracks’ composer. Guitarist, or maybe I should say multi-instrumentalist, since he also plays organ, mandola, mandoloncello. A degree in philosophy in 1989 and the activity in the traditional Salento’s music, when in 1995 he founded the group of traditional Salento music viva Officina ZOE’.
As a guitarist Pisanello has made these two works Il Crollo della Mente Bicamerale e l’Origine della Coscienza in 2006 and 8 Horror Vacui per una entomologia quotidiana, in 2009, both self-produced and characterized by an experimental approach and research towards the instrument .
I think these records could represent two sides of the same coin, both introspective, both characterized by continuous connections to concepts and a philosophical narration, both characterized by small guitar cells that are multiplied and stratified by a complex architecture based on effects and loops that wink to Maestro Robert Fripp, with a solo voice, a guitar with a very thin and almost no attack sound that recalls a Derek Bailey carried in the Mediterranean light. Il Crollo della Mente Bicamerale shows, however, a more rhythmic and solar aspect, almost minimalist, to be a mind that collapses, it is a very complex collapse, while 8 Horror Vacui … is a good demonstration of how “nomen est omen “, the music here in fact becomes more subtle, repetitive, the sense of emptiness that comes from Pisanello’s guitar, becomes almost obsessive and at the end, when the CD ends, you have a feeling of relief.
Pisanello’s music is precise, cerebral, essential and complex, a bit like a philosophical thought, thoughtful, meditated, articulated, born from the head and not from the belly and in this it has its strength and its weakness. It is a carefully thought out music, it has a little emotional taste, but this is not necessarily a defect, listening to Pisanello’s guitar is like seeing a postmodern construction that grows and develops and then slowly disappears. Certainly interesting.