nominee for best music video 1999 LA Music Awards
Song:”Incredible Edible” Director: Eric Von Lewy
Orginal description: Italian prog with a variety of influences that range from symphonic to jamming and even a little neo. “Purelake” is a great album with two female vocalists mixing prog with classical music. Sophisticated melodies close to Anthony PHILLIPS or HACKETT. [Proglucky]
The group Mindflower was born in 1994 when Fabio Antonelli, Fabrizio Defacqz and Alberto Callegari decided to find a specific way to express their own musical and philosophical sensitivity through rock-prog music.
PURELAKE, the first album, went out in 1995 for the most important italian prog label: Mellow Records. In 2001 went out the second album, MINDFLOATER (Mellow Records) , very well considered by the progressive music press. The evolution from a rock band to a “musical project” has taken place thanks to the brave experience made with THE ART OF DREAMS IN A LITTLE BOTTLE (“a miracle” for some critics) by Fabio Antonelli Ensemble.
Today the group loves melting modern and classical languages such as progressive moods, rock rhythms and vintage electronics sounds with orchestral arrangements. Mindflower -now four for the presence of a new member, Francesca Bianco- are working hard to improve their stage performance and to be prepared to spread, in the months ahead, their music as much as possible through concerts, events etc.
After six years of work Mindflower are carrying out their brand new masterpiece: LITTLE ENCHANTED VOID, a progressive- chamber concept album. Recorded at Elfo Studio and at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.
Some of its main features are: a poetic, fairy-like language; chamber sonorities – piano and strings- and progressive electronic ones. Little melodic-harmonic cells, holding sudden changes of the music mood, together with the performances,
-once with a solo instrument, once with a rhythmical orchestral mass-
are representative of the album subject: the theory of the point and the creation stream,
the very big exists in the very small, the very small in the very big.
[Bio part 1 courtesy of the band]
There is a strange creature that has been named “progressive rock” for years.
An entity that has taken his stand between different expressive areas and various art forms: it has created a meeting with rock and the European cultured tradition, jazz, folk music and extra musical areas as literature, theatre, graphic art, esoterism.
In the multitude of definitions that usually the critics palm off upon this kind of music, once upon a time I happened to meet one really unusual: “evolutive” rock. I liked it. To tell the truth I like it still, because it involves a mechanism of participation and involvement of the listener, that evolves himself – I mean that he deepens, elaborates and matures – owing to this multiform and composite sound event.
But too often we omit another aspect: also the musician evolves. We think of the course of Peter Gabriel, from Genesis to his soloist masterpieces, we think of Peter Hammill compared to his Van der Graaf Generator, we think of Robert Wyatt in front of the Soft Machine.
The progressive composition is bold, enlightening, formative: it gives the author the possibility to widen his own expressive field, to open his mind, to develop his creative inspiration. In a word : it is evolutive.
Mindflower is a perfect example, the demonstration that time and studies – in addition to a natural bent – grant the prog musicians, often blamed by the critics that consider them marmoreal, pachydermic, unable to free themselves from their proposal. Surely this is not the case about the Piacenza boys, that are witness of a parabola started from the most canonical new progressive (as Marillion, of course) to get to a classic and contemporary mixture that does not refuse links with the rock and electronic music language.
And there is more than this, since this group makes itself spokesman of a spirit, of a creed, more than a musical project. There are occasions in which music is the sound track of magic, sudden, enchanted events. Mindflower knows them.
Fabio Antonelli supported the group Art And Illusion, a new progressive band of the 90s: after the album Monolithos (Mellow Records, 1993), Fabio apply himself to the creation of Mindflower with Fabrizio Defacqz and Alberto Callegari.
On 1995 they make themselves listen with the debut cd Purelake (Mellow Records), the first wedge of a mosaic in constant settlement. The excerpt spreads in ampler forms, among acoustic pastels after the manner of Anthony Phillips, minimalist meditations recalling Mike Oldfield, sweet new age and more concrete rock outburst.
Six years have elapsed, and the second cd improves and sublimes that formula: Mindfloater (Mellow records, 2001) is a little jewel in balance among art rock and unplugged, instrumental excursions and magnetic melodies, more concise and communicative.
It would be incorrect and reductive to consider Mindflower only a musical group. They always have called to my mind a wise assembly, a collective of of enlightened men. Behind there is a way of thinking, a “reserved philosophy ” that the boys does not completely conceal yet.
They use veils in order that the message might be understood by whom is really able to perceive it: behind the value that they want to watch over – “the true essence of the simple things” – a world made of melancholy and hopes, gladness and resignation, wisdom and childish ingenuousness hides itself. A constant search for purity, symbolized by the “pure lake”: something far, virginal and elusive by the majority, but it is so near to make us astonished.
In this knowledge journey, the meetings with elves and fairies don’t belong to a foregone and vulgar imaginary folk-prog, the hill and the paths are not showy elements: they are symbols of a forgotten dimension, more correctly parallel, revealed only to whom has new eyes to see it. Mysterious and enigmatic, made of whispers and code signals, locks to open with the keys that the band gives to the worthies, the music come out of naturalistic contemplations, metaphysical observations, theories like the one of the “point” and the parallel universes.
Between the two Mindflower works there is a passage work, or rather a turning point: it is the soloist work of Fabio Antonelli, having the evocative title The Art of Dream in a Little Bottle (Mellow Records, 1998). A pause from rock with a piece for group, chamber orchestra and choir: an ambitious opera for the young man from Piacenza, that arrives at a sort of watershed in his own career.
It is hard come again, because the cd reaches decisive peaks, amalgamating Renaissance memories and a transfigured conception of folk ballad, the most gentlemanly melodies and the coloured pop-rock propulsions. A gentle treatise of light and serene contemporary music, expressing the author tension towards these cathartic worlds that can break off with the untenable postmodern dullness.
The essence of the “pure lake” is here: a place-non place that could bring out the reality differences, attacked and annihilated by the flattening, conforming, zering contemporaneity.
2007: a renewed group of Mindflower starts out again from this soloist cd. A rush work, of emotional sharing but also a chisel work, a careful labor limae opera, for the long-awaited Little Enchanted Void. It’s the concept to which the boys give soul and form is typical of Mindflower experience and for the first time includes the presence of a character: the opera protagonist is a “creature of light” setting out on an elevation journey, from the original chaos to the purity, helped in this trip by the fairies’ council.
The result is a precious, refined work, having a great visual impact and pictorial intensity, although a more minimal and intimate approach prevails in it. The different influences and “souls” of the band, with the guests that have taken part in the opera, lead the project to a level of further quality but also of a greater artistic awareness.
A full and void play, of bright and iridescent episodes and others more hazy and obscure, makes effective the development of the narrative plot; the minute approaches of classic and chamber music modules to typically art rock canons are a skilled device for immersing the listener in “little paths in a great universe” about which the cd mentions.
Between a comprehensible chamber rock and the usual acoustic brush strokes, with sophisticated arrangements and a faultless sound care, the album expresses complicated concepts with simpleness: the theory of the point, the lines, the spaces and the universe, the symbolism of the fairies and of the creatures of light.Although far from a Zappa’s “total music”, the Mindflower’s formula is ample, connecting high and low sorts, without sacrificing the melodic, introspective, sometimes much twilight, now and then even ecstatic data.
Going against the stream compared to the artists directly aiming to the general public, with proposals rendered vulgar and poor (of ideas and credibility), Mindflower turns to whom is able to melt in their musical world.
A world where fantasy, colours, lights and magic harmonies are nothing but the “visible”, perceptible elements of another reality. New magical fifers, evocative story-tellers, Mindflower invite you to enter, to cross the threshold, to attend the magic of a little, enchanted void.
[Part 2 courtesy of Donato Zoppo/Mindflower]