Alone (night music for piano solo)

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Label. Stella Recordings
Cat. ID. SR06CD
Format. Limited edition handmade CD – 100 copies (sold out)
Release date. April 11st, 2017

01. Home (3:16)
02. Sleepless (4:18)
03. Alone (4:00)
04. Night (4:58)
05. Moonlit (3:49)
06. Berceuse (3:26)
07. Closer (4:07)
08. Fade (7:01)

Stefano Guzzetti. Piano

This is an album made to celebrate my forthcoming spring tour in Germany (Essen, Potsdam), Japan (Osaka, Nara and Tokyo) and Italy (Cagliari). It is also a collection of pieces I played during the nights of 2016. Putting the felt to the piano strings so as not to disturb the people nearby, I loved playing delicate and quiet melodies which lulled myself. After about a year, I decided to expand and arrange them as they are presented now. I am pleased to present to you my first album of night music.

Written during the nights of 2016.
Recorded and mastered in february and march 2017.

Artwork by Gianluca ‘Marjani’ Marras (www.marjani.it)
Packaging, sleeve design and manufacturing by Stefano Guzzetti

All tracks copyright protected. All righrs reserved.
Published by Mute Song Ltd.

A Stella Recordings product.

℗ and © 2017 Stella Recordings

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SoWhat (23 giugno 2017)
Un propagarsi cullante di nitide e cristalline sensazioni favorito dalla complicità di notti  profondamente quiete. È un taccuino colmo di intimo lirismo quello scritto da Stefano Guzzetti, una sequenza di piccole storie sviluppate sulla tastiera del piano a partire da sussurrate annotazioni raccolte nella solitudine del giorno giunto al suo termine. Ogni pagina è una melodia delicata che scorre lieve, un intreccio di note che si inseguono disegnando emozionali fughe cariche di un’aura dolcemente romantica (“Home”, “Closer”) e scorci di seducente rarefazione (“Night”, “Fade”), sfiorando attimi di sorridente malinconia (“Moonlit”). Il suono giunge costantemente spinto da un’esigenza comunicativa pienamente rivelata dalla sua formale essenziale. Ciascun tocco ha la capacità di imprimersi a fondo lasciando tracce indelebili, generando un flusso sognante che impreziosisce la magia di quei preziosi frangenti dominati dalla riverberante luce delle stelle.

Rockerilla (n.442, giugno 2017)
Che succede quando si riesce ad andare oltre, oltre i riti colanti tumefatto romanticismo, oltre la plastificata pace interiore, oltre il classico ruolo del pianista con la sua amata e stancante malinconia. Cosa realmente succede quando i tasti si piegano leggeri al tocco, i martelletti vanno a toccare corde nascoste, la musica si espande timorosamente viva, mezzo indefinito di trasporto verso il centro dei pensieri più reconditi. Come già detto, il modern classic e quanto si palesa come tale, stanno creando ingorghi d’ascolto dai quali difficilmente si esce fino all’incontro con un solitario autore che finalmente sa come plasmare la materia sprigionata dal nero e lucente strumento a tastiera.
(Mirco Salvadori)

A Closer Listen (2017 may 28th)
Everything one needs to know about Alone can be found in the video for “Home”, directed by Fiorella Sanna and starring Daniela Saragat. The din of the outside world threatens to overwhelm the protagonist, who lies on a bed taking it all in. But as she opens her eyes, the warm sounds of Stefano Guzzetti‘s piano offer a dual sense of peace and purpose. She knows what she has to do, but the viewer must be patient to understand. At first, one thinks that she will simply enjoy the pleasures of home ~ home as a house, including comforting pillows and soft carpet. But no ~ she puts on her shoes and goes for a drive, eventually ending up at the sea. We realize that home can be a state of mind. But even now, she seems incomplete; not until she begins to smile do we realize the final component: someone is making her smile. In this case, it’s the person behind the lens, but one can also imagine a lover, a family member, a friend. Home is wherever we feel at home. Guzzetti began composing these pieces after hours, careful not to disturb the neighbors. His intention was to provide an aural blanket for the night. As the album began to take shape, he realized that these pieces were nocturnals, forming his “first album of night music”. While certain titles may intimate sadness ~ “Alone”, “Sleepless” ~ this is an album of comfort, as best indicated by “Berceuse” (“Lullaby”). One feels the comforting creaks of the house settling in, the drifting of the clouds across the dull light of the moon. “Night” is so soft the birds can still be heard outside. Even when light ambience enters, it does so like a welcome fog of sleep. And even “Alone” is active enough to imply the company of happy thoughts, a composer alone at his piano, his neighbors and loved ones nearby. As he creates, he feels the presence of the muse. As with every Guzzetti release, Alone was initially made available in some very special packaging, featuring artwork by Gianluca ‘Marjani’ Marras. The man on the cover finds reflection in the child within. The art cards are lovely, like snapshots from a storybook. If one peruses the pictures before bed, one recalls the stories of childhood, read in a loving voice. On this album, that voice belongs to Guzzetti and his 88 keys. (Richard Allen) 

Drifting, almost falling (2017 april 28th)
Stefano Guzzetti is an Italian musician and composer who has also recorded under the Waves on Canvas alias. His works have been released on esteemed labels such as Home Normal, P*Dis, Brooklyn Bridge Records and his own Stella Recordings imprint. He was signed to Mute Publishing in 2016 and has had the legendary Vaughan Oliver (v23/4ad fame) design some of his covers. His most recent release on the Stella Recordings imprint, “Alone (night music for piano solo)” sold out its 100 copy run in 24 hours. The initial impression is the recording is lo-fi which lends to it a feeling of intimacy in that you are there during the recordings. The truth is that, as alluded in the title, these pieces were recorded during nights across 2016 where Stefano used pieces of felt next to the piano strings as not to disturb people. The emphasis was to play quiet pieces which he has succeeded with on this album, that clocks in just over half an hour in duration. While I have no musical training or understanding of the various styles of piano playing I have to observe from the moods or themes I feel are presented in the pieces to understand and appreciate them. With a genre like Modern Classical it is quite easy for the music to be mournful or melancholic. An instrument like piano can fully embed the genre with a specific tone or sound. With titles like “Alone”, “Sleepless” and “Fade” as well as the album’s title can lead the listener to an easy first impression, but I do not think this is so. The album opened up with “Home” a filmic piece that brings to mind of a movie scene where a person is making a long journey, by foot back to their home. The video that accompanies the track has a home movie vibe to it. “Sleepless” follows next and is an early highlight with its layer of elements and motifs. The playing has a consistency and the repetition (in a good way) is central to the piece. “Alone” feels it could be an accompaniment to “Sleepless” and is the first track in which the padding is first heard. “Night” is a more mournful piece which is almost drone like where the notes are extended out with presumably some additional synth. The piece changes where at first the image is of a late night contemplative piece, but with the introduction of the drone makes it evolve into a dawn rising piece. It is the second highlight of the album. “Moonlit” is a classic Modern Classical piece with rolling lines and alternating harmonies and shows Stefano is adept at his craft. “Berceuse” mixes the melancholy with sharper tones. The word Berceuse means “a musical composition that resembles a lullaby. Tonally most berceuses are simple, often merely alternating tonic and dominant harmonies “. While my aforementioned lack of musical knowledge once again comes to the fore, I can safely say this piece does not come across as simple and merely alternating tones. “Closer”, ironically the penultimate track once more brings more film image with its rolling piano lines that bring up visions of some sort of resolution in a relationship. The album’s actual final track, the seven minutes long “Fade” brings the pace back with minimal tones and additional synth drones that become the central piece of the track and makes great bookend for the album, in fact it could be the standout track. This is another fine release by Stefano and his Stella Recordings label and piques the interest in his forthcoming Home Normal release due out by the end of the year.

Music Won’t Save You (16 aprile 2017)
Quanto meno a partire da “At Home – Piano Book” (2014), Stefano Guzzetti riversa sulle note del pianoforte la definizione di intimi momenti creativi ed emozionali. Nel caso di “Alone (Night Music For Piano Solo)”, si tratta, come preannunciato dal titolo, di solitari spunti notturni, scaturiti in maniera del tutto istintiva in vari momenti dello scorso anno, eseguiti e impressi in presa diretta nel cuore della notte. L’intimo contesto di realizzazione, suggellato dalla sordina tra le corde dello strumento, si percepisce in maniera straordinariamente distinta nelle otto pièce che formano il lavoro, assumendo le sembianze della quiete ovattata che circonda armonie discrete, eppure fluide e fortemente suggestive. Al minimalismo esecutivo non corrisponde quello sostanziale dei brani, invece ricchissimi di sensazioni carezzevoli e dotate di spiccati contenuti cinematici. I “notturni” dell’artista sardo si snodano con estrema grazia, come fiabe cullanti che alternano dinamiche scorrevoli e passaggi riflessivi, sotto il filo conduttore dell’urgenza creativa che, in piena notte, lo ha indotto a sedersi di fronte ai tasti del pianoforte per condividere, come in un diario, otto fuggevoli momenti di un’ispirazione rispondente non a modelli stilistici astratti, ma soltanto a un istinto autentico, incontaminato. (Raffaello Russo)