renzo spiteri
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renzo spiteri


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"Silence Sounds and Spaces album review, 5/5 star rating"

Hailing from Malta, Renzo Spiteri awakens the soul with ancient sounds using inventive musical instruments that defy traditional notions of musicality. Renzo’s musical inspirations are multi-faceted and multi-instrumental. Essentially, Renzo’s compositions border on new age, world jazz, and avant-garde without all the distractions of contemporary electronics, vocals, or drum-kits.

The aptly-named opening song, “Invocation,” begins with a slow, meditative beat of two, padded drumsticks on empty, clay flower pots. The contemplative sound speeds up and slows down throughout. The sound effects are rather ancient, yet surprisingly modern. The deep, marimba-like sounds and sweeping melodies are not too far-off from the metallic, singing bowls pervasive in Buddhist recitations and ceremonies. The relative simplicity of clay flower pots produce a very powerful and mysterious, aural result without any weaknesses.

“Hypogeum” opens with a bell-like dong, metallic tapping, and an airy, flute. The instrumental accompaniment adds a tabla or udu-type drum to the mix with a few cymbal clangs. A frame drum—possibly a daf—adds a pleasant and sparse sound to the flute, rapid percussion, and bells. The instrumental song is not cluttered. In fact, it is rather spacious with all of the instruments shining through.

“The Circle Gathering” opens with a dark, brooding tone coming from an unknown instrument that sounds similar to a very low-tuned balalaika, before a bansuri-like flute rises up from the background. A few guitar-like strums at the end of the song fade out after a few bell dings signal the cessation. “To You, Mighty Stones” begins with a bit of speed-play on the mbwata—a clay instrument. The udu-like sounds of the mbwata contain low bellows indicative of a talking drum or bullfrog. The deep sounds are interrupted by a higher tone with some metallic clanging. The song is instrumental, short, and different than previous songs from a stylistic and tonal perspective.

“Solstice” is an improvisational tune with low, rumbling sounds from a hang drum, which fills a sound void that works amazingly well. The warm, meditative tone of the instrument is slightly new age in form with a spiritual side that connects everything together in a harmonious fashion. The characteristic tones evolve into a slapping sound at the end of the song. “The Hunt” begins with the familiar sound of a gong, before a deep, ringing sound penetrates a sharp, metallic ping with seemingly electronic washes of mysterious ambience. The sound is interrupted with the clanging of metallic bowls or clay pots. The deep, rumbling sound is similar in tone to the sound a heavy ship produces when docking. The ambient sound is disrupted by short flute noises that do not detract from the overall sound. The end of the song features some daf playing and more percussive noises in the same vein as Hossam Ramzy.

The improvisational and instrumental delights of Malta’s music master, Renzo Spiteri, are steeped in a creative and groundbreaking pool of talent rarely observed in instrumental world music. The lack of vocals do not deter from the musical messages of solitude, grace, spirit, and meditation. The instrumental music created from relatively few instruments is most remarkable. Most of the songs were recorded in temples and caves, which should make it a hit for the spiritual spelunkers out there. For the rest of us, Renzo serves up a chilling, mysterious, and forward-thinking musical journey that deserves to be a top spot on the world music/new age charts. Silence Sounds and Spaces echoes similarities with the musical inventions of Robert Rich or Steve Roach, but in the end, it is Renzo Spiteri that turns history into music. - Matthew Forss

"Review of This is My Language solo performance"

"It takes a very clear, agile mind to present so many different styles, from mincing sounds, to rich, atonal, experimental styles recalling influences as diverse as Wagner, John Cage and Philip Glass, and instances of silence which in themselves could also be open to various interpretations." - The Times

"Review of This is My Language solo performance"

“The [solo] concert we heard is one to long remember. I think that Renzo Spiteri is an extraordinary man and a multi-sided musician. I do hope that he will have the opportunity to share his art and international experience with the Hungarian percussionists when he returns to Hungary.” - Ritmus Depo Hungary

"Review of Sounds Unlimited: Renzo Spiteri, Michael Alcorn, Pedro Rebelo"

“On one level the music was about essence, taste and sophistication; rather like wine-tasting, but for the advanced musician.” - The Belfast Telegraph (N. Ireland)

"Review of Intersections: Renzo Spiteri and Dan Moore"

“Spiteri, playing the marimba and congas, gives the listener a chance to really feel the pulsations that are being configured by the palm of his hands … This event surely opened the audience to a hint of something new in the jazz genre. It was a refreshing exposure of unfamiliar sounds and rhythms not usually performed in such a manner.” - The Reporter (Chicago)

"Review of Sketches from Home: Renzo Spiteri, Guo Yue, Ben Murray"

"… It was a great evening. The sounds of Renzo Spiteri's percussion, of Guo Yue Chinese bamboo flutes (except for one in pure white jade) and Ben Murray's piano, keyboards and accordion mingled to perfection and produced an evening of beautiful music which lifted our spirits and captivated our imagination." - The Times

"Review of Renzo Spiteri and Idan Raichel Project concert"

“The spell-binding performance between Israel’s The Idan Raichel Project and Maltese percussionist Renzo Spiteri ended with a standing ovation.” - Global Magazine: the international briefing (UK): January 2011

"Review of Silence Sounds and Spaces concert"

“Renowned for his experimental approach to music, Renzo Spiteri is an artiste who constantly surprises.” - The Times

"Review of Silence Sounds and Spaces launch concert"

"When Renzo Spiteri presents his music it is quite an event. This very versatile and creative musician goes beyond being a highly specialised and accomplished percussionist. He is always on a quest for meaning behind and beyond the world of percussive sound." - The Times

"Review of Teatru Unplugged 2011"

"Now an integral part of TU, Renzo Spiteri’s participation offered a fresh breath of contemporary music in an apt acoustic delivery. Spiteri first gave a taste of his percussive inventiveness – a tiny fraction compared to the wonderment to be found on his recent album [Silence Sounds and Spaces] – with an opening instrumental." - The Times


'INKONTRI' (2010); audio CD
'THIS IS MY LANGUAGE' (2005); audio CD

Music score for visitors' audio guide of the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum (Malta), a UNESCO World Heritage Site



RENZO SPITERI is an internationally respected musician renowned for speaking multiple languages with his hands. He collaborates on a stunning number of projects that bring together a wide range of musicians, & solo projects where there is a spirit of enquiry, seeking to discover how variant rhythms & sounds work together. His artistic versatility & passion for the creative use of sound has over the years allowed him to develop fresh & unlimited modes of expression. His name has become synonymous with innovative, inspiring & dynamic performances. Renzo is endorsed by Toca, Paiste, Yamaha, Schlagwerk & Gibraltar.
Renzo's full biography is available from