Sunday, 6 June 2021

OF LOVE, SUN AND STARS

 And The Stars Above is the third album by Armonite, a project based in Pavia led by composer and keyboardist Paolo Fosso and violinist Jacopo Bigi with the aim of mixing rock and classical chamber music. It was released in 2018 on the independent label Cleopatra Records and recorded with the help of many prestigious guest musicians such as Alberto Fiorani (bass), Colin Edwin (bass), Giacomo Lampugnani (bass), Gianmarco Straniero (bass), Corrado Bertonazzi (drums), Emiliano Cava (drums), Jasper Barendregt (drums), Maria Chiara Montagnari (vocals) and Diletta Fosso (vocals). The album is almost completely instrumental and confirms all the good qualities of their previous works. The art cover by Lele Picà tries to capture the musical content and probably describes the album better than my words: the man who waits at a train platform with a balloon in his hand gives an idea of human activities and of their potential, of the horizontal dimension of life but also of its upward motion... In fact, according to the band, the album was conceived as an imaginary soundtrack for a spiritual journey in twelve legs, from the Earth to the stars...



The opener “The March Of The Stars” starts by violin, piano and soaring vocals singing the last verses from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, then the rhythm section comes in and a disquieting marching beat leads you to the sidereal horizons where Love moves the Sun and the other stars...

The dynamic “Next Ride” takes you further in the infinite space while the following “District Red” blends classical music and rock with a touch of exoticism. Then it’s the turn of “Plaza de España” that begins by a delicate, dreamy piano pattern and slowly develops into a surreal bolero...

 


Clouds Collide” is a nice, romantic song interpreted by Maria Chiara Montagnari and dealing with childhood memories and the loss of innocence where different feelings, dreams and notes roll in the sky like clouds clashing into each other and marking Time with a fragrance of Love...

The nervous “Blue Curaçao” follows and leads to “By Heart” that combines acoustic atmospheres and a touch of electronica. “Freaks” starts by a soft piano pattern before turning into more experimental territories while “By The Waters Of Babylon” is a melancholic, acoustic piece with a mysterious atmosphere...

 

Armonite 2018

The Usual Drink” is a short, delicate piece for piano and violin with a particular Mid-European flavour that contrasts with the frenzied mood of the following “What's The Rush?”. The evocative “Ghosts” closes the journey while the last two pieces, “A Playful Day (for Strings Quartet)” and “The Fire Dancer (for Piano Solo)” are considered bonus tracks.

On the whole, I enjoyed the album and I think that it’s a really good work.

You can listen to the complete album HERE

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