Ashram – Shining silver skies

Ashram’s debut album was a nice piece of work, so I was pleased to hear that this Italian trio has delivered a follow-up. Like before, the core of the band is formed by three musicians: Luigi Rubino (piano), Sergio Panarella (vocals) and Alfredo Notarloberti (violin). They are joined by guest cellist Leonardo Massa. As you could expect from a line-up like this, the general sound of “Shining silver skies” can be described as neo-classical, with some folk/pop elements.

From the first tones on, the music of Ashram sounds moving and compelling. The light piano touches of Rubino, the emotional singing of Panarello (which may need some getting used to) and the colourful violin melodies of Notarloberti form a nice harmony, while the cello add a little solemn character. The album contains fourteen romantic compositions which are in general very lovely to listen to. They include some instrumental ballads like ‘Maria and the violin’s string’. My favourite piece is probably the classical hymn ‘Elizabeth’.

A few pieces, like ‘Lullaby’, are a bit too sentimental for me. Also I start to long for some rawer, less soft sounds towards the end of the album. But on “Shining silver skies” the musicians of Ashram certainly prove to be skilled musicians who are able to create some delicate music.

artist: Ashram
label: Equilibrium Music
details: cd, 14 tracks, 2006 [EQM010]