Vittorio Vandelli - A day of warm rain in heaven - 2005


“Alone, alone on a wide wide sea! and never a saint took pity on my soul in agony.
I looked to heaven and tried to pray but or even a prayer had gusht,
a wicked whisper came and made my heart as dry as dust.
Since then, at an uncertain hour, that agony returns and till my ghastly tale is told,
this heart within me burns. I pass, like night, from land to land,
I have strange power of speech,
that moment that his face I see to him my tale I teach.”
[S.T. Coleridge]


Vittorio Vandelli has been working as Ataraxia's guitarist and leading composer for the last decade and, along with his colleagues, has brought the medieval and neo-classical genres to life, assuming the leading role within this musical scope. His first soloist album, “A Day of Warm Rain in Heaven”, transposes into music the poetical imaginary of “The rhyme of the ancient mariner”, the romantic opus of S.T. Coleridge. The music presents a contemporary style but the words belong to the first half of the XIXth century. The rhyme describes the perilous voyage of a sailorman becoming an odyssey through sin, death and re-birth until the achievement of wisdom, a status closely related to pain and sadness as we become aware of our tragic human condition.


Vittorio Vandelli - All instruments; Francesca Nicoli - Vocals


On his first solo album Vittorio plays classic, acoustic, electric and synth guitars together with keyboard pads and rhythmical patterns. He felt the urge to follow the creative processes from the beginning to the end starting from the musical idea, passing through execution and finally reaching recording and mixing. “A day of warm rain in heaven” is the amazing result of all this. A big achievement. The music is very varied but on the other hand the album sounds as one long piece of music.

I love the mysterious and atmospheric opener “Farewell farewell, thou wedding guest”. And the unique voice of Francesca Nicoli gives this composition a special flavor. If you don't want to miss anything you must listen to this album with your headphones on. “Beneath the lightning and the moon” is packed with delicate sound samples. You hear a sad classical guitar tune on top of dark ambient keys and the sound of pouring rain. “My heart as dry as dry” has more neo-classical influences and the vocals are again sung by Francesca Nicoli. “The ocean green” has a beautiful vocal melody and together with the classical guitar it is a song of pure beauty, a song you would expect on the new Ataraxia album. The atmospheric ending is working towards a climax. “A sadder and a wiser man” is one of my favorite tracks of this album. Mainly because it has an kind of hypnotic atmosphere. If you close your eyes you can feel the sea in “The bay is white in silent light”. “The curse in a dead man's eye” is a short atmospheric piece with some industrial moments. Then it is time for the title track “A day of warm rain in heaven”. The orchestral keyboards are playing the melody on top of rhythm guitars and percussion. The electric guitar and the vocals are floating around in the upper layer of music. Ethereal and whispering vocals in another song about the sea; “Whispers o'er the sea”. “The death-fire danced at night” is again a short atmospheric ambient piece. One of the longer tracks is “I killed the albatross". The electric guitar has an important role. In the beginning it lies under the vocals but the track slowly develops into a long guitar solo. “For the sky and the sea and the sea and the sky!” includes again the beautiful voice of Francesca. A composition that not only will attract the Ataraxia lovers but also people who loves the work of Lisa Gerrard. “The moment I could pray” is again one of those pieces with immense beauty. “Singeth a quite tune” is a happy sounding folk song with a light atmosphere. The album closes with “Sails in the sun” an instrumental song with beautiful acoustic guitars.


Like in the music of Ataraxia the element water (sea) plays an important role in the music. You can find pieces of immense beauty on this varied album. If you compare it with the albums of Ataraxia you can find more contemporary influences and industrial and environmental sounds. Vittorio Vandelli has a big musical pallet. Vittorio managed to transpose the poetical imaginary of “The rhyme of the ancient mariner” into music. I find it an very interesting album and it is a must for Ataraxia fans. Vittorio Vandelli and Francesca Nicoli are forming a unique duo that brings many magical moments to us.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - January 2006  -   - Equilibrium Music