Sound Impression: A Closer Distance by Bruno Bavota & Chantal Acda

Collaborations between artists can be planned, but the kind of sweet serendipity that makes them magical cannot. It either happens or it doesn’t. The idea of Italian pianist & composer Bruno Bavota making an album with Dutch singer & musician Chantal Acda certainly had the potential to be a magical one. Bavota is known for his fluid, highly emotive style while Acda has a stunning voice that can breach the most resolute of defenses with its raw honesty and vulnerability. Any doubt that is how it would turn out was erased with the release of the first single from A Closer Distance.

As is often the case, it began with a meeting between two artists who admired each other’s work – Bavota was a fan of Acda’s orchestral folk, we are told, and she of his piano compositions. The initial intention was to create a two or three song EP together, but that elusive aforementioned serendipity took hold, and it became a full-length record. While collaboration has been at the heart of Acda’s work for some time (her recent work with jazz guitarist Bill Frissell is but one example of many), Bavota has been more of a solitary performer up until now, but not to worry – he takes to it like a fish to water. It was a very natural process according to Acda, despite the fact that it all took place remotely.

“This all came so weirdly natural. It woke up a part of me that had been asleep for a while.”

Chantal Acda
Filmed in Utrecht at Marnixzaal by Linda Russomanno; Sound Engineering by Nick Symons

The nine songs on the album bear the imprint of the lonely isolation in which they were developed through correspondence over long distances. They are steeped in a hushed intimacy, and yet they smolder with warm embers of heartfelt emotion each artist let pour into the music. Bavota & Acda have made a spellbinding and disarmingly beautiful record that one can only hope is not their last.

A Closer Distance is now available from Temporary Residence on CD, digital, and two vinyl LP editions – standard black and transparent purple.

Links: Bandcamp | Temporary Residence | Bruno Bavota | Chantal Acda