Francesco Giannico’s ‘Luminance’ is an elegant album. How it luxuriously incorporates elements of the classical with a glossy sheen is quite impressive. At times it sounds akin to Max Richter put through digital synthesis. The result is extraordinarily calming. With this digital sound (and it is quite electronic) there’s a sense of true organic wonder. ‘Luminance’ achieves this human effect by carefully filtering field recordings, guitar plucks, and other reminders that there is a world outside of it.
The album begins with ‘Further’ which sets the tone for the album as a mellow, dreamy pillow of a song. ‘Lacks soul’ is an ironic name considering how deep in the center of it is a moving piano piece clouded by so much processing. Part of the joy of the song is how Francesco appears to peel away those digital layers revealing its true heart. On ‘Things we can not get’ things take a different approach. Field recordings are effectively employed on this track, the longest on the entire album. For this album there’s a true sense of drama with an uneasy melody that wheezes by. ‘A quiet dream’ takes the formula for the album and reverses it: beginning with the natural before it submerges into the edited. The album ends on a sleepy note with the narcoleptic ‘Suggestions’.
Overall it is a lovely nebulous cloud of an album. This is the perfect soundtrack for a cloudy day. For though the sky is obscured there is beauty behind it. Thus the same is true for ‘Luminance’ and its dual digital/natural format.