Review of Rimembranze di un estatico Oblio of Riccardo Cirani, Laverna netlabel, 2018
Intonazioni Serafiche and Rimembranze d’un estatico Oblio, respectively Seraphic Intonations and Remembrances of an Ecstatic Oblivion, are two charming, nearly poetic titles. Such titles conceal a much more complex and well-structured musical core. How long has it been since the first frippertronics of Robert Fripp? It was the mid 70s with NO Pussyfooting of the extraordinary duo Fripp & Eno (1973) and then Exposure in 1979, up to the most advanced forms, at the start of the 80s with Let The Power Fall. Since then guitar players with the intentions of challenging themselves with a loop were confronted with Robert Fripp’s mindset, discipline and creative and historical heritage.
And that goes for Riccardo Cirani, as well. You know that famous quote of Newton? The one that says “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”? I think that statement gives a certain perspective on Cirani’s work for the Italian netlabel Laverna. With lessons from Fripp as a starting point, Cirani created his own personal, ecstatic, geometrical musical world. A world made of progressive additions and subtractions and of counterpointed musical structures. A systematic world in which his musical processes (as Steve Reich called it) know how to unfold with a clean and coherent elegance, succeeding in subtracting time from time. Four tracks running in duration from 9 to 18 minutes each, four tracks in which his music and his guitar gain an immersive strength and power, just like the immersive factor so dear to the David Toop of Ocean Sound. If the greatest travelers are those who use the power of thought, Riccardo Cirani knows how to take us on a journey with his guitar and the expressive clarity of his music. And we should be grateful of this.