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Artist: Simone Graziano Album: Embracing The Future Label: Auand Code: AU3022
Embracing The Future
18 June 2021
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Simone Graziano presenta il nuovo album "Embracing the Future"
in uscita per Auand Records il 18 Giugno 2021
Il pianista e compositore fiorentino Simone Graziano presenta il suo nuovo album "Embracing the Future", in uscita il 18 giugno per Auand Records (distr. Goodfellas).
"Embracing the Future" doveva essere un altro disco. Simone Graziano, dopo essere stato in studio per tre giorni davanti ad un meraviglioso Steinway&Sons ed aver registrato circa 2 ore di musica in solo, tornato a casa ha avuto la “malaugurata” idea di aprire il coperchio del piano, gettarci dentro il suo telefono, premere rec, e richiudere il tutto. Era il primo giorno del secondo Lockdown. Il suono registrato era una sorta di piano con un riverbero tipo chiesa gotica, che esasperava la coda del suono e toglieva quasi l’attacco. Se ne innamorò subito, non voleva sentir altro che quel suono.
Per questo "Embracing the Future" possiede un suono speciale, un suono emotivo. Le tracce tutte originali eccetto la versione di "When the Party’s Over" di Billie Eilish che è anche il primo estratto dal disco, rimandano a vari mondi come la musica elettronica, la musica classica e la musica improvvisata.
"Embracing the Future" è stato interamente registrato da Simone Graziano, a casa, sul suo pianoforte, un yamaha C3, interamente modificato con l’intento di valorizzarne i suoni scuri. Un’altra particolarità del lavoro oltre alla modificazione dello strumento, sta nella ripresa del suono che è stata fatto utilizzando due soli microfoni omni inseriti dentro la tastiera del pianoforte quasi a contatto con la martelliera: l’effetto che si sviluppa è che l’ascoltatore ha la sensazione di stare con la testa dentro lo strumento e di percepirne ogni dettaglio, dal rilascio del tasto, alla falange che prende la tastiera, allo scricchiolio del panchetto, al suono del pedale quando viene premuto.
Tutto questo lavoro è stato poi valorizzato grazie all’intervento nel mixing di Francesco Ponticelli presso il Cicaleto Recording Studio e del mastering di Stefano Bechini.
"Embracing the Future" è il primo disco in piano solo di Simone Graziano, ma il 7° in veste di leader, dopo la trilogia del quintetto Frontal (Frontal, Trentacinque, Sexuality) due dischi in trio (Lightwalls e Snailspace) e un disco col sestetto Purple Whales.
Embracing The Future was supposed to be a different album. After three days in the studio with a beautiful Steinway & Sons, and after recording around two hours of solo music, Simone Graziano had a bizarre idea when going back home – he opened the piano cover, threw his mobile phone in, pressed Rec, and closed everything. It was the first day of the second Italian lockdown. The recorded sound reminded me of something like a piano with a gothic church echo, which intensified the final part of the sound, almost cutting off the attack. He immediately fell in love with it. There was no other sound he wanted to listen to.
This is why Embracing the future has a special sound – an emotional one. All tracks are originals – except for Billie Eilish “When The Party’s Over” – and refer to different genres: electronic, classical, and improvised music.
Simone Graziano recalls: “I’ve spent around 36 years with an instrument that always had the same sound. I could try a different model or size, or be in a different room, but the sound was always the same, more or less. Knowing exactly what was under my fingers and what reaction my playing could generate allowed me to feel calm, it was like an unchanging sense of safety – pianos, no matter the type, will always sound like that.
That uncanny sound, so different from everything I’ve ever heard before, pushed me to delve deeper, and go beyond the black and white fence of my keyboard. I started to put almost everything on the piano strings – cigarette filters, erasers, toilet paper rolls entirely decorated by my daughter. What still drives me crazy is that sense of uncertainty you feel when a sound that you considered unalterable actually changes completely by simply adding an object on it. This sense of uncertainty reflects what I feel today about our new normal – we are forced to rethink everything we took for granted. By reflecting on our conditions, we discover new ways of connecting with the world, just like by putting a cigarette filter inside my piano I discover a new way of thinking that big black piece of furniture. I’ve posted most of my experiments to my Instagram account (hashtag #fragmentadallockdown) on a daily basis for almost two months”.
Embracing the future has been entirely home-recorded by Simone Graziano on his Yamaha C3 piano, which has been 100% modified to enhance its darkest timber. Another remarkable decision is related to the recording tools: two “omni” mics placed inside the keyboard, almost touching the hammers. As an effect, the listeners feel like their head is inside the instrument, perceiving every detail, from releasing the key, to the phalanx touching the keyboard, to the creak of the piano bench, to the sound of the pedal being pressed.
The entire work has been skillfully mixed by Francesco Ponticelli at Cicaleto Recording Studio and mastered by Stefano Bechini.
Embracing The Future is Simone Graziano first piano solo album, as well as his seventh as a leader, after the Frontal quintet trilogy (Frontal, Trentacinque, Sexuality), two trio albums (Lightwalls, Snailspace), and one sextet album with Purple Whales.
Track by track - Simone Graziano
When the party’s over: it’s a cover of the well-known Billie Eilish tune, played with a modified piano that made the sound smoother.
Damn Spring: no spring has ever been more hoped for, I felt like it was always yet to come.
Dora et Les Adieux: the heartbreaking goodbyes between my daughter and me when I leave the house, even if it’s just for a quick errand.
Embracing the future: the will to go back to live, now aware of how much arts and culture are key to our existence.
Tancredi: my son was born right when I was finalizing the album, unleashing all kinds of emotions.
Nihilo: just an unpretentious repeated groove that progressively changes.
We will hug again: because it will definitely happen, and we will be able to break such an unnatural distance that is now everywhere.
Always whispering: Whispered night talks with my girlfriend, trying not to wake up the kids.
Brahms tears: inspired by variations on Brahms op 21. N 1 on original theme.
Stars behind me: we should always believe in our lucky star.
1 When The Party's Over
2 Damn Spring
3 Dora Et Les Adieux
4 Embracing The Future
7 We Will Hug Again
8 Always Whispering
9 Brahms Tears
10 Stars Behind Me
PersonnelSimone Graziano - piano
Recorded at Casa Graziano on October 2020 – February 2021 by Simone Graziano
Mixed at Cicaleto Recording Studio, Arezzo, Italy on March 2021 by Francesco Ponticelli
Mastered at Green Brain, Piancastagnaio (SI), Italy on April 2021 by Stefano Bechini
produced by Simone Graziano & Marco Valente
executive producer: Marco Valente
cover and inner photos by Caterina Di Perri
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