By Frank Bell
If you’ve ever traveled alone, not just from city to city, but somewhere off the beaten path where the raw elements could easily crush you if they would ever happen to choose to do so, then you know the humility and the resulting self-empowerment that comes from dealing with things that you just cannot control first hand.
Atlas, the first single from Avarnes,the upcoming debut LP of pianist / producer / arranger Bálint Dobozi, tackles this exact notion. It’s a beautiful, minimalist, serpentine-esque instrumental piano piece – with somewhat of a four-to-the-floor swing – that was written after a humbling journey through the Atlas mountain range.
What sets this composition apart from many similar pieces coming out these days, is that it’s neither maudlin nor simply based on a display of dry technical proficiency. Yes, the man can play! But he can also take that heart dangling off of his sleeve and pour its content right into the ivory and ebony landscape right beneath his fingertips. If you don’t feel this, you must be some sort of numb. I’m telling you!
Bálint Dobozi is a Swiss musician of Hungarian descent. You might know him from his work with Kalabrese or from Pacifica, his duo with Domenico Ferrari. Avarnes will be out on October 16 via Edition Halane.
These songs were made from samples sourced from a hand-me-down piano that Bálint received from his mom, who also happens to be a concert pianist. He played this century-old instrument in almost every way possible and, then, using the studio as an instrument, created his own breed of music that falls somewhere between neo-classical and electronica.
The record was designed to move through the circle of fifths. If you’re into Coltrane, you will enjoy this aspect of the man’s writing.
Photo by Florian Kalotay