Insight is a lovely solo piano EP by French musician Julien Marchal. Including four short vignettes recorded at home, “Insight” was launched on 12th April 2014 last on Bandcamp with the aim of raising funds for a full-length recording to be released later this year. Based in Bordeaux where he studied classical, contemporary and jazz music, Julien Marchal is a sound designer, piano teacher and composer. Drawn towards minimalism (Erik Satie, Charles Ives, Philip Glass or Henryk Górecki) but also influenced by contemporary electronic musicians such as Aphex Twin, Pleq or Boards of Canada amongst many others, the musician gradually turned towards composition.

Along the way, most of my work crystallized during daily bus commutes and it is during those trips that my music notebooks started filling up. Julien Marchal

Julien Marchal - Insight EP (2014)
Julien Marchal – Insight EP (2014)

By deliberately capturing the mechanical sound of the piano hammers and damper pedal, Julien Marchal notes that

the objective is to immerse the listener into the sonic environment of the piano. Musical aesthetics matters less than the overall live and organic sound produced.

If Julien Marchal is also arranging and performing his music with electronics, a cellist or a string quartet, the four tracks on “Insight” focus on his solo work. This is gorgeous, highly melodic and touching modern classical piano. A remarkable début.