A breath of fresh air for all lovers of good music. That penned by Lorenzo Carulli is a collection of piano pieces offered to please even the most refined palates in a Present Past journey.
An album that is an authentic listening experience embellished with multiple facets. Without fear of exaggerating, listening to Present Past will bring you into the world conceived by Lorenzo Carulli.
A world made of beauty, chiseled in a “prismic” work, guided by an elastic flow, further embellished by unique sensitivity and musicality.
More than “just” an astounding classical piano solo album, here this talented artist shows all his skills, deploying an arsenal of musicality, to range and experiment between different canonical genres and transship them in a new light, still recognizable, yet more “present.”
This is the trench, as wide as a boundless expanse, in which we can breathe and savor a juicy slice of the experience of Lorenzo Carulli, of the pianist as well as of the composer, who began to move his fingers on the ivory keys at a very young age, then getting international prizes and successes very quickly.
Surrounding us with an array of notes that make to tickle our ear and our senses, this suggestive work is equivalent to a sensory experience leaden by a pragmatic narration, which develops on the ups and downs, towards the rises and falls, masterfully painted by the eight songs that compose it.
Each of them is a full and round picture, brimmed with narrative loquacity unrolled with personality and character. As a result, each song could work as a lead single or serve as a soundtrack for the next Netflix hot series onwards.
The album opens with the beatifying romance titled Bell3, which brings us into some sort of a dreamy trip, hovering in time and in memory, between nostalgia, passion, candid love, and desire. It’s a hug, filled with feelings of warmth that we experienced a long time ago, during our missed childhood, set to evolve into an inner trip, made of fascination and amazement.
Bringing a new dimension to Carulli’s pianism, Adesso che seals what we can imagine as a kind of manifesto for the album. Only two tracks have been played, and one might think that Carulli has nothing else new to offer, that his musical delivery is complete, and that he cannot say more.
The twist that sweeps away such banal superficiality comes with the lush sparkle of Easy Peasy. Giving us a new palette of emotions, this lively tune clarifies how Carulli is shifting the agon out of the minimalism versus virtuosity diatribe.
Clearly, Carulli has many stories to tell us, each one with its own plot, style, language, and scenario. As the musical path of the album continues, Carulli keeps telling us those stories, rendering this collection of 8 songs a unified whole.
Then, accompanied by the energetic atmosphere of Easy Peasy, we slipper toward the nostalgic harmonies of Terpore, which has the ambiance of calm and tranquility, wrapped by introspective arms that prepare us to keep listening, to keep traveling, on the piano notes cast by Lorenzo.
And here it comes, Happenstance. As for the previous Easy Peasy, this is another game-changer where melody and harmony run after each other, involved in some sort of push-and-pull chase.
An affable sorcerer master in the art of wounding and soothing, at this point, Lorenzo owns us, having instilled in us the desire to make his music something totally ours.
We know we are not going to head back, because the only possible route is going forward. This is the perfect place in the album for Moon Proom, another masterpiece with whom Carulli reaches new peaks crowned by haloes of cascading notes.
The rewarding aesthetic offered by Moon Proom could have played well as the album’s conclusion. But it is not ending here. Not yet. The worlds that Lorenzo Carulli has to tell are not exhausted.
Before the last song, we have a new emotional epiphany with Frère Jacques, a visionary flowering that in its natural beauty causes its pollens and fragrances to erupt in an unstructured supernova of freedom.
Then the perfect ending for a perfect album comes to settle all down. Me Too is like a golden crown, rested on the head of the wisest queen. A piece imbued with regal minimalism that is more eloquent than a thousand words, with Mee Too, our instinct is to make our the stories and the worlds of Present Past through the words of the song’s title.
This is food for our minds, hearts, and souls, richly varied and capable of offering something new with every listening. Personal vision conceived by a privileged overlook, Present Past is one of the most notable debut releases that comes to us from one of the most interesting artists we have discovered to date.
If you want to know more about Lorenzo Carulli, his point of view about music, and his future projects, keep on reading and find our exclusive interview below.
Listen now to "Present Past," the latest debut release by Lorenzo Carulli, available in streaming on all major digital platforms. You can find your favorite one via linktr.ee/lorenzocarulli
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Interviewing LORENZO CARULLI
Hi Lorenzo. Welcome to the Nova Music blog. Thank you for taking the time to do this short interview.
Thanks a lot for having me here, Gabriele. It is an honour to be hosted in your blog.
After a brilliant academic path, came the first opportunities to work with some of the most important international conductors and performers, both at La Scala in Milan and abroad. Then your debut album, “Past Present,” arrived. How was the journey?
Actually, I’m working on this album since many years. In the beginning, I was not aware that someday I would eventually put together these pieces in a EP. To be honest, I was firstly uncertain about how this kind of music would place in the Piano music world, but here I am.
Your artistic activity has not been centered only around classical and piano training. Over the years you have also been able to work as a composer. An intense compositional activity backed up by various awards achieved in various international contests. Another important seed that contributed to the flowering of “Past Present?”
Absolutely. Especially one of the track included In the album, “Easy Peasy”, granted me an award I did not expect to come; this gave me that confidence I was probably looking for to decide of going in studio and finally give birth to what I consider a Piano solo album should be.
From the roots of a repertoire of the opera and symphonic tradition, up to the most contemporary film music, the album offers a narrative that develops like a Netflix series. Eight episodes, each of which tells a story within the story?
I am glad you found such an appropriate metaphor. Each episode, as you described them, represents a short story, in few cases autobiographical. What I tried to achieve was to create a path for each of the track; what a listener could expect from this music is a narrative, and I believe this is the element that could separate this album from the new Piano solo repertoire.
By definition, instrumental music lacks the spoken word. But this definitely seems to be more of a stimulus for you. To take the talkativeness of your keys and notes to the next level?
Someone once said: “Where words leave off, music begins”. I totally believe in this idea and sometimes I found music without spoken words to be more appropriate for a listener who is looking for a free space where easily find a personal imagination of what is happening. The plot, characters, whether you are going towards a bad or happy ending; is up to you.
“Present Past” plays in clear contrast to the current fashion, which sees an avalanche of piano music declined in a minimalist key, too often declined in a monothematic key or, worse, monocentric. But it is not even a succession of self-referential virtuosities. So it seems that the relationship chain, preparatory to the exposition of the material is: the musician uses the instrument to bring music to the fore.
You are mentioning a delicate topic, here; but I am glad you did it. I do not believe I can criticize this current fashion you have mentioned, of which by the way, I am fully aware. The reason is simple: musicians utilize what they consider more appropriate to express their ideas. At the same time, I still perceive Music as a language, and a language is used most of the time to speak or narrate about something. For this reason, you will not probably hear minimalistic soundscape in this album (except for “Me too”, the last track of the EP; but it’s another story); this is not because I do not respect those composers which decided to follow that path we are discussing. I simply do not think this will be helpful or interesting for our time, and so I decided to dedicate myself to my idea of making music.
Throughout the entire album such a clear narrative develops, to the point of being constantly intelligible. The articulation of the musical delivery is so dynamic and refined, while the horizontal and vertical structures are so extensive and diversified. All this built around a single musician, who plays only one instrument. How did you manage to condense so much wealth into a single container?
I really appreciate that those words are coming from an established professional like you. The Piano is by nature a multilayer instrument that not only allows you to create what you wonderfully described, but also inspires you in doing it. From the very beginning of their music education, young pianists learn how to manage different musical parts with two hands. Over the years, you can extend this process not only in handling one melody with accompaniment, but also to the idea that with ten fingers you could ideally reconstruct an orchestral setting.
Is it a process that has evolved in a delicate balance between science and consciousness?
It is inevitably something that needs to be constructed with great regard to those rules that regulate the working principles of Music. A starting point could be an acceptable musical idea (even better if it’s a great one, of course); the difficult part is being able to construct something interesting and peculiar around it.
In the field of music production, there is an idea according to which in music (as in many other creative forms) nothing new can be invented anymore. It is just a question of juxtaposing different elements already codified in the past, in different sequences. The new is the mix that comes out of it. Many read this meaning in a negative sense. But the freshness and brilliance of your album show that this conception still has so much beauty to offer. What’s your idea about it?
You are exposing another difficult subject that also needs to be discussed. One answer could be probably given with a question: why we make music? Most of the time, everything starts at young age, when boys and girls, listening to music, become passionate about it. What happens next is that many kids go ahead in their life, “simply” enjoy the power of this Art as listeners; others decide to become performers, because they feel the urgency of presenting to the public the greatness and beauty of Music. Then there are the ones who love what they have listened at the point that they decide of being among of those people who have managed to create something so astonishing. It is clear now, isn’t it? Composers decide to write Music because first of all are fallen in love with it. In one way or another, we are all linked to what has been done before us.
In this, your album ties in well with the issue right from the title, “Present Past.” In some ways, by shifting the center of gravity of the argument outside of music, does it remind us that today we are what we are as a function of what we were yesterday?
Exactly what I just said; we know that in the past years, many musicians have tried to disconnect from the Past. I am not going to discuss this matter because it will take too much time, but musicians way more competent than me declared failed this experiment. For what concern myself, I simply take what I consider beautiful and interesting from the past, and try to use it in the Present. Is this not what we all do in Music and more in general in our life?
“Present Past” is out, available on all major digital platforms. We know more is expected to come this year. Do you have any previews that you want to share with our readers?
At this point, I think I could mention it, so yes; I have another upcoming album that is expected to be released this year. It’s a twelve pieces orchestral suite that follows the same compositional structure of “Present Past”: each track represents a feeling and my willingness of inspiring a recollection of emotions in the listener; that would be my ultimate goal.