Alan Sorrenti is an artist from Naples who was born to an Italian father and a Welsh mother. In 1972 he released an interesting debut “prog-style” album, “Aria” (Air), on the label Harvest. This work is an excellent effort to blend acoustic and dreamy atmospheres with experimental sounds and vocal acrobatics. The most evident source of inspiration here is Tim Buckley but in this work the Neapolitan artist, helped by some excellent musicians as Tony Esposito (drums percussion), Vittorio Nazzaro (bass, classical guitar) and Albert Prince (piano, organ, bandoneon, mellotron, synthesizers) managed to shape a particular, original sound that is really worth listening to.
The opener is the long, complex, claustrophobic title track... “Air, I’m looking for you in every corner of my room / Air, I’m running after you in the labyrinths of my mind... Air, I feel I’m losing you...”. The voice is used as an instrument to draw surrealistic poetry while calm, reflective moments are counter-pointed to almost hysterical, frenzied passages... For almost twenty minutes the music flows away with sudden changes in rhythm and colourful melodic lines run one after each other. The track is enriched by the violin of the special guest Jean Luc Ponty...
The second track “Vorrei incontrarti” (I would like to meet you) is my favourite. It’s a dreamy acoustic ballad, almost mystical. It expresses the desire to follow something so beautiful that it seems unreal, an illusion, a spell or a siren singing... “I would like to meet you / Outside the gates of a factory / I would like to meet you / Along the streets leading to India / I would like to meet you / But I don’t know what I would do / Perhaps I would cry with joy... Sing your song, sing it for me / Maybe one day I will sing for you...”.
“La mia mente” (My mind) is a melancholic ballad where vocal experiments and dissonant piano chords soar from an acoustic strummed guitar background... “My mind is a balloon / Wandering in a soft dream / And it doesn’t come back to earth / My people show it / My people shoot at it / The first hit make it shake / The second one shoots it down...”. In some moments Alan Sorrenti here reminds me of Area’s singer Demetrio Stratos.
The final track “Un fiume tranquillo” (A quiet river) is another long, particular ballad. The lyrics deal with the fear of self-destruction while the music flows like “a quiet river erasing the memories”, a “quiet river that can save you from a violent fall...”.
You can listen in streaming to the complete album HERE