Transcending the confines of the stereoscape, embarking upon a celestial Atmos expedition, listeners are invited to step into the unparalleled realm of musical artistry with "Il Pianeta Della Musica E Il Viaggio Di Iòtu" translated as “The Planet of Music and the Journey of Iòtu.” This 13-track conceptual masterpiece meticulously crafted by Italian composer and musician Franco Mussida. The album is available in a variety of formats including CD, Vinyl, and of most interest to high resolution listeners the exclusive Pure Audio Blu-ray edition, which boasts several enthralling immersive experiences through Dolby ATMOS®, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio®, LPCM Stereo, and Auro-3D® versions.
Unveiling a vivid soundscape, this groundbreaking album showcases Mussida’s artistic creativity on the international stage. The album is an ingenious fusion of Mussida's perceptive ingenuity and a producer's technical finesse, crafting an auditory immersion that is nothing short of captivating. For the detail minded, an entirely new Dolby ATMOS 7.1.4 48kHz / 24-bit mix was created by Lorenzo Cazzaniga with a subsequent optimized porting to Auro-3D 9.1 96kHz / 24-bit by Stefan Boch of MSM Studios in Munich, Germany, and also converted to DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 96kHz / 24-bit, plus includes the original mix in LPCM Stereo 96kHz / 24-bit. There are also two video clips in full HD resolution with Dolby ATMOS audio of the tracks "The Gold of Sound" and "Me, We, the Music." Plus, fans will find a Making Of video and a 24-page color booklet with lyrics in both English and Italian. Furthermore, for those under headphones, the illusion of 360-degree immersion can also be reproduced through "binaural" listening.
Lorenzo Cazzaniga notes that the aim for the Atmos mix was to retain the peaceful and relaxed dimension of the music while expanding the listener's spatial perception. Acoustic sound sources were recorded with their natural environments and the synthetic sources were treated like acoustic sources, reproducing them in natural environments through loudspeakers and re-recording their environments. When sitting for a listen, I immediately found a pure sense of openness in the mix that felt extremely lively and present.
Opening the door further on the Atmos mix, listeners will find an excellent use of the height channels, incorporating background vocals, synthetic parts, and other treatments that tend to lean toward the back height channels. The floor is filled with discrete parts spread around the room, with greater weight given to the front channels and fabulous use of the sub-woofer. After multiple listens I continued to be astounded by the aural clarity and especially enthralled by the dynamic range that is riveting from the peaks to the valleys. These songs come to life alongside an ensemble of keyboard, bass, and percussion.
I cannot deny that creating an immersive release of this magnitude necessitates cutting-edge audio engineering and an augmented production endeavor. Given that this is the first release from Moondays, they have boldly embraced the challenge, with specialized expertise to bring forth an outcome that's both revolutionary and spellbinding.
For the uninitiated to Mussida’s previous works, he is renowned for his tenure with the seminal band Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM), a pioneering rock ensemble that transcended borders, marking an epochal chapter in Italy's musical legacy. After a prosperous journey encompassing diverse genres, Mussida's artistic trajectory saw him part ways with PFM in 2015 to explore new artistic horizons. Notably, he established CPM, an institution dedicated to contemporary popular music education.
In his latest work he unfurls an odyssey through melodies and narratives, beckoning the listener into a realm of sonic imagination. This auditory adventure accompanies Iòtu, a curious voyager, as he encounters a vibrant cast of characters, each emblematic of a distinct musical instrument.
"The genesis of this opus stems from two profound impulses," shares Mussida. "Firstly, the yearning to illuminate the arcane enchantment of music to fellow aficionados, unravelling its inherent values and transformative power that have entranced me since my formative years. Secondly, the endeavor to rekindle the essence of sound, harmony, and melody, in a lexicon that resonates with my life's journey and the musical love of my generation." This multifaceted journey is underpinned by Mussida's lush vocals and guitar mastery.
A crucial facet of the Dolby Atmos mix lies in its incorporation of authentic audio source recordings within their native acoustical domains, making this a must have for immersive collectors. For fans of art rock, progressive, and acoustic elements, this album extends a guiding hand to lead them into the landscape of immersive sonics. A truly outstanding aural listening experience.
Additionally, keep an eye on Moondays Records as they aim to focus on immersive music album releases, and they already have a few in the pipeline, including one by a famous Italian musician and a remix of a legacy international album.
Released January 20, 2023.
Blu-ray featuring Dolby Atmos, Auro3D 96kHz / 24-bit 9.1, DTS HD Master Audio 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1, and LPCM Stereo. Also available on CD and Vinyl, and Download. Also available via Streaming.
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.