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CHRONIQUE / REVIEW

ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW

alex carpani

so close, so far

Releases information

Release date: March 04, 2016

Format: Digital, CD

Label: Ma.Ra.Cash Records

From: Italy

9,1

CHRONIQUE / REVIEW

CD

 

Si près, si loin ! Alex CARPANI décrit son quatrième album « So Close, So Far » comme une réflexion sur notre vie moderne dominée par les technologies qui peuvent rapprocher les gens malgré l’éloignement géographique tout en écartant ceux qui se côtoient au quotidien.

 

La métaphore prend vie sur la première pièce, « The Eve » au son d’un feu de camp, où l’on peut imaginer les tisons si près de nous s’envoler puis se mêler aux étoiles si loin. Le tout accompagné d’une mélodie Floydienne qui n’est pas sans rappeler « Dogs ». S’enchaînent des pièces aux rythmes entraînants, aux sonorités pop et refrains accrocheurs « I Tried and Tried » et « Man of the Wire ». « Stay With Me » quant à elle est un cri du cœur de la part du narrateur, ou une invitation à l’accompagner dans une envolée instrumentale aux thèmes plus familiers pour les amateurs de rock progressif traditionnel (un peu de Genesis ou Frost*?). « In Your Absence » est une courte pièce énergique où s’alternent des riffs lourds et une mélodie planante. Alex CARPANI nous démontre ses capacités vocales en passant de notes aiguës à celles toutes en puissance. Cette même pièce débute sur un rythme urbain presque lounge, et reprend l’ambiance pop peu de temps par la suite.

 

« Crystal Falls » amorce le virage musical de l’album en mélangeant les styles : Intro électro, beat entraînant, puis changement de tempo et envolées instrumentales. « One Face One Lie » débute avec un discours de Martin Luther King en arrière-plan et se lance ensuite tout en nuances tant dans la mélodie que dans le rythme. « Next Time » amalgame encore les genres avec une intro électro-pop qu’on abandonnera au profit d’un riff accrocheur et plusieurs changements de tempo au cours de la pièce.

 

En fin de piste, on retrouve la pièce maîtresse de l’album, « The Last Sign ». Une pièce lourde d’anticipation et d’émotion, bien orchestrée avec un rythme langoureux dans lequel les musiciens se laissent aller complètement. Notons la finale, digne des plus grands et talentueux artistes de notre génération, pour laquelle quelques minutes de plus m’auraient comblé au plus haut point. Les dernières notes de la pièce viennent boucler ce merveilleux opus avec le son du feu de camp du début de l’album.

 

Je décrirais cet album d’Alex Carpani comme un voyage harmonieux dans lequel il nous propose une exploration de toutes ses influences musicales, son talent d’écriture ainsi que répondre à l’objectif final soit d’offrir à son audience, un album davantage Néo Prog (accessible) sans oublier d’où il vient. « So Close, So Far » a une place de prédilection dans ma collection et c’est avec insistance que je vous le propose aujourd’hui, vous ne serez certes pas déçu que vous soyez amateur de Genesis ou de Riverside. A++

Musiciens / MUSICIANS :

 

- Alex Carpani / keyboards, vocals and programming

- Ettore Salati / acoustic and electric guitars

- Joe Sal / vocals and additional guitars

- Giambattista Giorgi / electric bass

- GIGI CAVALLI COCCHI / drums

PISTES / TRACKS

 

1. The Eve (2 :26)

2. I Tried and Tried (5 :36)

3. Man on the Wire (5 :56)

4. Stay with Me (4 :03)

5. In Your Absence (3.39)

6. Let My Drop of Sweat Fall Down (4 :25)

7. Crystal Falls (6 :08)

8. One Face One Lie (6 :19)

9. Next Time (5 :36)

10. The Last Sign (6 :20)

 

Charles Dauphin - Avril 2016

ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW

aLEX CARPANI

WITH: ALEX CARPANI

13 APRIL 2016

By: Fred Simoneau

The English version of the interview is available in written format below this video screen !

*** Please note: This written interview constitutes a resume of the 26 minute long french video interview ***

 

Profil : Hello everybody. I’m Fred Simoneau, from profilprog.com. Today, we have the privilege to speak via Skype, with Alex Carpani, from Bologna, Italy.  

 

PR - First of all, hi Alex. Thank you for accepting Profil’s invitation to perform this interview.

 

Alex Carpani - Hi Fred, hi to all Profil’s listeners and our friends in Québec.

 

PR - For the benefit of our readers (listeners), we’d like to know how his French Italian became involved in the music industry.

 

AC - I was born in Montreux, Switzerland. My mother was from France and my father from Italy. I spent my childhood in an international environment. I have been exposed to many different nationalities. When I was 6, I had the privilege to learn music and to play the electronic organ and the piano. I am 46 now so I have been playing quite some times.

 

PR - I’d like to hear more about your musical influences and your meetings with Keith Emerson when you were only 7 years old.

 

AC - My parents were directors of an international Swiss college, where some famous people would send their children to study while they were away or when working around my hometown. One of Keith Emerson’s sons studied there, in 1976-77. Very often, Aaron and I played outside together. This is through Aaron that I met Keith Emerson. I feared his father because of concert videos where he showed little mercy towards his Hammond organs. He would use knives, fire, etc. It’s shocking for a 7 year old kid. I feared him but at the same time I admired him. He left lasting impressions on me, both personally and musically. Knowing him was significant while I was growing up, even though I didn’t understand on what scale at the time. I can now realize the importance of meeting him as I grew older.

 

PR - Even before the release of « Waterline », some of your material made it to the public. It looks like you have had a quite busy career.

 

AC - Between 1990 and 2007, I wrote a lot of music. First of all, I was part of a duo called Gemini, formed of myself and another keyboardist. Our music was mostly New Age. We produced 2 demos, played a few concerts where we mixed music and videos. This helped us develop my first contacts with the public. Then, I went solo and still played New Age as well as electronic music, drum & bass, electro-jazz, etc. I also produced music for stage plays, documentaries, videos, etc. Music would be mixed with the author’s voice. All these experiences helped me finding my musical way. It’s a long road, a long learning curve, where I tried many different approaches, without having any particular expectations. In 2007, I sent the demo of Waterline to Aldo Tagliapietra, chanteur de Le Orme. He put me in touch with a record company in Los Angeles. This is how it all began and how I started to make progressive rock music.

 

The band was founded in 2006 and we started playing live after the album reached the market in the spring of 2007. We did 120 shows in nearly 20 countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America. This has been an important human and musical experience.

 

PR - Between 2006 and 2016, you have released 4 albums. What can you tell us about the evolution of your music from the 1st album to the most recent?

 

AC - The 1st one, Waterline, contains soft and jazzy nuances. Talia Petra’s voice is soft. It was like the first chapter of a story. The 2nd album, The Sanctuary, done in 2010, is more mature. It has more rhythm, more virtuosity. It sounds very 70’s. The 3rd one, 4 Destinies, contains 4 suites of about 15 minutes each. The album tells a story. Those who like symphonic prog will enjoy it very much. The 4th, So Close So Far, marks a radical change from the previous ones. It sounds more modern, musically and technically. You won’t find virtuosity on this album. I chose to be simpler, which was not easy. I wanted the music, the lyrics, to be easy to understand.  I love the final result. I wanted to say that it is difficult to communicate nowadays. Technology like the one we are using, Skype, is great but, we are alone, isolated. The concept of the album is the lack of communication in our world. I wanted to say there’s hope, not only in the lyrics but also through the music and the sound.

 

PR – Would you say that progressive rock music has become more actual, more accessible?

 

AC - Yes, very much so. It is mainly rock, with prog, electronic, alternative rock and New Age influences. It’s a mix of styles. But what I’m mostly proud of is that the style is very personal. Those who contributed to the album agree with me on this. You can’t associate the music with what was done before, in the 70’s for example. You can’t put my music in a category. My music is original, personal. That’s what I wanted. That being said, I haven’t denied my past either.

 

PR - How did the fans react to your new album?

 

AC - The latest album hasn’t been available long enough to give you an honest answer. The initial reactions are mostly one of surprise. A positive surprise because people understand that it took a great dose of courage to offer something different, more adventurous and modern. Those fond of the sound of the 70’s might not like it as much as those open to different styles. We should not be content with what’s safe. Then, it would be the end of art, creativity and curiosity. To take risks requires courage. On the one hand, you may lose something but on the other hand, you may gain a lot.

 

PR - Are you planning a tour to promote the album?

 

AC - Yes, we have already embarked on a tour on February 13th, in Italy, three weeks before the album's release date. Several concerts are scheduled in Italy and elsewhere, like the South Prog Festival in France next May 2016. This is one of the largest European festivals. It will be our 5th time there. On each occasion, we offered different things. This time, we will be on stage as ACP, Alex Carpani Band, and we will play the new album. Obviously we will perform material from previous albums too.

 

PR - Is it still possible, for a progressive rock artist, to have success in the music industry in 2016?

 

AC - It is almost impossible to survive without having other interests or projects. You have to be busy with other projects, like collaborations with other artists. The prog public is a very unique public, very demanding. Prog rock musicians have other projects in order to make a living. Steven Wilson, Opeth and Marillion seem to be among the very few who are able to make a living with their music but many of them are involved in other projects. Being famous doesn’t mean you’re rich. Only the passion of what we do keeps us going.

 

PR - You travelled the Globe, recorded 4 albums that were very well received by the critics. What’s next for Alex Carpani?

 

AC - In 2016, I am touring to promote the So Close So Far album but I am also planning to form a new international band with Italian and International musicians from the neo prog scene. This new band will follow the same direction as my newest album, a modern prog rock style. My bandmates will be : Gigi Cavalli CocchiI and also other musicians who will contribute to write brand new and original music. We hope to release an album in 2017 as well as play live in Italy and elsewhere. 2016 is the year of So Close So Far, 2017 will be the year of this new project. And I hope to release a new Alex Carpani album in 2018. I never stop.

 

PR - If your 16 year old nephew who wants to start a career in music came to you for advice, what would you tell him?

 

AC - At age 16, it is normal to have dreams and have a passion for music. Only time will tell if the dream is strong enough to help make it a long lasting experience. First you have to know about the motivations and the desires of the aspiring career musician. You need to be ready to put in a lot of time, efforts and sacrifices. You need the curiosity to learn, to listen, to play and learn from other musicians. You must be humble. It’s a good thing to have a life project and a work project. Music requires that you study and gain experience with other musicians. Be ready to invest your own money in instruments, studies, and the technology that will help create your own music.

 

It’s not an easy road. It’s a long one that brings in a lot of satisfaction. The support of your family, both moral and financial, is very important. But at the same time, family can be an obstacle if they don’t share a common dream. You need to be supported and encouraged in this adventure. It is very hard to succeed if you are not supported. You spend money, you dream about achieving success but if the results are slow to obtain, you still need to count on their support. It is not something that you should take for granted.

 

Again, it is a tough road but it is rewarding. I would tell my nephew to be stubborn and to pursue his dream.

 

PR - All good things must come to an end. I hope this interview will help our listeners to better know Alex Carpani and his music. On behalf of myself and the Profil radio listeners, I’d like to say thank you! You have the final word.

 

AC - Music is like a journey where the important thing is not the arrival or even the departure. What’s important is the journey, the people we meet along the way, what we discover that brings in an inner change. It’s my philosophy.

 

Along the way there are also people like you who have the passion for music. You are instrumental to help people discover the artist’s music. You are important for the musicians, for the rock and prog rock fans. Thanks to you, Fred and Profil Radio. I love Québec. We played there in 2012. I hope to go back soon to perform and also to go as a tourist with my family to discover your area. We have the French language in common and share some of our respective cultures, the French and the North Americans. There is a very strong connection that is always a pleasure to experience.

 

PR - Again, thank you and all the best in your future projects.

 

AC - Thanks to all of you.

ALEX CARPANI ENTREVUE
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