Among the CandyRat artists, Pino Forastiere is the most classically oriented even though modernity shines in every bar and measure of his music. In some senses, he joins Egberto Gismonti and, to my ears, Alain Markusfeld, gents who also embarked upon depth as a salient of artistic intelligence. Small surprise, then, that he's recorded with Eberto's son Alexandre. Indeed, Forastiere himself has remarked "that the best technique is built on the understanding of the musical thought rather than on the perfect articulation of the fingers", though the listener gets the best of both in this and in every release he's issued.
This collection can be heard as a linked progression with thematics and interludes—hence the titles (see below)—or as study etudes for the serious practitioner. Should one desire to witness just how unique the guy is, refer to his Live (reviewed here) for a CD / DVD combo letting you view actual peformances, an experience that heightens the already lofty plateau all CandyRat instrumentalists occupy. The label nailed down the next step in the instrument after Stanley Jordan launched the double-tapping phenomenon, taking the exercise dimensions further. It has yet to be dislodged from that peak, and not only this CD but that earlier visual treat demonstrate why.
The angular Studio N.5 is my recommendaton as a starting point…or rather: a startling point, as it's an edgy, oblique, arresting number which continually falls in upon itself only to emerge in Escheresque mobius stripping, neither rondo nor serial minimal but something else entirely. Alex Degrassi started to venture thuswards, but Forastiere takes the move a whole chessboard further, very close to something Ralph Towner, one of the true masters, might have done. In fact, it may be best to look upon From 1 to 8 and Forastiere as the linkage between the estimable past, the groundbreaking and still unsurpassed Oregon work in which Towner stood out most heavily, and cats like Michael Hedges who felt their music as much as they played it. Only in that sphere of connubiality will one discover the mindset required to fully appreciate what's transpiring here.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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