Bass World ISB Magazine review.
This is a forty-one minute meditative study for multi-tracked double basses Sciascia states that all of the sounds are naturally recorded except a low drone on the first track. Although Sciascia does not define his intentions, the CD appears to be one composition that is broken up into seven parts with an almost constant ‘B’ drone and an overall reflective, almost hypnotic mood providing structure and continuity.
The pace of this CD is very slow and the title of Mantra is entirely appropriate. As previously stated, there is a drone present almost the entire time upon which Sciascia introduces and sustains different treatments (or ‘variations’). The first track is a long (thirteen minute) multi-tracked duet often employing high harmonics and ponticello sounds. Part two stands out because it is the one movement of the composition in which the drone is not present, although it almost continues to be heard subconsciously after being played for so long in the previous track.
Perhaps the most striking movement is in the concluding track on which the drone sounds for nearly six minutes with nothing but the various partials resulting from the ‘B’ fundamental being accentuated (reminiscent of some of Stefano Scodanibbio’s work). In addition to different melodic treatments, Sciascia also includes accentuated breathing noises as part of the music in the third track.
The following excerpt from the poem by Laura Menegozzo that is printed in the CD jacket gives an indication of Sciascia’s inspiration for this atmospheric and strangely interesting conceptual recording: “It is melody, / And it vibrates with deepness… / Of places far, / It tells of love / And it rests on a bed of water… / The spell! / All of a sudden it silently surrenders / And God himself stops to listen.” - Review by Sandor Ostlund