Collaboration between Alio Die & Zeit
01 The Gates Are Open (32:16)
02 At The Threshold Of Sunja (47:41)
Sunja is a collaboration work between Alio Die and Zeit. Alio Die barely needs introduction; Stefano Musso and his label Hic Sunt Leones are well established names. Zeit on the other hand is a rather unfamiliar artist. Zeit is Tommaso Cimo’s musical pseudonym since 2001. He recorded two CDr's in 2001 and 2002, which are still left unpublished. In 2003 Tommaso met Stefano, and this led to the Sunja release.
As you can see from the tracklisting, this release can be the soundtrack for a story. I'm unsure what Sunja is, if it's a made up city or something real. The only thing I could find was that it's the name of a municipality in Croatia. But I doubt this was the intended meaning, but I could be wrong here. This release consists of two gigantic tracks, the one even longer than the other one. I'm usually not into tracks that go on forever, and also usually not very fond of what Stefano & co. produce, but Sunja proved me on both aspects that it can be different as well. My main problem is usually that the music tend to get boring and repetitive. With Sunja however, this is absolutely not the case.
In a long 32 minute walk, one goes to Sunja with its gates open wide. The air is filled with sounds of nature, backed with whispers, a constantly but slowly changing drone and rattles. One can imagine a pelgrimage through the woods, surrounded by nature, with in the distance the goal; the city of Sunja. The atmosphere is both friendly, haunting and mysterious. Who knows what occurs the next couple of minutes? Who knows what the next turn in the road brings? But eventually, after numerous of side-adventures, one reaches the gates, where the next chapter begins.
At the tresholds it's quiet at first, but rather quick the sounds of nature are being accompanied by a zither, played by Stefano. This second chapter is longer but also more pleasant and more varied than the first chapter. This is caused mainly thanks to the zither, which produces a variety of different tones. One can imagine strolling through the city of Sunja, again getting into various side-adventures. One can near a well, or are it the sewers? The story will change each time you listen to this album.
The music is so relaxed, layered an open to interpretation that it's very nice to just listen to. Not just as background music, while doing something else, but really focused on the music alone. I've spend an afternoon listening to this record after a tiring day, and Sunja soothed and relaxed me. It helps to reflect a busy day, and it brings one in a state of peace. At first I was rather reluctant to play this disc, but after numerous times of listening, this one grows to be a real favourite when it comes to music to relax to.