After a decade of composing, teaching, and even launching a television show, Palermo’s BJM Mario Bajardi broke through in a big way last year with the internet sensation, “The Sound of Wine”. The video (shown below) racked up a quarter million hits and was easily one of the year’s sweetest success stories. The project started with ten musicians and 250 glasses of wine (one wonders what happened to the leftovers!), and soon not only was the vineyard well-advertised, but Bajardi as well. By blowing on bottles, rubbing fingers around rims, tapping the sides of containers, drawing bows across glass and using casks as bongos, the ensemble was able to make Tasca D’Almerita the coolest brand around.
The song itself – expanded for its inclusion on the Glass Orchestra EP – is evidence of an artist who is able to have fun and to go all-out for a cause, in this case the restriction of sounds to those made with wine implements. The obvious question from fans will be, “Do you have any more where that came from?” The happy answer is yes. Bajardi may have had a hit, but there’s no indication that he’s a one-hit wonder. Based on this EP and his work on the film, “An Internet World”, one can imagine a future for him in the scoring industry – or even, with a few more drums, in dance music.
The bass, electronics and synth of “All” beg for 12″ expansion; stuttering percussion and rapid development make this piece an instant pleaser, an entire symphony in three and a half minutes. “Encounter” uses digital sounds more sparingly, preferring to concentrate more on texture and mood. A symphonic burst at 4:32, followed by a fuller burst at 5:02, changes the production into something worthy of William Ryan Fritch. In the closing minutes, the violin ensemble provides the EP’s most memorable themes. “San Lorenzo” unfolds as a loud duet between violin and amplified drums, shifting at 2:20 to allow the strings to take center stage. When the dust settles, we want to hear another track, or six – a sign that the EP has done its work. (Richard Allen)
Release date: 7 May