Gian Castello - Taliesin - 1999
All of us with a progressive heart have a certain bias towards anything that reminds of beauty, lyricism, legends and mysticism. Now that the Celtic music and culture are in fashion, too often we see artists that want to convince us of their supposed "integrity" to provide us with music supposedly inspired by the Celtic world. Gian Castello is an Italian musician that wants us to bathe in an ocean of dreams and to navigate in our minds while the music of this CD, based on the legend of "Taliesin", serves as a tremendous film score. Gian almost plays the entirety of the instruments in this work thanks to his flute, harp, guitar, percussion, dulcimer, etc., counting as guests with Anna Manusso (violin, voice), Enrico Cotella (keyboards, percussion) and Marco Canepa (samplers, percussion).
It is fair to say that this kind of CD´s is not totally progressive, but if we had to classify this work, it could be placed inside the style practised by Gryphon, or its more immediate comparison, the "Bilbo" of Lindh & Johansson. This work presents 10 beautiful songs of a short timing, without too many instrumental embellishments, but with a rich sensibility, very well arranged and developed, and whose main merit is to keep the listener's in a rapt of spiritual elevation during the almost 45 minutes of the album.
Although if we take a look to the booklet, we find out lots of documentation relative to the legend of "Taliesin" (glossary included), just listening to the music we can already have an idea of the concept of this album. All kinds of Celtic inspirations, some Andean ones, and the medieval European tradition are well displayed, without any excesses. I don't believe it necessary to explain this album song by song as all of them are similar, very melodic, eminently instrumental (and those that are not, show a beautiful voice in Italian), and with absence of electric instruments.
No more details are necessary, since I believe that I have already explained clearly the proposal of Castello. I would just like to recommend this album to all of you that dream of green countryside, charming princesses and legendary castles. "Taliesin" is the perfect album to recreate a love story and to revive moments of melancholy. If you look for beauty, without noise, without cars, this it is your CD. Those that believe that "Bilbo" is a soulless CD with too many effects, buy immediately this marvellous work. Gian Castello has soul to spare.