WE LOCKED the door; we waited. We waited, we combed the airwaves; we counted the days some more. The experience is nigh on universal, save those of you lucky enough to be reading in Taiwan, Christchurch, Auckland and elsewhere.
Italy was caught by the pandemic earlier than many, and as it swept across the country, Neapolitan composer Bruno Bavota did just the same: he locked down. He waited, through a horrible year for his country. Experiencing dread, fear, anxiety, eventually he reached a stage of fatigue and then nervous energy, a whole reservoir of latent activity that needed to be channelled somewhere, somehow.
He began to compose solo pieces that soon came to present as two quite distinct forms: one set, atmospheric and minimal pieces for solo piano, captured in the ambience of his home; yet others, more electronic, calling on the founding fathers of minimalism, lo-fi electronicists, all ripe with wow and flutter and oscillation, warm with sweeping melody. These he called, respectively, Apartment Songs and Apartment Loops.
Though in theory the two sets should sound disconnected and unrelated – given their disparate creative approaches and instrumentation – it’s Bruno’s sense of melody and space that unites them: obverse and reverse, recto and verso.
It made sense to present the two sets of work as a set that corresponds with and speaks to its opposite; to which end his label, Brooklyn’s Temporary Residence, is set to release For Apartments: Songs & Loops, a quite personal yet universally communicative musical response to that year, in late August.
By way of announcing the release, Bruno has shared a short film to accompany one of the pieces from the more electronic side of the project, “Apartment Loop #6”, which you can watch below. The track itself fair purrs along on a low chitter-chatter of retro electronica rhythm before being caught in the swell of rising chords, and an accompanying tone sweep that brings an almost acid edge.
The video was created by Marina Pacifico and Andrea Gallo of the art and design studio Landstract. They say of the accompanying visuals: “Generally we create images or short animations, so this video was a really big challenge for us. The video for ‘Apartment Loop #6’ was a big opportunity to show our workflow in an artistic way. From alcohol ink, the painting starts to come alive and the music transforms it into an abstract landscape.
“Landstract is an artistic project composed of two indivisible parts: the abstract physical painting, and the 3D digital art. Our visuals come from the contrast between organic material and digital structure. A simple process becomes complex when the classic painting crosses the digital aspect. Colour ink is a solid platform where the abstraction finds a sense of stability.”
Bruno will also be playing a handful of European dates in the coming months, which are as follows:
Friday, June 25th, M.M. Gryshko National Botanic Garden. Kiev;
Tuesday, July 20th, Piazza dei Racconti, Positano, Italy;
Tuesday, August 17th, Piazza dei Racconti, Positano, Italy, solo piano set;
Friday, September 17th, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, and
Saturday, October 16th, Palac Akropolis, Prague.
Bruno Bavota’s For Apartments: Songs & Loops will be released by Temporary Residence digitally, on CD, on trad black 2xLP and limited terracotta red and chartreuse vinyl on August 27th; you can order your copy now over at Bandcamp, or directly from the label.