News from an Imaginary World
Clear and pure is the sound of the Chapman Stick, provided a virtuoso like Guido Ponzini knows how to coax it out of this fretted string instrument. Born in 1985 in Manerbio, Italy, the enthusiastic and adventurous musician, an expert in atmospheric-epic sound sequences, shows us on his solo debut album that even a dream-dancer like himself needn’t shy the limits in world music.
‚Twilight Town‘ documents Ponzini’s foray into an imaginary world in which he combines the mists of Avalon („Avalon“), a rainstorm over the harbour („Rainstorm Upon The Harbour“), and the sound of hammering from the depths of a coal mine („Hammers Upon The Coal Mine“) into a meditative sound experience. Guido Ponzini, enjoying the special support of his colleague Giovanni Amighetti, with whom he studied composition in Mailand, bundles his experience, his ﬁligrane technique and his art of improvisation into a succession of songs which feeds on the elements of classical Italian folklore, neo-classic, world, progressive rock and ambient.
Alone or in partnership with Amighetti and Guo Yue – the Realworld artist and ﬂute guru from China (worked on the soundtracks Killing Fields and The Last Emperor) – he creates soundscapes which ﬁnd their expression in solo escapades, duet cascades (with Amighetti) or quartet experiments (Amighetti, Yue and singer Luisa Cottifogli). Carried by impressive calm and expressive passion, the stick and bass lines Ponzini creates with the electric and acoustic bass are simply celestial.
The composition techniques applied are extremely different, representing a suspenseful discourse through the times and the regions of the world. Austere guitar passages combined with electronic sequences and tricky loops to create musical paintings which appear as impressionistic landscapes. Dramatic events are spookily implied in the spherically graceful „Encounter“. Full of relish and almost gloating, that’s how the two-part song „The Bear“ sounds, with the bear licking its wounds after a painful encounter with a swarm of bees, while the „Snow Temple“ tracks reveal dramatic darkness and ﬂute-elated ease accompanying the change of the seasons.
Actually the title ‚Twilight Town‘ is misleading; besides daringly dramatic soundworks, Guido Ponzini’s city and landscape impressions, which smack of relaxation and liberating ease, easily outweigh.
At 21 years only, Guido Ponzini is a virtuoso master of the Chapman Stick. His compositions
between progressive rock, neo-classic, Italian folklore and world are as diversiﬁed as his
playing. His solo debut „Twilight Town“ is like a slowly growing ﬂower, gradually blooming
into full splendor.