Melbourne, Australia’s Galliano Sommavilla is a renaissance man by any measure. A student of both cuisine and music, though he’s published two bestselling cook books (“Playing with Food“, and, “Music to Dine For“, both of which include original instrumental music albums), he’s most known for his work in the sonic arts.
Starting young with a couple spoons and a few empty glasses, the accordion followed at age four, leading the young master quickly to what would be his ultimate muse: the piano.
As Galliano has moved through the years, no single genre or mood could ever suffice as he has composed, recorded and performed in the ways of solo-piano, classical, ambient, down-tempo, chill, electronica, soundscape, soundtrack, soft jazz, pop, new-age, and more.
“…some teaching, many music and genre influences picked up along the way and ultimately a multitude of solo piano performances which would eventually form and take shape to create his individual musical being, Galliano’s unique slant and experience of musicality.”
His efforts even include the astounding Original Song A Day For A Year project, where by between May 6 2013 and May 5 2014, Galliano wrote, composed, arranged, recorded, and uploaded to the web one original instrumental song a day for a year—365 songs in 365 days! As a fellow musician, this feat is nothing short of astounding when considering the focus and dedication it must have required.
His latest project, One Song, is Galliano’s first solo-piano piece since his 1996 debut album, Rain in My Bathtub. This new work—a stunningly gorgeous, classical-laden production which showcases the upper echelon of Sommavilla’s mastery—ultimately sees him creating a forty-two minute escapade of profound emotional depth, done so through improvisation and focused intention.
So, let me describe my experience listening to this piece. As I do so, keep in mind, there may be no human on earth qualified to write about this music. Thus, my words must fall short. Knowing this to be the case, I will be brief, and my only intention will be to convince you to listen.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Within moments of Sommavilla’s first key strokes the universal impact of music takes hold and legends come to mind. Legendary performances such as Claude Debussy’s Claire De Lune.
A primary theme, perhaps the notion of Spring, rises and falls with delicate intensity throughout. Maximum sound and melody juxtapose instantly and flawlessly with minimalist phrasing. Ten keys fall to two, then swell back to ten.
Classical components juxtapose just as flawlessly with contemporary elements. In one moment we hear Chopin, and in the next we hear Vangelis.
As delicate almost playful tapping continuously swaps places with massively-gorgeous, rolling, dynamic crescendos, dear Galliano has also peppered in moments of immeasurable faith and intensity throughout. Note how your heart stirs at 12:40, 24:15, 28:20, and 40:55.
“This album is an unknown journey via improvisational composition, surrounds, commitment, emotion and soul…”
Every dynamic mood change seems to return to a sense of curiosity; as if the pure, unadulterated state of the master’s improvisation is—in actuality—that of childlike wonder. And, as forty-two minutes approach, there is a sense of restfulness that rises. As if night has come and our good sir Sommavilla has come home.
Rarely do masters come along in our line of work. Even more rare are the ascended masters. Those who’ve mastered their craft to such an extent that the act of writing about it comes close to blasphemy. To be totally transparent, Galliano Sommavilla’s latest composition, the forty-two minute and fifteen seconds-long One Song should probably not be written about. Words have no place here. They act only as a disservice to this timeless and supernatural experience. They—words—act only to delay or distract from the bliss of the listening. You see, we at The Ark of Music know a secret. And this music reveals said secret. But you’ll have to listen for yourself to learn of it, to get the knowledge. For, that knowledge too is beyond words. Enjoy this. Breathe it in. Experience it. Consume it. Over and over again.
Claude Debussy meets Frederic Chopin with dashes & twists of more influences than we have the expertise to name…
BELOW: Watch & listen to music from Galliano Sommavilla’s album, One Song, and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Galliano Sommavilla by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!