Armed with his trusty Steinway piano, Bruno Bavota draws inspiration from the sea which surrounds his home city of Naples. It’s a worthy source and by cleverly avoiding the often favoured downbeat routes of modern classical, this Italian musician has created a thoroughly likeable collection of instrumental works.
The moods captured from the first few tracks are certainly optimistic and uplifting. Via its ringing guitar and uplifting piano keys, opener ‘Me And You’ aims for cinematic ambition or, at the very least, new life in nature documentaries. Thankfully it holds back when it could swell for a clichéd “wave of emotion” and ‘The Secret Of The Sea’ soon settles into a refined and relaxed pattern of flowing sounds. Indeed, the buoyant ‘Les Nuits Blanches’ seems to be almost hopping and skipping before it ends in a somewhat stately manner.
‘Hidden Lights Through Smoky Clouds’ captivates with a combination of rolling keys and swirling effects whilst ‘Constellations’ evokes the pastoral feel of early Mike Oldfield. It’s not until the seventh piece, ‘Plasson’, that Bavota can be accused of being melancholic and the expected samples of waves are only reached for towards the end of the album. Then the title track sways between dark and dramatic and sad and gentle and it’s hard not to be swept away by the intensity of final piece ‘Chasing Stars’.
In the sleevenotes, Bavota declares “one day I will disclose the secret of the sea” suggesting that there might be more of this lovely music to come. This writer, for one, will certainly look forward to that moment.
Malcolm Fisher, Luca Ciut, Bruno Sanfilippo