Every once in a while, we come across something that is exactly as it appears, and all the better for it. Bruno Bavota‘s album La casa sulla Luna (The house on the Moon) looks like a cheerful, romantic piano disc, and that’s exactly what it is. While listening, one can even imagine the artist at the tail end of a moon balloon, peacefully unconcerned at the seeming lack of gravity. This is music for lovers, but without a sense of irony; its purity is its appeal.
Along with some songs written directly to the moon (“Arrivederci signora Luna”), Bavora has immortalized Thad Roberts with the track, “The man who stole the moon”, which may provide some slight comfort to the convict. All Roberts wanted to do was make love on the moon, but since he couldn’t get there, he stole NASA’s moon rocks. Stupid, yes ~ but love is a matter of the heart. Bavora treats his instrument in the same way; he clearly loves his piano, and he loves music, and he loves love; one can hear the shifts in his position as he plays. The artist is concerned with being genuine, and it shows.
The album really comes to life with “Il dito si muove sul vetro appannato (The finger moves on the dark glass)”, as cello and violin join the fray. The beauty of this piece is the contrast between the keys and the strings, first apparent when the strings enter and last when they leave. The shift at 3:57 – a coda following near-silence – provides the album’s loveliest moment. The single-note ending is as melancholy as the journey of the instruments implies; it’s like the excitement of company stopping by, followed by the wistful regret when they leave. To Bavota’s credit, he calls on his friends many times throughout the album, creating a kinship between the players that sounds like amicizia, which is of course another type of love. “Cielo blu notte (Blue night sky)” offers the same tender patina. By the end of the album, we may have said goodbye to the moon, but not to its effects. (Richard Allen)