We at The Ark are very familiar with the work of Australian composer and artist Galliano Sommavilla. For those unfamiliar, Galliano is the receiver of multiple songwriting awards, a talented and respected performer, and a best-selling cookbook author. He’s also well known for his incredible Original Song A Day For A Year project, in which Galliano wrote, composed, arranged, and recorded an original instrumental song each day for a year, a truly impressive musical accomplishment. His talents truly seem to know no bounds.
We were fortunate enough to listen to his One Song series of compositions earlier this year, and we found the five songs within it to be a stunning, emotive collection of music that remains among our favorite projects of recent history. We said of the final song in this series: “An epic, contrast-rich, cinematic composition. A breathtaking channeling of the wills of the musical gods. Musical medicine against which no virus stands a chance.” If it’s not clear – we have a great deal of reverence and respect for the music Galliano creates, and so we dive into a new piece of his music with bated breath and high expectations.
Is anyone surprised to find that Galliano delivers at the highest level yet again? The track at hand, Ponder This, is an ethereal, melodic, and inspired instrumental. It sits somewhere between jazzy and tribal – a slightly melancholy undertone with perhaps just a touch of primordial feel, yet still modern in execution and production.
Galliano’s compositional skills are immediately on display in the opening measures of the song, as the melody floats in delicately over understated and airy instrumentation. It almost seems to breathe as it progresses, gaining life and momentum with each passing phrasing. But it is only an introduction to the track, and as the melody begins a slow, gentle fade out, it leaves room for the background instrumentation to shine through. The longer you listen, the more you can hear – chimes, bass, layers of synths – it’s not unlike a treasure hunt for your ears. You can easily sift through the pieces and pick out a different section to highlight each time you listen to the track, but the resulting sound is never cacophonous or cluttered. It’s a well-balanced, cohesive composition that radiates complexity and careful, intentional arranging.
And then, just after the two-minute mark, the vocal ahhs enter. These intense and soulful vocal stylings from both male and female vocals are never quite singing the same thing – instead, their differences are highlighted by giving them each their own melodic line to complement the others’. The result is a gorgeous blend of harmonies set to completely different rhythms. It creates an earthly, primal feel in this section of the track.
Around 3 minutes in, our opening melody returns to us, backed now by instrumentation that is dramatic and full of intent. It adds intensity and purpose to a melody that was introduced to us as something calm and smooth. In the last minute of the track, the vocals come back to join our main melody, and we’re treated to the full spread of the intricacies of this track as each part works together, fully showing the interconnected nature of these composed sections.
We’re not surprised to be thoroughly enjoying Ponder This in the slightest. Galliano Sommvilla‘s work has impressed us time and time again, and this track is truly no exception. This song is a smooth, tasteful exercise in genre combinations and precise arrangements. Never overcrowded, constantly engaging, and soulful to its core, Ponder This is an exquisite show of musicianship and skill at the highest level.
BELOW: Listen to Ponder This, 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!
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