Paolo Russo: Imaginary Soundtrack (Odradek)

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Volapyk/Mumbo Jumbo
Paolo Russo: Imaginary Soundtrack (Odradek)
In a world awash with ambient music styled for as-yet-unmade movies, atmospherically evocative and cinematic sounds not to mention bona fide film scores, the title here seems a bit unimaginative if not cliched.

However this classically trained Italian composer, pianist and multi-instrumentalist (bandoneon, recorders, contrabassoon) has something larger but more specific in mind than a series of evocative and internal image pieces.

There is something akin to a narrative here on 15 instrumentals which start with dawn (the sleepy Madrugada) then the traveller encounters colourful characters (the elegant jester, the girl with dreamy eyes,), has revelations during the night, journeys to the ocean and passes through forests, enters disorientating states (the jerky and playfully quirky minimalism of Volapyk/Mumbo Jumbo) and proceeds through the eerie forest of giants to . . .

the final lively act after the warm and gentle encounter with freaky demons.

So unlike so many albums which masquerade as soundtracks for imaginary films, this one comes from the other angle: the imagined film is already there –as it were -- and here is the music to accompany your individual vision of it with Russo turning the page to a new scene.

The emotional qualities of the bandoneon are fully explored here – from the introspection of melancholy to the joyous dance of life – and the small group (recorders, vibes, bass) on hand help Russo evoke reassuring pastoralism (that girl with the dreamy eyes) or sudden drama (Counter-Tango).

A collection more interesting than its title suggests.

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