Angela Tursi is an Italian composer and pianist based in London. She is equally influenced by the world of classical music — through Debussy for instance — and the world of improvised music and jazz — through Duke Ellington amongst others. For her debut album in 2018, Blue Paintings, the musician had focused on the association of colours and notes. Her latest project, Journey, released with the Italian label Blue Spiral Records, is this time centred on the voyage and the evocations that emerge from it, translated once again on the piano.
“Circles” carries very little ideas but makes the most of each; by moving around the keyboard Tursi creates a sense of amusement. The piece, acting as a sort of prelude, slowly fades away while gently retaining the melodic material. Eventually the former idea returns, closing the circle. “Mystic Sound” builds step by step, again on very simple rhythmical and melodic fragments. The piece is mainly structured around variations on the initial motif, through modulations and harmonic changes. “Journey”, the title piece, has a particular harmonic progression, and overall its structural evolution, based on chromatic lines, recalls the circling idea of the opening piece. In “Song for You”, Tursi plays a lot on close intervals and through that expresses a certain feeling of unsettlement; her music is fully tonal, yet she exploits interesting musical and rhythmical combinations that give a particular edge to it. Finally, “September” concludes by demonstrating once more how the Italian composer blends lyricism with inventive harmonies and unexpected melodic moves.
Journey, despite its relative shortness, succeeds in transporting the listener in unknown territories. It is a selection of dense pieces, that each carry an elegant balance of musical interest and intelligible melodies. Rather than one long journey, it is more a collection of wanders and a great opportunity for the listener to understand and witness an intimate side of Tursi.