Fabrizio Paterlini is an Italian pianist and composer who started his solo career in 2007 with his project Viaggi in aeromobile. Since then, the musician has released over fifteen projects, from albums to EPs and singles; his latest album is LifeBlood, a complement to his EP Life released earlier this year, which intends to close a musical chapter of his. Paterlini has approached the project conceptually — and physically — as a double-sided vinyl; one side, which he describes as delicate and intimate, for solo piano, and another side, the romance side, with additional strings. Although there is a division, at least in the intentions, the project bears a cohesion, a musical narrative which brings sense to Paterlini’s wish; it is an album which takes all its meaning when approached in its entirety; from beginning to end.
LifeBlood opens up on the romance side of the project, with an “Overture”, and immediately justifies the intentions of the composer; the piece — a musical voicemail — is poignant and charged with emotional material. It gently cradles the listener in the music of the album. The lexicon of night music is somehow present throughout LifeBlood with “For My Kids”, a lullaby dedicated to Paterlini’s children and “Fragile on a Summer Night", which collects memories in a miniature musical picture. Paterlini arranged the piece of the romance side with strings and piano in order to create one unity, one flow, between the instruments, such as in ”Soft Rise”. Electronics and textures are another constant addition to LifeBlood, and the production has been approached very naturally — organicallym one might say — and with parsimony; “And We Go Again”. “Thoughts”, present on both sides of the project, is conceived vertically; with layers developing successively, one over the other, on the basis of the ostinato.
“Solitude” opens the intimate side of LifeBlood; it is unornamented, simple, direct and honest, and followed by “White Forest (in Kazan)” which is more melodic and melancholic, and perhaps less sombre. “LifeBlood” is, as the composer describes, a hymn to life and summarises quite well the concept of the album in one simple piece; its familiarity brings a sense of comfort to the listener, as in “The Healing Power of Symmetry” too. “Summer Sketch” displays, like the title suggests, a drafty quality: one can almost hear an intention of improvising, searching, doubting and trying. LifeBlood is a very coherent project, which additionally to its dual structure and evolution, mirrors and repeats ideas throughout the journey: “Obsession”, reflected in a rhythmical ostinato and musical repetition, carries some of the devices heard earlier in the album.
In the interview about LifeBlood, Paterlini explains how natural his composing process has become over the years. How it evolves from improvising at the instrument and how the composer refrains from intervening in the process — in other words, intellectualising it. In all, this is the natural result of years of experience, which allow the music to flow freely from the artist to the instrument; the internalisation of ideas and sensations resulting in an output that is essentially genuine. And this is perhaps how the listener is to take LifeBlood. Yes, there is a story and a concept behind the album, but what seems to matter the most, is the heart of it; the music. Rather than trying to understand too much, the listener should aim at feeling and experiencing the music. On that matter, Paterlini has done a great job in letting the listener lose himself in the music of LifeBlood.