There's always two paths I take when writing these press releases: blunt and most likely quite emotive, or pretty down the line and to the point. Whilst I could go with the latter, I just feel that maybe the debut album by Giulio Fagiolini just means too much and simply sitting here and describing an album in clinical fashion would do it a great disservice.
There are far too many piano albums doing the rounds these days. There: blunt. We try to listen to every demo that comes in to the label, and in the past few years probably fifty percent of these are solo piano albums. We've released ONE dedicated solo piano record in all that time, and that was with another Italian artist way back in 2013; the ever so talented (and now rather revered) Stefano Guzzetti.
Now, I'm aware this might offend some people but quite simply, most modern piano 'music' leaves me (personally) a bit cold and detached. I generally feel there is a huge lack of soul in the music, and sorry to say, but I feel that most of the time it is done for streaming purposes only. The word 'piano' is added to every album name just to gain more plays in streaming services. Really, this is how it is and it is so sad and soulless.
The day Giulio sent in his handful of short piano sketches, I had spent a whole day engineering some noise artists and was in need of something with a bit of calm. Within the first minute I was thrown back into my life in Japan. Yet another old reference really, but it just felt so innocent, clean, pure, and wistful. And I had an instant reference point: Joe Hisaishi.
For those that don't know, Joe Hisaishi is the composer for almost all of the Hayao Miyazaki Studio Ghibli films. The music is so simple, so direct, and just so childlike, it imbues the films with a certain old-world (or at least, not of this modern world anyway) innocence. The line between sickly-sweet and this is very fine indeed, but Joe Hisaishi always matches the mood and gets just the right amount of innocence in such a beautifully restrained way.
To say the music of Giulio Fagiolini strongly left me with the same feeling as Hisaishi-san's music, says as much as you need to know hopefully. In an age of innate greediness and willingness to use an instrument or genre of music to soullessly pilfer, this album is really incredibly refreshing. So simple, pure, direct, and innocent. The power of music to remind one that there is something so pure, despite all the grime, is a bit of a revelation really.