Based in London, Alex Kozobolis is an independent photographer, visual artist and film maker who has released several shorts, captured portraits or designed cover artwork for like-minded musicians. The artist is also a self-taught pianist who has over the past number of years collaborated with Lee Chapman or Anna Rose Carter among others and released music in digital format primarily. Following a self-titled modern classical début for 1631 Recordings in 2016, the Weightless EP sees the composer embrace the physical format. Introducing four compositions for solo piano and four remixes, the album was released as Vinyl, CD & Digital on 27 January 2017 last as a joint collaboration between UK-based experimental music label Future Sequence and 1631 Recordings.
Betraying his background as a visual artist, the physical release of the EP has been entirely “composed” visually down to every minute detail – a clear vinyl support and the cover art presented as a diptych announcing two distinct sections.
As hinted by the title of the EP, Weightless is concerned with the absence gravity. Clocking at 2’30’’ or less, the four minimalist vignettes for solo piano are extremely concise and there’s a clear sense that every note has been carefully “weighed” in the process. To emphasise this approach, the microphones capture the breakdown of the process, from the fingers hitting the keys down to the hammers striking the strings and the sound waves every note creates, wrapping each vignette in a floating cocoon of reverberation.
The rapid-fire flutter of notes on the title-track evokes the weightless flight of the butterfly or the dragonfly while a stunning choreography by William B. Fowler Jr. for “Closure” decomposes the track into a fluid and airy visual interpretation.
It is common practice for modern classical composers to invite electronic artists to rework their music, but this often happens post-release and the remixes get disseminated on different supports or platforms. On Weightless, Alex Kozobolis submitted his original compositions to four different musicians (Tom Adams, Siavash Amini, Hedia and Transept) and released them on the B side as an integral part of a cohesive record.
Shifting the mood towards ambient electronica, the four remixes paradoxically add density to the work, and three of the four reworks dilate the original tracks into much longer pieces. The shortest track “And Find Yourself” for instance becomes the longest remix in the hands of Iranian musician and producer Siavash Amini. And releasing them in reverse order to the A side generates a fantastic mirror illustration of the original tracks.