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Alessio Ballerini - Blanc

"Blanc" is a concept album that does not represent opposing views, but dissimilar ones. Downloadable from Zymogen the release is also accompanied by 2 videos and 15 drawings. The two videos were created via animation of the drawings. They describe two possible perspectives that do not bode well for the future of our planet. Between 2000 and 2008, the ice sheet of Greenland lost 1.5 trillion tons of ice, causing a yearly average rise of 0.46 mm in the ocean levels. Science Magazine states that the ocean's current growth rate is 0.75 mm per year. The complete dissolution of the ice sheet will result in a rise of 7 metres in the ocean levels. Despite the varying perspectives regarding this issue, there is a common thread of hope among global citizens, without which such loss would be inconceivable.

"Blanc & Noir" is also an installation that shows the process of the work's formation, as well as that of the drawings and the videos derived from it. The installation is designed to be expanded beyond the context of the gallery and the limitations imposed by it. Rather, it is hoped that the work will come to life in the homes and dwellings of those who take the drawings. Furthermore, the installation is a site-specific work that changes significance in situ, since the drawings constitute the work yet remain unfinished. The exhibition space is filled by a screen where the two videos are played in loop. The drawings, which each visitor can take, are placed below it. The work, as it is presented in the installation format has been selected by the Quattrocentometriquadri gallery, and is among the six finalists for the Metrocubo contest. The exhibition has been presented on Sunday 21st November 2010 at 11 am at the gallery in Via Magenta 15, Ancona, Italy.




Track List:

  • 01. The Small Sea and The Great Ocean
  • 02. Noir
  • 03. Blanc
  • 04. Lociverba3
  • 05. Everything Else


Download ZIP file from zymogen.

General Info:

The Small Sea and The Great Ocean
-Christian Fennesz (Romaeuropa Webfactory 2010) - electronic samples
-Gianni Pavan / CIBRA, University of Pavia, Italy - ocean noise samples
-Alessio Ballerini - Acoustic guitar and sound processing

-Alessio Ballerini - piano and sound processing

-Alessio Ballerini - piano processing

-Canenero - programming
-Alessio Ballerini - mixing

Everything else
-Alessio Ballerini - piano


© Alessio Ballerini
© Zymogen

Cover Artwork:
© Alessio Ballerini
© Zymogen

This work (audio tracks, cover, text) is licensed under a creative commons license.


Reviews for this release

Alessio Ballerini is one of those few brilliant italians (Fabio Orsi, Stefano Panzera, Claudio Rocchetti, Fabio Perletta, Attila Faravelli and Nicola Ratti, ..) who know how to vehicle a basically noise-driven sound katharsis and canalize it into an eerie flowing current of drones.
Blanc is a free-download release (available here), coming with 15 drawings making the substance of two animation videos (Blanc/Noir), - inspired by the climate evolution of recent years on Greenland.
Actually "“Blanc & Noir” is also an installation that shows the process of the work's formation, as well as that of the drawings and the videos derived from it.", an exhibition which has been presented on 21st November 2010 at the gallery in Via Magenta 15, Ancona, Italy.
The whole release is easy to put on repeat, such its beginning and ending share a common perceptive liaison.
The Small Sea and The Great Ocean, track#1, sees also Christian Fennesz involved in its astral musicality (live recorded at RomaEuropa Webfactory 2010); Noir gently balances minimal notes of piano and a growing obscure background shapeless cloud of feedback, while the album's title track, Blanc, is a disarming and celestial ambient, soothing, multilayered carpet of guitar tones: again, put this track on repeat, in a silent room, and you might reach nirvana.
Lociverba is a shoegaze, visionary track, drum less, fully mesmeric and powerful of a kind of oustanding energy, which first has an impact on you, then it goes in and out through your body. Peaceful, yet, scented with a sinister feeling here and there.
The final track, Everything Else, - a slow, piano outro, - leaves you petrified in front of the impressiveness and majesty of the damage done to Greenland, probably.
Komakino zine / 17 Feb 2011

Questo è un concept album, questa è musica creata per un'instalazione basata su supporti video e dipinti, a questo lavoro partecipa tra gli altri anche Christian Fennesz. Bene: ora chiudete gli occhi, premete il play e dimenticate tutte queste informazioni. Evitate di pensare per cosa è stato creato il suono e lasciate che l'immaginazione vi coinvolga. Se posso darvi un consiglio iniziate l'ascolto con la terza traccia e lasciatevi sedurre. “Blanc” è commozione allo stato puro, è il suono ambient che prende letteralmente forma per invitarvi a danzare nell'impossibile esercizio del volo, dentro la trasparenza luminescente del silenzio. “Noir” è traccia che gioca con sé stessa chiudendosi a riccio dentro accordi di pianoforte di breve battito, adagiati su carpets di tenebra. Di meravigliosa costruzione 'sinfonica' “Lociverba3” dal crescendo irreale e metafisico. Questo è Suono!
Rockerilla / 01 Jan 2011

Zymogen come up trumps with this, their 26th release. Their last release was back in May (although it did take me until September to grab it) and together with their back catalogue, Zymogen is a label that holds a special place in my ever expanding collection.
The depth of artistry displayed within the released material continues to delight me. And Alessio Ballerini‘s Blanc EP is no different. An essential and instant download from a label that nestles between between ambient drone and sound design, yet comes off as a relaxed and rewarding listen, no mean feat. Also of note is the artwork and videos by Alessio, a man of many talents and one I hope to hear more from soon.
Darkfloor / 14 Dec 2010

Alessio Ballerini publica este trabajo inspirado en los paisajes blancos de los polos que nos hace pensar acerca de la pérdida de hielo que sufren continuamente a causa de la acción del hombre.
El disco viene acompañado de dos videos y quince dibujos, y todo junto forma una instalación que el artista presentó en Ancona el pasado 11 de noviembre.
Un disco genial.
Oir Para Creer / 04 Dec 2010

Aquí va llegando lo nuevo de Zymogen. Si quieren exquisitas obras musicales en este netlabel las encontraran.
Un mini álbum con cinco temas de corta duración, en donde su autor Alessio Ballerini nos recrea hermosas atmósferas que con toques de piano y frecuencias ambientales oraganicas nos deja en un estado muy introspectivo o espiritual, si se quiere. De nuevo Zymogen mostrando su enorme capacidad en cuanto a música y artistas. Disfrúntenlo.
Musica Selection / 30 Nov 2010

With “Blanc“ Alessio Ballerini (Roma, Italy) published over the Zymogen label an outstanding concept album as free download. “Blanc” is a blend of capturing ambient sounds, field recordings and fascinating piano parts for a very pleasant listening from start to finish.
Kulturterrorismus / 27 Nov 2010

Earlier this week, the folks at Zymogen sent out a newsletter promoting their new release, Alessio Ballerini‘s Blanc, and I immediately tweeted that this album as a required download without even hearing one note! At the surface such behavior seems quite odd, but given Zymogen’s track record of limited releases and each one of them of extreme quality, recommending with out listening is quite understandable.

Yesterday as I gave thanks by downloading and listening to free netlabel music, I listened to Alessio Ballerini’s Blanc. What can I say other than I was right; Blanc is a fantastic ambient album that deserves a place on your portable listening device. Ballerini, an Italian sound artists, has released a few solo records and several collaborative works as well as working in the field recording and soundtrack realm.

Blanc is a mixture of field recordings and ambient, put together as both a concept album and a installation piece. The download comes with two videos and several drawings as well. Given Ballerini’s extensive collaborative work, it’s of no surprise that several of Blanc‘s tracks include other musicians and sound artists. This EP is delightfully gorgeous, and like other excellent work, Blanc entices the listener to go and download Ballerini’s other work.
Disruptive Platypus / 26 Nov 2010

The privilege, the pleasure is mine... . Zymogen is back with its new notch, Alessio Ballerini`s brand new heavy album Blanc. The coverprint with a snowy mountain peak...what is it up here to be referred actually? As it is obviously known "Blanc" does mean as "white" in French, so is it possible to have somehow a reference to the highest peak in the Europe? Why not, though in fact, the album concerns on climate changes regarding the melting of the ice sheets of Greenland. 5 tracks are appeared here to be sounded really warm and comfortable, though, it is full of ghosts and ghouls, which, however, are not used to be frightening occurences. The whole one might be reminiscent of borealic space of Tim Hecker, endlessly snowy landscapes, chaotically swirling airy vectors and silent whirls of the storm. Here you can relax for listening to hiss-infused mini-orchestrations, electro-acoustic trash-y clangors, minimally sounding piano loaded modern classical pieces. Could you imagine that a kind of (beatific) shit and a piece of beauty are rolling alongside to get finally joint together, and as a result, delivering a hallmark about an exhilarating sound example in the end of 2010. By the way, Ballerini is helped by Canenero, Gianni Pavan, and Christian Fennesz (indeed, by this famous österreicher Fennesz).
Recent Music Heroes / 25 Nov 2010