Album Review: “Himmelsrichtungen” by Juan Maria Solare

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Cover Art by Alban Low

Recently, I got an email from a musician requesting me to look into his music and the possibility of reviewing his latest work. His name is Juan Maria Solare, he is originally from Argentina but is now based in Germany. He is a composer and pianist. Juan’s music is a mixture of both Tango Argentino and contemporary classical music. He is very different as far as the other musicians and bands I tend to talk about on here, but as you’ll find out, he’s equally as talented!

I will be talking about his spring release album called “Himmelsrichtugen” and he has graciously explained that the title represents the “directions in the sky” and the concept behind it comes from the names of the songs which symbolizes each cardinal points of NSEW, plus Zenith and Nadir that ultimately make up a 3-dimensional piece. On each song I will have the original title and also the English translation that he has provided for me.

Okay, so starting with track number one we have “Siesta Norteña” that simply means “The Northern Nap”. I am usually all about having a heavy start to an album, but when we’re talking contemporary classic music, my focus is different. I do like a slow beginning. I found this to be beautiful and serene. It almost puts you to sleep (in a good way!) and it’s a very interesting! This is what I want to imagine while looking up at the stars! Next is “Viento del Este” which translated is, “Wind from the East.” This one has a scattered outlook to it; you hear sudden stops throughout you’re sort of curious as to what is going to happen as it continues, because you’ll have these cute, little notes and then all of a sudden you’ll have these dramatic notes that to me, sound like the increasing blows of the wind. That’s what it sounded like to me!

Third track is called “Un Poco Más al Oeste” which is “more to the west” and this one another soft one, but the tempo starts off pretty slow but it increasingly goes faster, this song and the first have like a zigzag feel in the way he goes back and forth between the keys. This one kind of gives me a slight “jazz-y” feel while listening to it. “La Voz del Sur” is the fourth track of the album and it means, “the voice of the south.” This is much shorter than the previous songs, so it was a bit harder to pinpoint what it actually made me think of; I think it’s good, but unfortunately not a favorite of mine. It’s always the shorter ones that always make me want more for different reasons!

Here is the music video for “La Voz del Sur” it is directed by Doni Irawan and it was filmed in Indonesia.

These are the last two songs of the album! Starting with “Cenit” this is a very bubbly track. It has its softer notes but you mostly hear these high-pitched sounds going on throughout. I really loved it! Oh, the title is “Zenith” and the explanation is “that point in space exactly above the observer”. And lastly “Nadir” and this doesn’t have an English translation to it, but the definition used as the same as “Cenit” but it’s “that point exactly below the observer” and this one is definitely a lot more darker, almost depressing – any words to describe the word “sad” would be able to explain the demeanor of this track. However, in the past I’ve noticed I like how an album has a heavy start and a banger to finish it. Since with Himmelrichtugen, we begun with a slow song and we also end the album with an even slower one to match! So I liked it too!

This was a very interesting album. I sort of fell in love with the concept of the album first, because I felt he put a lot of time and effort into creating a space for a listener to explore each song! I really do love these types of albums more than any other mainly because of that reason! It gets you out of what you might expect out of a musician or even your favorite band too! Juan has a fantastic album on his hands and he should be very proud!

Hope you guys have enjoyed this post!

Juan’s music is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify!

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