After spending the last few years honing his skills as a composer for film and conductor of orchestral music, Francesco Berta returns to his primary instrument of the piano for a new solo release on the 1631 Recordings imprint. Entitled Between Lives, the idea behind the album is that of transition and new beginnings. It also comes as something as a validation of the core values he has persistently followed for more than a decade during which he could easily have become jaded over the coldly statistical machinations of the digital age.
Our core values are important and keep our ship steady when there’s a storm. It’s not easy to stay true to these but ultimately I believe that’s all that matters for an artist.
Though his music has gained more recognition and support since getting placements on streaming platforms, Berta has stayed true to his instincts and creative process. The EP is a personal one to him in which each track represents a moment from the past he seeks to capture in the instant he realizes it will become a lasting memory. Following the debut single “North Sea“, a second preview of the album emerges in the form of the elegant “Slow Dance” which Berta personally set to video with a specific metaphor in mind. Developed in roughly three weeks using Adobe After Effects, it reprises both themes hinted in the album cover design: abstract and dark monochrome.
I had different sketches and storyboards but ended up with a simple idea, a figure that is a hybrid between a landscape and a rose, always moving as a symbol of constant evolution. We see the bigger picture only at the end, which is a metaphor for patience, which is really crucial for an artist, who has to make restlessness and patience somehow coexist.
As for the music itself, it reflects equal attention detail with a bittersweet melody exquisitely framed in an oneiric setting through the use of recording techniques that lend warmth and color and highlight the textural elements. The personal memory portrayed here Berta holds close to himself, but the poignancy and intimacy of that moment can most certainly be felt.
The overall final sound I was going for was making the intimate sound of a close mic-ed felt piano coexist with the warmth and slight aggressiveness of tape and vintage compression. I wanted an energetic record that made an impression, bold with its fragility.
Between Lives will be released in full on April 22 via 1631 Recordings. The EP will include 5 songs along with two extended versions.