Italian modern classical composer Bruno Bavota (b. 1984) is a “late bloomer” when it comes to music. “The attraction to music came “only” at the age of twenty” says the Neapolitan musician. Learning to play the guitar first, Bavota then switched to piano and released two solo piano albums – the self-released Il Pozzo d’Amor in 2010 and La casa sulla Luna in 2013 – with additional violin and cello on some tracks. Released on Psychonavigation Records in April 2014 last, The Secret of the Sea is Bruno Bavota’s third instrumental solo album. If piano remains central, most of the new compositions include acoustic and electric guitars.
There are many literary references in the song titles and “Plasson” for instance is named after one of the main characters in Italian author Alessandro Baricco’s 1993 novel Oceano Mare [Ocean Sea] – a painter trying to capture the essence of the infinite ocean by using sea water to paint on a blank canvas. And the first few lines of the novel almost provide the perfect caption to the album cover:
The man does not even turn. He continues staring out at the sea. Silence. From time to time, he dips the brush in a copper cup and makes a few light strokes on the canvas. Alessandro Baricco
The ebb and flow of the sea as a natural element then becomes a major source of inspiration for the pianist and it almost dictates the internal rhythm of the recording.
“There are no words to explain what happens inside me” says the musician on his Bandcamp page. Yet:
So immense and familiar at the same time, through the sea you can look into yourself discovering your own inner sea. Bruno Bavota
From piano minimalism (“the boy and the whale”) to dramatic mood swings (“Plasson”, “les nuits blanches”), long introductions on the acoustic guitar (“the man who chased the sea”, “If only my heart were wide like the sea”), near post-rock/ambient atmosphere with reverb on the electric guitar (“Me and You” or “Hidden lights through smoky clouds”), The Secret of the Sea is a deeply personal, introspective and compelling record.