Piano Music 2 follows Italian pianist-composer Alessandro Sgobbio’s debut solo piano album, Piano Music (AMP Records, 2022), but now he adds live electronics to the new collection of intimate and meditative piano epistles and dedications. Sgobbio plays on a Fazioli F278 Grand Piano and the album was recorded at the Artesuono Recording Studios in Cavalicco, Italy, the same piano and the same studio that Sgobbio used for Piano Music, in July 2020 and January 2021 and September 2022.
Piano Music 2 navigates freely between jazz, contemporary music and ambient music and offers thoughtful and inspiring dedications. Each piece sounds like an open but nuanced trip diary, ornamented by wise usage of electronics. Fellow Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, who wrote short liner notes, compliments Sgobbio’s new immersive sonic journey for being “even more (than Piano Music) ‘inside’ not only with his thoughts, but with his body and through the thrifty, intelligent and musical use of electronics”.
Piano Music 2 begins with «Keys and Returns», a beautiful, mournful homage to the late Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was murdered in May 2022 by an Israeli soldier. The dramatic and unsettling, story-like soundscapes «Modular Circles», «The River», «Tula» and the brief «Einhausung» ask the listeners to actively reconnect – in body and in mind – with the natural and spiritual elements.
Sgobbio plays emotional and suggestive homages to his beloved cities. The romantic «Fondamenta de la Tana» is dedicated to one of the oldest streets of Venezia; the enigmatic «Asker (Light)» and «Asker (Trees)», after the Norwegian town, are dedicated to Sgobbio’s mentor, composer-pianist Misha Alperin, with whom he studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo; and the melancholic «Îlot Chalon» is dedicated to the picturesque Parisian district that unfortunately has faced intentional degradation until its demolition.
A most beautiful gem.
Alessandro Sgobbio (piano Fazioli F278, live electronics)