OUT OF THE PAST

London, 2021

Sicilian-born composer Gian Marco Castro has been very active in the film industry, having participated in the composition of several films and series — including Riccardo Cannella’s Anachronisme. The musician has also been busy with his solo works, including an EP, Healing, and his debut album Out of the Past, released with INRI Records. The conceptual album, its predecessor and successor, all revolve around the theme of journey; a journey in motion, as well as an introspective journey.

 

The first half of Out of the Past is very inspired by the work of the British composer Richter. An inspiration that Castro admits, and in a way seeks for. Through the fantastic strings arrangement of “The Golden Age Is Over”, the solo piano miniature writing of “Ashes”, “A Moment Before Happiness”, a variation on a well-known canvas climbing to a Richter-esque climax, “Fall Is Coming” — and its clever harmonic details, a Picardy third… — or “Breath”, another take on well-known contemporary classical standards.

In fact, it feels like Out of the Past is an opportunity for the composer to study post-minimalism and contemporary classical; and this allows him to fully express himself in the second half of the album. 

Indeed, “Fyrir Jóhann” — (for Jóhannsson) —’s hypnotic ostinato, dropping chords and lifting strings is where the personality of Castro shines. “1968” is nostalgic and poetic, and as the album evolves, it becomes more and more fascinating; “Out of the Past” is all about tension, climax and momentum, which finally withdraws with the sincere “Through Your Eyes”.

Castro has shown us where he came from, what preceded him, and where he is going, what is yet to come. 

 

Out of the Past is an album that is humble in its approach — there is no plot to revolutionise music — but ambitious in crafting a balanced, essential, clean, melodic and coherent collection of pieces which portraits both a personal music development and journey, as well as the one of contemporary classical music. Castro is in command, from the creation line to the production line and creates his own listener’s digest of post-classical music — and it is a delight which only asks for another.

 

© 2021 Doug Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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