SECRETS FOR FREE
FERDINANDO DE SENA
It should be no secret that Miami-based composer Ferdinando De Sena is a tour de force amongst electroacoustic composers. Just listening to SECRETS FOR FREE is all the proof you need. The EP boasts adventurous yet accessible compositions that balance real instruments with computer-generated sound. SECRETS FOR FREE is a testament to fans of either subgenre that the two approaches to classical music do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Starting with Deciphered Reverence, De Sena’s orchestra creates a thrilling balance of sensual suites and chilling chamber music. The composition is an adventure from beginning to end, leading the listener on a journey through the trials and tribulations of sonic wonder. The trumpets fill the heart with triumph; the strings lull the listener through tender balance, and the percussion booms with excitement at every turn of the performance.
The second composition, titled eponymously, showcases De Sena’s complex ear of electronic music. Unlike the grounded performance of Deciphered Reverence, Secrets For Free reaches for something beyond the limitations of live instruments. De Sena interweaves the flute and digital instruments into a chamber music texture with a raw electronic sound reminiscent of some early video games.
The third and final track is De Sena’s String Quartet No. 1. Originally written in memory of his mother-in-law Marie Warach, the track was commissioned by Compositum Musicae Novae for the CMN Quartet. The composition is broken down into three movements, each reflecting a mood of sorrow and mourning. Tension lies in the plucking of the strings and curious crescendos building to their breaking point, as if to reflect an air of disbelief. String Quartet No. 1 succeeds in perfectly capturing the denial one feels over a death.
SECRETS FOR FREE is De Sena’s third project with Navona Records. He is a former student of fellow PARMA artist Dennis Kam. The composer earned a B.A. in Computer Music at Ithaca College, a Masters degree in Electronic Music and a D.M.A. in Composition at the University of Miami. He teaches composition and electronic music at the New World School of Arts.