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Transitions –  Fabrizio Paterlini (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Space, the final frontier. A phrase as true in 60’s sci-fi as it is in modern music. Too many artists see the blank sonic canvas and feel the need to completely cover it with their sound. Space, when utilised properly is a powerful tool. It is the atmospherics which collect between the lingering notes, the tantalising anticipations that drift around in the pauses between sound, the bridge between the player and the instrument. Those smart enough to understand will know that sometimes it is about just using your music to ensnare those natural building blocks, to merely build fragile sonic bubbles around these serene spaces.

And that is exactly what Fabrizio Paterlini does on Transitions. He wraps neo-classical grace, ambient relaxation and cinematic beauty around his minimalist keyboard musings. And musings is very much the right word for them as most pieces have made their point way before the two-minute mark, brief suggestions rather than complete musical conversations.

Like all music which comes unburdened by lyric to herd the listeners mind, Transitions is all about your own interpretations. Whatever these pieces mean to the artist behind them is sort of irrelevant. With only the title to guide you, some being more obvious than others, it is up to the listener to let the mood and momentum of the music paint pictures in their own mind, making the music all things to all people. Take away the direct communication which comes with lyrical explanations and the possibilities and potential of the pieces becomes endless.

The Hall is Dancing is a chiming riff, a mere suggestion of a larger piece yet to build from it but the tantalising aspect of the music is that just as you are expecting something dramatic to happen,  the music moves on to the next idea, meaning that it almost makes the listener carry the story on in their own head. Now that is a very clever thing to do. Homesick lulls and lilts, Fire less crackles but rather shimmers and only opening salvo, Eyes Closed, the longest piece by far but still clocking in at under three minutes, is allowed to develop its ideas, wrapping additional sonic textures around itself as it gently and beautifully travels to its understated conclusion.

Transitions is an amazing suite of musical statements and considering how short and minimalist the music is, has a very unexpected impact. Imagine if you could do away with lyrics to guide the listener, play music so sparse that it is impossible not to hang on every note, confine your ideas to one instrument and unexpectedly short songs but still build worlds with what you create? Listen to Transitions and you don’t have to imagine at all!

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