Christian Carlino, aka DeLord, is an Italian composer, performer as well as writer. Th multi-faceted artist is at the origin of several projects such as InnoBrain, VETA, or Visual Piano. L’essenza is his second album, after Sognare, Pt. 1 released in 2009 and followed up by the EP Sognare, Pt. 2, and several projects of smaller scale. Carlino believes that events in life are the result of the sum of smaller decisions. This belief led him to return to music and studying the piano a few years ago, and eventually led to the birth of L’essenza. The album, therefore for solo piano, is a collection of pieces that are akin to musical poems and if indeed the essence of Carlino’s creative vision, strong moments of musicality and melody.
Carlino describes himself as a composer with a pop soul and one can immediately hear the wish for universality of understanding and simplicity in the approach of L’essenza; the title piece is optimistic and sets the mood of the album, and “Listen” with its constant groove is almost reminiscent of a disco song.
In “Ghiaccio di vetro”, and throughout most of the project, the composer seems to be limiting himself to the simplest devices — whether rhythmically or harmonically — and a contemporary classical vocabulary and grammar, “Ritorno all’uno”. But here and there he surprises by the use of latin rhythms — “Anema e core” — for instance.
Then there are some pieces which stand out, more audacious — “Luce” —, creative — “To the Moon” and its percussive piano —, or in the case of “Un respiro”, which make use of imaginative musical colours and syntax.
The themes of L’essenza appeal to sensations; light, essence, soul, the moon and the heart; it is around them that Carlino builds most of his pieces. While a conscious choice, or not, the quality of the music — whether in the craft or its essence — is exponential, and the album finishes on its strongest notes.
Carlino takes his sobriquet from his early years in cover bands; The Lord, was his nickname while performing Deep Purple and Jon Lord’s music. The title evolved to DeLord, and stayed up to this day. While the influence of Jon Lord might not be quite obvious in Carlino’s music, there are great signs of musical potential and it shows in L’essenza. The album has been built in such a way, that its interest and quality improves piece after piece, showing a development from what the composer calls a pop soul to a strong creative personality. There seems to be to ideas emerging from the album, the conscious one of the artist, his return to simplicity and own personality, and an unknown wish to explore furthermore and develop a unique musical voice. It is a promising release for Carlino and the listener cannot wish but for this potential to grow stronger.