‘For many years I was searching for a place which I could call home’.
Daniela Orvin‘s music has experienced uprootedness, but not discontent or dislocation. She was born in Berlin and grew up in both Ismaning, on the outskirts of Munich, and Herzeliya, Israel. Fittingly, Home is her debut release.
Intimate, warm, and comfortable, Orvin’s glowing notes gleam with the innocence of first light, untouched by the day’s future, a soft reverb ghosting behind with an indigo-streaked tail.
Recording in her own home makes this a highly personal record, and it adds significantly to its inner warmth. Her debut has mirrored her life to date, specifically exploring ideas and common concepts of ‘home’ and going deeper, deconstructing the word and removing its letters to find out the true meaning of the word.
‘Home’ isn’t always a building – it’s where your heart is. Not a physical place, of stone walls, bookshelves, televisions and sofas. You’ll want to return. You’ll belong there. Orvin’s home is in Music.
A segment of her daily practice routine, a recording in which she practices a Bach piece, acts as the kind opening of a door and a revealing of inviting light, and the piece helps to form a gentle introduction, a friendly welcome. The lush reverb and the time-stretched delay are equal to warm greetings and dawning smiles.
Complacency can creep into comfort, but that’s never an issue with Orvin. If anything, her debut is a daring work. Electronics feature prominently throughout, growing in stature as the record develops and extends. Elongating notes populate the music, like a cluster of faraway stars hanging above the backdrop of twilight, concentrated on a corner of the Galaxy, and one in which someone else will call ‘home’.
Adding to the fizzing, youthful melody of “Unexpected Coincidence (Part 2)” is a warm beat, dancing along with the melody in a state of pure joy and something like relief at having found a place to call home. You can be yourself in your own environment, and Orvin is at home with her music. Occasionally, bubbling beats will adorn the keys, adding a sparkle, as do thin, gliding vocals.
‘When I returned to the piano 4 years ago after a long break since my childhood (started at 6, quit at 14) I had the feeling I was returning home. I realized that my home is not a physical place that I can touch, rather an abstract such as music which has no boundaries. So this album is celebrating the discovery I found home in music’.
Most of the tracks on Home were written in a month, and the music moves with an easy, light flow. The long sustains extend handwritten invitations to the overlooked musical elements of space and silence. And music cannot live, or thrive, without silence. As a musician, Orvin is very much aware of this need to pause, to give way to an occasional gap so it can keep on breathing. Her music is all the more beautiful for those intakes of breath, those precious seconds of muted music, and when the melody returns, it feels much like the air does after the rain, cleansed and calm and still once more. Reverb softens the impact of the note’s landing, helping to create a sense of safety and assurance, comfort and familiarity.
“18:00, From My Balcony” is lovely, as is the closing title track, in which a series of stacked notes leave stuttering echoes in the atmosphere. A sweet verse of beautiful poetry comes from outside, the music of birdsong intertwining and coalescing with the music of Home, turning it into a nature/human symphony and harmonizing inner and outer worlds. The track becomes a soothing song, a beautiful expression, and a special communion between her heart and her music; her light touch on the keys becomes the intermediary. Orvin fills the bright room with an undulating sound that grows in volume and rises in power, but it remains soft.
Orvin’s return to the piano feels like a homecoming. Her pieces of music are beautiful and open, glowing like an effervescent sunset and then filling the room with the light of the morning to come. You can feel the reunion, the tight relationship, and what it means to her. Music will always welcome you back. Welcome home, Daniela. (James Catchpole)
Release Date: October 19