Bruno Bavota ~ Get Lost

Romantic composer Bruno Bavota continues to evolve on his latest album.  We have always known the pianist as a warm, happy individual, seemingly untouched by the world.  But recent societal shifts have grown so bad they have affected his outlook.  And if this can happen to Bruno Bavota, no one is safe.  Thankfully, he works through his feelings on the unusually titled Get Lost, and in so doing leaves a trail of bread crumbs behind.  In the end, if his music still sounds romantic ~ still sings of love ~ we know it has been hard earned.

“Get lost!” can be an epithet, similar to “Get out of here!”  It can also be an invitation: to get lost in sounds, or in nature, or to lose one’s self in love.  In terms of this release, it refers to a society losing its way: individuals losing empathy, losing the desire to listen to each other.  And while Bavota himself did not lose these traits, he felt himself growing “darker” when confronted with modern apathy.  In light of this reaction, the lead single “San Junipero” makes a major personal statement:  I will not be defined by what is around me, but by what is within me.  Peaceful guitar sets the stage, followed by a layer of loops.  And then the piano, steadfast and true, confident in its ability to lead.  A round of strings surrounds the piano like new trees in a forest; and then, drums.  The effect is of a man changed, grown deeper and wiser in the face of adversity.  The message: we can accomplish this too, if we set our hands to the plow.

And now “Attesa,” the recently-released second single and video.  The piano is set against a ticking, like a clock, reflecting the translation “Waiting.”  A woman’s body is used as a projection screen, atop which play images of clouds, lightning, avian migration, the changing seasons.  It’s quite gorgeous, making this reviewer think of the title of a popular song:  “Your Body Is a Wonderland.”  Parabolically, it can be interpreted as the wonders of the human body and of nature, the slowdown accompanying shots of sunsets and stars.  The trio of directors – Angelo Cariello, Valentina Gaudiosi, and Linda Russomanno – has done an amazing job with a simple concept that seems difficult to execute.

What other wonders await in the album?  “Shelter,” among others, is closely miked, offering warmth through squeak and creak.  The music mirrors the title, sounding like a canopy in the leaves.  In many tracks, loops offer a backdrop to Bavota’s piano in lieu of the strings, and over the course of the album he begins to sound like himself again.  A late surge in “Sneaking behind the falling sky” adds welcome contrast.  On “The day that you forgot,” the ticking turns into a heart, and the final seconds seem like a panic attack; but the aforementioned “San Junipero” provides the balm.  In “Movement,” the strings return, and it seems as if Bavota’s faith in humanity has returned as well.  Seeing others get lost can produce a ripple effect, but the opposite is true as well.  If we find ourselves back on the right trail, others may follow.  (Richard Allen)

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