Is it just me or is there a resurgence of melding pianos with electronics? New releases by Gideon Wolf and Middlemarch suggest there is and deliver fantastic results.
Chronos is the fourth album from Italian pianist Andrea Corri, who composed all 11 tracks on offer. His new label, Pschonavigation Records, suggest we file the album under Modern Classical/Ambient. While there are elements of both styles found here, most of the tracks on Chronos are solo piano in a decidedly pop sensibility.
The album opener, ‘Time Flies’, reveals much of Carri’s approach: slow and delicate renderings of simple chord progressions with repetitive melodic sequences in the right hand. The harmony is purely and unrelentingly diatonic (for analysis nerds, Carri loves to start passages on the IV chord). It’s a nice piece that colours very much between the lines. In this case read “Modern Classical” as “easy listening”. This approach is repeated time and again throughout the album which creates a bland sameness to Chronos.
Variation to this mode is found in ‘Present’, which must represent the promised ambience. Here we find processed drones, synth pads and an electric guitar melody. It starts darkly but morphs into more basic chord progressions in straight time.
The strongest pieces on Chronos are ‘Future’ and ‘Music is Eternity’ which add violin and cello to the mix. Whilst these pieces are composed similarly to the solo piano works, the countermelodies of the strings add a very welcome extra dimension.
Corri is a sensitive pianist whose fondness for rubato is rarely contained, bringing a neo-romantic element to his performances. Unfortunately it’s the predictability of the compositions that let this album down.