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«Sonoro» is the second album of Italian, Bologona-based reeds player-composer-lyricist Giulia Barba as a bandleader, released nine years after her debut album, «The Angry St Bernard» (blue Surge, 2013), recorded with her comrades from the Dutch Conservatorium Van Amsterdam. «Sonoro» was recorded at Groove Factory in Bologna with fellow-Bolognese musicians – soprano clarinet player Daniele D’Alessandro, vocalist Marta Raviglia (who collaborated before with Barba in the local Tower Jazz Composers Orchestra), cellist Andrea Rellini and Barba on bass clarinet.

Barba wrote six short compositions for «Sonoro». Two of these six compositions adapt poems by Irish poet W.B. Yeats – The Everlasting Voices and To an isle in the water, and other two compositions feature lyrics of Barba that correspond with Yeats’ poems. Eight short compositions frame these compositions. The focus on introspective and harmonious compositions, arrangements and improvisations for a chamber ensemble that articulates poetic texts allows Barba to offer a palette of timbral nuances and a unique sonic identity.

The voice of Raviglia is employed for deliver gently and beautifully the poetic texts abut also as an instrument that produces abstract, pure sounds (check «Bassorilievo» or «Terzo Quadro – Fuoco»). She charges the opening piece «The Everlasting Voices» with modest, reverent quality, and this piece and the following one, «Requiem», set the contemplative, ethereal atmosphere of the album. Barba’s free improvisations stress the dark but warm sound of the bass clarinet, extend the humble, singing spirit of the songs, and offer playful and quite eccentric interplay with Raviglia, which may suggest, as one of the pieces are titled, the «Birth of a new religion».

Eyal Hareuveni 

Giulia Barba (bcl), Daniele DAlessandro (soprano cl), Marta Raviglia (v), Andrea Rellini (c)


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