Lionel Scardino is an Argentinian composer who—over the last few years—has spent most of his time mastering his craft through studying piano, composition, orchestration, production and electronic music. His first album, Ethereal Chronicles, has been released on the Italian record label Blue Spiral Records and reflects both Scardino’s experience and knowledge in the fields of classical music and electronic music. Rather than being customary musical ornaments and textures—often heard in contemporary classical— here, electronic sounds are treated as instruments balancing the acoustic quality of others.
Ethereal Chronicles recalls some of the pioneers of ambient music—with the Eno-esque Viaje—while pushing the sounds in urban territories—Introducciòn. Most of the pieces of the album are strongly textural—Buenos Aires—, electronically treated—creating very interesting timbres, such as in Virtualizaciòn - Poema de un módem that introduces a ring modulator—, and transform electronic sounds into musical instruments—Perdido. Scardino’s sonic decisions are very interesting, at times giving a vintage personality to the piece—Poema Electrónico—and at others creating a true psychedelic journey for the listener—Piano Electrónica. There are of course some earthier pieces—such as Tiempo, that brings the acoustic piano back or Enya that introduces the acoustic drums, featured again in Transimulator. Cerca del cielo o algo asì has a sweet character that soothes and justifies the album’s title, and Deriva closes it on an acoustic piano that reminds the listener of Scardino’s musical dualism.
Ethereal Chronicles is a real discovery and a fantastic surprise. By paying homage to many of his contemporaries as well as everyone that came before, Scardino breaks the barrier of classical music and popular music and invites the listener to an explorative journey of acoustic and electric, with endless grains and layers of sounds. Ethereal Chronicles is urban and textural, as well as earthy and melodic. A wonderful blend.