𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 - this week: December (A Warm Embrace) - Andres Guazzelli
Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝘿𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 (𝘼 𝙒𝙖𝙧𝙢 𝙀𝙢𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙚) - 𝘼𝙣𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨 𝙂𝙪𝙖𝙯𝙯𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙞
Uninvited, Charles quietly passes through a memorial service, to breathe in the emotion.
Death, is the one and only thing we can be sure of. Those who have been fortunate enough to join this Earth, will eventually leave it. Or at least move on to greener pastures, depending on your view. It is an inevitable fact of “life”, that it will cease. We only hope that it comes late enough to give us time to have a rich and fulfilling life beforehand. Our dear friend - the Gentleman of Rock - Charlie Watts, passed away very recently. This was very saddening, what with him being the rock of the Stones, but he certainly could be said to have lead a full life, and managed a whole 8 decades before removing his Savile Row suit, to sleep. This will be The Last Time.
A man in his sixties would not be considered young. But a man dying in his sixties, is an altogether different story. People come together to mourn a man cut down “so young”. I speak of a great English musician by the name of Colin Tench, whose fame has not yet reached the heights of Mr. Watts, but whose talents frankly surpass his. Predominantly a guitarist, Colin had been in many bands throughout the decades and throughout the world. Rock and Prog Rock were where his heart lay, but he was not afraid to go outside these fields. His own compositions were handled well by his exceptional virtuosic technique. Around a decade into our latest century Tench discovered the advantages of the internet. Much like with the ways of the New Artist Spotlight, he was for the first time able to speak and work with people from all over the globe, from the comfort of his newly found surroundings in Sweden.
And so was born a tight friendship and musical bond between Colin Tench and Andres Guazzelli. Having heard most of Andres’ back catalogue, I can safely say that he is one of the greatest producers, composers, sound engineers and musicians on the New Artist Spotlight, and I am rather in awe of him. Notice I say ‘composer’ and not songwriter. When Colin departed, Andres was not only left with a feeling of something missing, not to mention great sadness (and shock), but was also left with a handful of low quality mp3 files containing some of Colin’s unreleased guitar work. Andres felt the need and compulsion to do something with this. To send him off with a royal salute. Involving several other musicians with exceptional skill, Andres got to work and put in the hours.
Guazzelli managed to create the most beautifully crafted piece of art in three sections:
August (A Cold Winter Morning)
December (A Warm Embrace)
April (The Final Acceptance)
All three pieces are truly breathtaking, but I wanted to focus on what I would call the masterpiece of the EP - December (A Warm Embrace). This is the longest of the three, and comes in at over six and a half minutes. After a back-taped intro, we are thrown into an Eastern (wooden) flute melody backed by a three-dimensional world of classical guitar. Jutting strings are reinforced by the heaviest electric guitars. The flute and guitars play off against each other like tigers play-fighting. A violin snake shows its jealousy. The grand piano’s depth shows its softer side as it leaps like a lion from alertness to slumber. From Prog to Baroque; from ‘Yes’ to ‘Bach’, in a matter of seconds. Guazzelli manages to bring brightness and light into a usually sombre minor key. A new pulse is born from the shadows as the dawn takes hold. The guitars of all kinds are marching forth as the flute adds a counter melody. The town’s people join these brave soldiers, in the form of strings and accordion (or similar). There is brave courage, but there is unease. I might point out now that Andres’ nation of Argentina does things backwards in the South and so December is their Summer.
We are by this point less than halfway through this miracle of composition, and never has this constant change been tiresome - quite the opposite. This is exhilarating. The electric guitar somehow again finds the brightness in sadness. The piano and accordion play rhythmically in unison but with a tight harmony. Quick, staccato notes akin to Mozart at his saddest and maddest, yet with melancholy. The flute and guitar reappear to spray the fields with the hope of the season. But then, an astounding plot twist curls from between the pages: a synthesiser, taking on the appearance of a jester as it mimics Daft Punk at their best and better. Who was to see the slamming slap bass section coming?? A jazz organ? The build of instruments is beyond what can be done with a traditional orchestra, but all with such taste and subtlety. All calms down and the classical guitar, accordion and violin tuck us into bed, under the stars.
This magnificent EP is entirely instrumental with the exception of the very end of the final track, where Andres says “and THAT, he will never hear”. A sad, thought provoking and poignant end to a masterpiece. BUT…! I disagree. Colin will have heard it. Colin was with Andres in spirit and in sound, throughout the entire long process. Tench’s guitar tracks were the foundations and building bricks of what was to become a great neo-classical opus. This could not have even been conceived without the emotions involved, not to mention the hard work, talent and dedication of the professional, Mr. Guazzelli. Colin would be proud and teary-eyed. I am sure of that.
Death is a tragedy. But the emotions born from the death of a close companion can conjure something truly great. Andres has achieved just this.
Listen to 𝘿𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 (𝘼 𝙒𝙖𝙧𝙢 𝙀𝙢𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙚) on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝘿𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 (𝘼 𝙒𝙖𝙧𝙢 𝙀𝙢𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙚) on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!
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