Francesca Mariano, professionally known as Francesca Heart, is a movement-and-sound artist based in Milan, Italy. According to her website, Francesca’s “cross-dimensional and holistic approach” has been featured in many international programs, performing and teaching throughout universities and venues across the world. As a recording artist, she has appeared on several compilations with other artists while releasing two full-length albums of her own. Her latest album, released on Ingrown Records on October 14 2020, is titled Ianassa Alga Miraggio.
Ianassa Alga Miraggio is a very relaxing, sensual release throughout. Musically, it contains and blends elements of Psychedelia, New Age, Chillout, and Ethnic Fusion. I recall many influences from artists such as Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and Popul Vuh, along with elements of East Asian and African music. Xylophones are used on tracks such as “Lapis Lazulli!” and “Mercuria” to build a wall of alluring, hypnotic sonic density. Complimenting the music on the album is a bed of airy and ethereal analog synthesizers; these keyboard patches either swirl in a surreal manner or manifest into a more amorphous, peculiar state as evident on tracks like “Passaggio Corrente Spirale”. Most impressive is the use of percussion throughout the release. While sometimes the percussive elements are sparse, the articulation of these elements are appropriately placed. "Nereidi e Scimmie Marine" takes things into a more bizarre state, driven by polymetric percussion patterns, animal noises, and eerie synthesizers that tonally clash while maintaining a mystical, alluring quality. "Alga Azzurra detta anche" is another one of the stranger moments on the release, which can be likened to an amorphous dream sequence or a cartoonish, colorful hallucination heavily comprised of robotic, mechanical aesthetics. One of my personal favorite tracks on the album is “Alla ricercar dei Coralli Parenopei (feat. Vittoria de Franchis)” which is made up of an alluring whispered word passage set over a Psychedelic passage of keyboard swirls that flow like a rapid stream under an idyllic moonbeam.
Although Francesca’s sound art is too broad to fit into one distinct category, I would certainly recommend checking out her release Ianassa Alga Miraggio if you enjoy any type of Ambient or New Age music. Some of these tracks may put you in a meditative trance while others may induce vivid provocation of thought or creative brainstorming. On a whole, this remarkable release would be ideal to indulge in while going for a walk, reading a book, meditating, or while simply taking a day to relax and decompress from the pressures of the mundane world.
Listen to and purchase Francesca Heart - Ianassa Alga Miraggio on Bandcamp Stream Francesca Heart - Ianassa Alga Miraggio on YouTube Visit the website for Francesca Mariano (Francesca Heart) Visit the website for Ingrown Records