Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bruno Bavota - La Casa Sulla Luna (Review)

La Casa Sulla Luna is an album by Naples, Italy based pianist Bruno Bavota which was released in February this year. It sits comfortably within the modern classical genre with the press release likening to artists such as Dustin O'Halloran, Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. However, whilst Bavota's work fits comfortably alongside these talented musicians - his sound is perhaps less modern classical, in the sense that there is no electronic processing or experimental trickery. Instead, it strives for a purer sound with the piano obviously placed at the fore. Unlike the scratchy, scuffling textures to be heard on Nils Frahm's Felt or Goldmund's Malady Of Elegance, La Casa Sulla Luna is rich classical music.

A first glance at the album packaging, you will notice the tracklist is in Italian. and it also seems by little coincidence that the cover artwork is predominantly in Italian blue. La Casa Sulla Luna manages to retain the heritage and culture of the artist whilst also offering a universal tapestry of wordless recordings. The tracks are positive, filmic and breathe a sense of nostalgia, as if recalling long-forgotten day-dreams during hymn practice at a school assembly.
The album is presented simply, with Bruno's piano always in focus and at times, accompanied by cello and violin by Marco Pescosolido and Paolo Sasso respectively. The opening tracks are solo piano and gradually, the strings fade in and out as the tracks pass by. There is an undeniable sense of melancholy throughout this album, but somehow it avoids being maudlin. The recordings are also playful without being sickly-sweet.
For me, the album is at its best when Cielo Blu Notte comes in - a piece which begins slowly, with deep cello riding underneath the atmosphere before the violins drive the track home.

In terms of a theme, La Casa Sulla Luna means the house on the moon. Without researching further into translating the tracks from Italian and working from the album title alone, it hints at an otherworldly, out of this world encounter. However, the record feels like an inherently human, firmly earthly experience. Perhaps the house on the moon is a metaphor, to allow you to imagine your own living space becoming detached from the world. As if our daily struggles were left at the door so that our homes may float up into the atmosphere whilst we consider our earthly problems from an outside perspective; La Casa Sulla Luna provides the perfect soundtrack. {LISTEN / BUY}

Bruno has recently given further insight into his musical influences on Grounding Sounds and it comes as no surprise that O'Halloran, Arnalds and Helios are all included. There are many other interesting inclusions crammed into his show - check it out by clicking the Mixcloud player below

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