ALEXEY LAPIN – Parallels


It takes a while to realize about the little gems concealed in an apparently “normal” – and quite lengthy at 76 minutes – record for solo piano by a Russian artist unknown to me before. Trust your scribe, though: Parallels is worthy of serious focus – if you want to concentrate a bit on what’s audible – and extremely functional as an active soundtrack for autumnal evenings where nothing seems to work to keep the flux of ordinary activities stable. Lapin, so the story goes, once decided to play a solitary concert due the non-arrival of a member of his group for a gig. He was also relatively averse to recording the fruits of these explorations, then managed to defeat the resistance of his own humbleness. The quietly introverted mood characterizing many of the tracks is founded on the unwillingness of attacking the listener with power and volume. The crux of the matter lies instead inside the slight ripples in the harmonic waters, cascading arpeggios in the most elegiac segments and – perhaps the less effective trait – a modicum of preparation, its effect not extraordinary after savouring the concordance of the music with our individual vibrations. However, even those theoretically insignificant snippets of tinkling noises and muffled thumps make some sense in the picture, sort of “this is me, with all my strengths and weaknesses”. We much prefer this kind of honesty to a superficially evolved ostentation of cocaine-fuelled exhibitionism.

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