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Carlos Cipa – Ourselves, As We Are (24/96 FLAC)

Carlos Cipa - Ourselves, As We Are (24/96 FLAC)

Carlos Cipa – Ourselves, As We Are (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Carlos Cipa
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Warner
Catalogue: 5419727437
Release: 2023
Size: 708 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

01. Took
02. Between two strangers
03. Walk so silently
04. Unpredictable patterns
05. Ourselves, as we are
06. Face the sea
07. City waiting
08. Maintenance
09. Forgotten me

The idea behind Carlos Cipa’s new album is easy to describe: one room, one piano, one pianist/composer. Taking one’s time. Approaching with the greatest possible impartiality. Simply improvising, at first only from, for, and with oneself. But what at first might seem a simple concept becomes more complex at a closer look.

In recent years, many of us have likely contemplated more than ever on ourselves, and some of us have had the opportunity to get to know ourselves better – or, at least, differently – during this time. It is precisely this process, of coming to terms with our innermost selves, that Carlos Cipa celebrates with his new album and which has inspired his musical expression. Thus, Cipa sees the nine short piano pieces, created in ultimately just a few weeks, as a “conscious introspection”, a kind of “zooming in on the object of contemplation, and in this case oneself”. It is undoubtedly from very personal and intimate insight which Cipa draws this album.

Apart from the idea of impartiality and self-speculation, Cipa took one other decisive conceptual approach: to play as quietly as possible. The fascinating result is nothing less than the discovery of a new piano sound world, with considerably fewer percussive elements and significantly more string sound, some of which would hardly be perceptible without recording technology or amplification and which, according to Cipa, allows “an even deeper empathy with the instrument”.

In the microcosm of Cipa’s “quietness”, which also values the importance of making quiet things audible, background noises – or “sounds that the piano simply makes”, as he says – are unavoidable. Avoiding them has never been Cipa’s intention. He is, of course, not the first musician to give meaning to these supposedly disturbing noises (produced by the mechanical processes in the instrument) and make them part of the music. Not only the musician, but also the instrument, may and should be what it is.

With its quiet, contemplative solo-piano sounds, Ourselves, as we are may not seem groundbreaking at first glance. But, as Cipa points out, “Today, it can be more radical to make a quiet piano album than a totally complex and intricate piece of music.” Undoubtedly, the multifaceted sound palette and disarmingly raw and fragile emotional elements make the music of Ourselves, as we are a deeply vulnerable collection. In the age of fake authenticity, remakes, and pieces commissioned for high-reach mood playlists, this approach is perhaps one of the few remaining ways to create art: to reveal our true selves. Radically personal. Radically intimate. Radically honest. Ourselves, as we are.

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