Sonic Twist® Reviews

“Unity” CD by Sonic Twist®

Muse Eek Publishing Inc. presents Sonic Twist’s® New CD Release “Unity.” Adventurous Ambient Electronic Excursions by Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold. We are releasing one video and audio track each week. The complete CD and DVD will be released in 2021.



Judi Silvano–Voice with Live Processing

Bruce Arnold–Guitar and SuperCollider

Quotes and Reviews of Sonic Twist® Unity CD

  • Sonic Twist® is a duo of Judi Silvano on vocals and Bruce Arnold on guitar; both of them contribute various electronics to this 45-minute CD, which was produced by Silvano and engineered by Arnold. The vocalists who have inspired Silvano in the past continue to influence her on Unity, like Sheila Jordan, Betty Carter and Jeanne Lee. All of them became masters at interpreting familiar lyrics and so did Silvano. But on Unity, while some of the selections contain lyrics, including “That’s What That Is” and “I Saw That”, Silvano mostly expresses herself with wordless scat improvisation. Silvano and Arnold enjoy a strong rapport throughout this album and one of the things that makes them compatible is Arnold’s use of space. He favors an airy, floating sound along the lines of Pat Metheny and the late Jim Hall. But what Arnold does on Unity is much more left-of-center. None of these selections rely on traditional song structures or a head/solos/head format. Silvano and Arnold’s improvisations are quite free form, but never in a combative way. This is the type of avant garde expression that values subtlety and understatement rather than going out of its way to clobber the listener. Inside/outside offerings like “Bruce’s Boogie”, “Hovercraft”, “Confabulation” and “Shimmer Down”—all improvised—are never abrasive. Unity doesn’t confront; it floats and reflects. 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Silvano’s first recording as a leader, Dancing Voices. Silvano has recorded a lot more albums since then, making her mark with a wide range of projects and collaborators. This CD makes maximum use of her avant garde talents and Arnold is a consistently intuitive collaborator for the veteran singer.

    Alex Henderson 12 MARCH 2021 | THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD

  • Sonic Twist’s UNITY – I’ve been a fan of this duo for a LONG time now… with Judi Silvano’s vocals and Bruce Arnold’s guitar you won’t find any more adventurous ambient electronic music than this. A true sense of freedom is conveyed as you listen… and your heart will come away from these songs jam-packed with the joy of living! I give Sonic Twist a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99.

    Dick Metcalf – Editor, Contemporary Fusion Reviews

  • Next comes the latest experimental release from the jazz duo, Sonic Twist®. Their new album titled “Unity” features seventeen tracks that utilizes the vocal abilities of Judi Silvano and the guitar work of Bruce Arnold. The album begins with the flowing sounds of “A Ha” and the subtle changes to “Capricious,” which find the two artists creating sonic dance with sounds. Bruce gets his moment to work the pedals of his guitar to create the unique sounds of “Bruce’s Boogie,” while “Lacewing” has a bluesy feel to the music. The ambient feel of “Flutterby” and “Home Free” display another dimension to the music created by Sonic Twist®, along with the exciting, experimental piece “Shaman’s Plane,” which grabs your attention and never lets go. The album finishes with the ska-jazz sounds of “Frisky” and psychedelic flow of “Compression Expansion.” To find out more about Sonic Twist® and their latest release “Unity,” please visit

    JPS Music Blog

  • The music on Unity is surprising, delicate, luminous, playful and otherworldly. It manifests generosity of spirit and exquisite listening. Several titles refer to stages in the lives of butterflies. In shamanic traditions, the butterfly is a symbol of transformation, joy and creativity, and my spirit felt transformed listening to this music!

    Marilyn Crispell, pianist, composer, improviser

  • Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold are traveling together in space as one voice!

    Kenny Werner, pianist, composer

  • Judi Silvano & Bruce Arnold have found a home for their musical conversations in a duo setting that feels both natural and adventurous. The element of technology that adorns their inventions succeeds, to my ear, because it simply offers other ways of hearing each other’s sense of the whole picture as it unfolds. Their connection remains rooted in the forever powerful tools of rhythm, counterpoint and harmonic agreement and tension. As well the two are clearly having a good deal of fun with where some of the processing takes them, and it’s a pleasure to participate, as a listener, in their playfulness.

    Gerry Hemingway, drums, percussion, composer, educator

  • “Judi and Bruce have combined their creative energies to bring us a wonderful, fresh, new, and compelling album that rewards the listener with new subtleties on subsequent audits. It’s a peaceful, thoughtful, bright, kaleidoscopic, warm, and elevated state-of-the-art duo project that I hope will have an extended run.”

    James Emery – guitarist, composer, mystical vibration Work healer

  • When I listen to Judi Silvano & Bruce Arnold on their new recording ”Unity”, I see vast arrays of colors that fly by my eyes. Colors of musical expression, love and dedication. To me, that’s what their sound is all about. A fresh experience. Thank you.

    George Garzone – saxophone, improviser, educator

  • These freely improvised duets for voice and guitar create an uplifting kind of energy. They will appeal to fans of “free jazz,” and more generally, they will delight anyone who likes to put on “ambient music” to fill up one’s living space with positive vibes.

    Lewis Porter – pianist, educator, author

  • I first met Judi 21 years ago, as a student at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Judi was my ensemble director and was one of the first teachers to introduce me to completely improvised music. She shared the importance of freedom, intent, listening, interaction, developing a personal language, and creating an emotional connection with both the musicians and audience. On this album, we hear those sentiments fully expressed and realized in this intimate duo. UNITY is a beautiful, fearless, entirely improvised conversation between two unique performers that draws the audience in with every listening.

    Kris Davis, pianist and composer

  • After an initial listen, Unity has already become my favorite album … The louder I push up the volume, the more I’m enjoying this musical therapy session.

    Laurence Donohue-Greene – Managing Editor (The New York City Jazz Record)

  • ….. love the Sonic Twist® “Unity album.” I smiled all the way through – really great short-form pieces that each create a mood and then go on to the next. These short explorations are clever, emotional, sonically interesting, and joyous when taken as a whole. The playing and singing is “playful,” yet exhibit a seriously high level command of the instruments.

    Dave Mash, musician, educator, futurist

  • Some of my favorite music contains the element of discovery, with the listener being able to travel along with the musicians while they explore new territory (instead of retreading old paths). Sonic Twist®, an empathetic and interactive duo project by vocalist Judi Silvano and guitarist Bruce Arnold, has those qualities – in addition to being deep, playful,and fun. Bruce (employing supercollider) and Judi (electronics) use effects to serve the music and they venture into some uncharted territory, with confidence and joy in a collaborative aural dance. Check out this recording!

    Kenny Wessel, guitarist, composer, educator

  • This is the third offering by the duo SONIC TWIST with Judi Silvano on voice and Bruce Arnold on guitar. Although both of these musicians come from mostly jazz backgrounds, their combined efforts come from a more experimental, open-ended area. All of the pieces here (17) are relatively short, under 3 & 1/2 minutes and they create different moods… unique, adventurous and unclassifiable.

    Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery DMG

  • These freely improvised duets for voice and guitar create an uplifting kind of energy. They will appeal to fans of “free jazz,” and more generally, they will delight anyone who likes to put on “ambient music” to fill up one’s living space with positive vibes.

    Lewis Porter, jazz pianist, educator, author

  • On “Unity,” vocalist Judi Silvano masterfully improvises a series of short-form songs with guitarist Bruce Arnold that mirror the compositional qualities of still life paintings. Imagine a gallery wall with a display of arresting 12×15” paintings that intermingle expressionistic realism with neon-electric abstract angles. The Duo unifies to approach their joint canvas, as they dot, dart, slant and swirl their colors together. Judi’s warm and rich human timbre is frequently collaged with electronic pitch alterations that are produced with soulful vibrancy. Listen to how Silvano and Arnold carve time-space with a full palette of sound-waves and you’ll hear-see a joyous celebration of life.”

    Katie Bull, Vocalist, Composer, Writer, Founder/Whole Body Voice

  • The tonal empathy between Arnold and Silvano can be mesmerizing, so seamlessly do the two voices blend to create sinuously compelling soundscapes.

    Stephen Gauci, saxophonist, improviser

  • Judi Silvano is surely one of the most multi-dimensional improvising vocalists of this era. The variety and output of her musical catalogue was already impressive (to put it mildly), but in the last several years she and musical partner guitarist Bruce Arnold have been opening up new portals for sonic exploration. From the very first notes of the opening track on their third CD, “Unity” I was eager to hear the rest of the album. Judi and Bruce draw from a seemingly endless well of ideas, yet there’s never a superfluous note, and the music they make together is surprising, inventive, and utterly engaging.

    Andrea Wolper, vocalist, composer, educator

  • Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold engage joyously with an open, exploratory spirit. Every syllable, every note is an opportunity to play, unpack and transform. Unity is an album with 17 miniatures where Judi and Bruce bring the listener right into their “playground.” What a thrill to hear an interaction so free and filled with the spark of discovery and sensory delight.

    Ayelet Gottlieb, vocalist, composer, educator

Cloudwalking CD cover from the group Sonic Twist® from their Sonic Twist® Reviews page.  Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold are Sonic Twist®
Sonic Twist’s CD “Cloudwalking.”

Sonic Twist® Reviews from “Cloudwalking.”

From her first recordings in 1989, Judi Silvano has always been an adventurous “composer in the moment” and yet Cloudwalking is quite a bit different. Ms. Silvano “composes in the moment” a dozen melodic duets with guitarist Bruce Arnold while both musicians utilize electronics and effects tastefully and spontaneously. Nothing was added later on during mixing.

The music is quite impressionistic with sound explorations and subtle surprises. The singer displays a wide range of notes and emotions while also making creative use of space and having an unhurried delivery. Bruce Arnold is right there with her, sometimes leading the way while at other times following her musical ideas with his own musical adventures.

One should not come to Cloudwalking expecting swinging jazz but instead should be open to mood music that conveys an optimistic feeling. This CD is available from Muse Eek Publishing Inc..

Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene, February 2019

Listen-To-This-by-Sonic-Twist®-Sonic Twist's® Reviews
Sonic Twist CD “Listen to This.”

Sonic Twist® Reviews from “Listen To This”

From the get-go “Listen to This” will shock jazz purists with the spacey effects on Arnold’s axe and the electronically harmonized multiple Silvano voices. But vocalist Judi Silvano’s phrasing, inflections, and “composing in the moment” reactions and guitarist Bruce Arnold’s lush harmonies definitely reveal jazz’s genetic imprint.

The definitive breakdown of musical categorization was delivered in 1962 by Duke Ellington: “There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind.” File this album in the Good Music section.

Steve Holtje, manager, ESP-Disk

Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold recording a Sonic Twist Composition Sonic Twist® Reviews.  Michal Shapiro painting in backgroun
Sonic Twist® with Michal Shapiro painting in background.

Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold have created their own world of altered guitar and vocal sounds. I really like the opening song, “Remembrances”, an otherworldly blues with Judi’s hip-notic vocals harmonized with subtle alien effects. It’s a sort of fairy-tale vibe, rather like a distant relative to J.A.’s “White Rabbit”.

Ms. Silvano sounds a bit like Iva Bittova on the aptly titled “Space Lullaby”, charming and child-like at times. On “My Neighborhood” Mr. Arnold does a great job of providing sumptuous sonic soundscapes without playing any predictable single note jazz solos; his guitar sounds like an army of chanting monks as he plays those dark floating chords in the background.

Whatever you do, you got to check out this one: “Great Plains”. There is something special going on here, completely enchanting with that great sly groove. This is followed by “Journey To Be Free”, another stunner with a rocking groove but no rhythm team. Just the guitar and voice.

I didn’t expect this disc to be the most surprising gem of the month, but that it what it is.

Judi Silvano & Bruce Arnold’s intuitive jazz guitar/vocal duo – LISTEN TO THIS:

Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

Judi Silvano recording a Sonic Twist Composition Sonic Twist® Reviews
Judi Silvano recording a Sonic Twist® composition. Photo and processing by Michal Shapiro.

There’s one cardinal rule you must not forget, whether you’re a listener, or a listener who also reviews… be SURE you don’t allow any preconceptions to get in the way of your listening progress… I’ve reviewed Judi’s excellent vocal work many times in the past and Bruce’s guitar work is quite simply the stuff of legend around my review studio… If you check out earlier samples of these two musicians’ recordings, you’ll realize that what they are doing together is significantly different.

On “The Cats Are Watching”, the electronic effects used together with Judi’s scat just WAKE your spirit UP… I just LOVED this tune!

They move back to somewhat more familiar territory on “Complete Embrace” but with Bruce’s crispy little “bells” and superb synth sounds that compliment Judi’s silky smooth vocal very nicely… of course, the tune clocks in at a full 9:35, so that gives them more than enough room to explore each others’ creative genius… This is a relatively simple tune that will transport you (by the end-note) to symphonic (and hallucinatory) bliss!

The title track, “Listen To This”, is short (2:43), but there’s no doubt you’ll be flashing back to territory you thought you’d long left behind… if you’re like me, you’ll be hitting the replay button often on this one.

It is the (almost) “spoken-word” cut, Journey To Be Free”, that (easily) gets my vote for personal favorite of the dozen sonic adventures offered up, though. Hearing the transition from “out there” to “completely clear” on this tune will… help you realize that “different” is often “better”.

I give this totally-talented duo a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this superbly performed set of adventurous music. Get more information at

Dick Metcalf, Editor, Contemporary Fusion Reviews