Gino Foti,
Sphere of Influence
(Net Dot, 2006)

The music on Sphere of Influence breaks down into four groups of connected pieces. And while the sections themselves are not connected thematically, they are stylistically. The sound ends up feeling very classical underneath the more modern instruments used.

There is an oriental feel to the first part of "Coniunctio Oppositorum," subtitled "Infinite Realms of Light & Darkness," created by both the shaping of the melody and the instruments used. The music shifts to Latin America for the second part, "Amor Y Poder," as the guitar takes the lead. The third portion of the opening arc shifts from the clean notes of the keyboards to clashing percussion in "Heart & Mind United."

The music swirls fittingly into a graceful dance in "Dancing on the Edge of a Dream," and the peaceful sway of the melody suits the title. There is more aggression in "Degrees of Force," which pulls lines from various dances into its underlying tension. That tension melts away with "Marirangwe," and you are left with a dance in summer's heat. Clapping and chanting sets the beat early for "Within the Circles" as the music switches to a more oriental feel while following the pattern set. "Saudade" is a restful, swirling bit of lounge jazz, but the previous dances leave one wanting more charge and passion in the music.

The tempo of "Seafaring Soul" keeps the music racing forwards, such that you can almost feel the salt spray in your face at times. From sea to land, the music returns to Africa in "One Day as a Lion" which feels like you are stalking through the grasslands. The music of "Paths of the Warrior" is graceful and elegant, almost masking the forms it traces to meditate on.

The melody of "Ouroboros" keeps pressing on, circling round and round 'til the last note. There is a warmth in the music of "Tender Shadows" as the stillness in the music captures the flickering edges of dark and light. The contrast between it and "Prescient Visions" leaves that later feeling too busy, as if it contains too many shifting images by virtue of the sharpness of the tones used, and the scale of change within the piece.

The greatest strength of Sphere of Influence is the shared imagery and inter-connected themes that run through each arc, and there is only one piece that is overloaded with imagery. The results of Gino Foti's efforts are wondrous and almost every piece is very good indeed.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Paul de Bruijn

6 June 2009

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new