Award-winning Lorenzo Carulli masterfully takes command of composition on his debut, ‘Present Past.’
This is a surprise to no one who personally knows the Lecce-born artist. Lorenzo Carulli spent years fine-tuning his craft in various programs. In Rome, he earned his Masters at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory and did the same in Milan after attending the La Scala Academy where he earned a degree in Opera Coach and Assistant Conductor. His high marks are not only educational, he has won awards, scholarships, and a multitude of prizes throughout his budding career. All of the above, and his love of the craft, pushed him towards his 2021 debut.
Eight tracks make up the contents of ‘Present Past.’ Each song delivers a new side to the pianist and highlights just what he can do when at the helm as the composer. The record kicks off with “Bell3,” a song that would set the tone for a nice evening out, but towards the middle delivers an almost dream-like quality that gives way to something that feels a bit more magical thanks to the peaks and valleys throughout. Finding a balance of moods within the confines of one song is what Lorenzo Carulli does best on this record. Whether it be the opening track or the one that follows – “Adesso che,” which starts dramatically but eases as the song continues.
Another thing Lorenzo Carulli does well throughout ‘Present Past’ delivers elegance. Classical music has always been viewed as such, and this Rome-based composer does not stray from that in the least. “Easy Peasy” made me feel as if I were at the finest cocktail party underneath the shimmering lights of a chandelier dancing with a drink in hand. The same can be said about “Moon Proom.” However, there was more drama in this one, as intense moments made for a climactic experience.
Lorenzo Carulli’s music has the ability to transport listeners to various places be it dreamscapes or nights out, but what he also does is evoke an emotive response. That is always been the most admirable part of classical music to me. Without lyrics, classical pieces are music at its purest form and the arrangements really allow listeners to feel without someone vocalizing the literal meaning of the song. Songs like “Terpore” had me feeling a bit melancholy when it started, while “Happenstance” perked me up with its more jovial approach.
He spoke to Nova Music Blog about the lack of lyrics in music like his own, “I totally believe in this idea and sometimes I found music without spoken words to be more appropriate for a listener who is looking for a free space where easily find a personal imagination of what is happening. The plot, characters, whether you are going towards a bad or happy ending; is up to you.”
There were a lot of truly classical moments on ‘Present Past,’ but there was a moment at the end of the record that straddled the line between classical and modern. Right when “Frere Jacques” ended and “Me Too” began, it felt like the latter would have anthemic vocals start at any time. It was an arrangement one would not be surprised to hear on records by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Matchbox 20, or The Fray. Would be interested in hearing Lorenzo Carulli explore more of what he could do in this lane of music in the near future as this is only his debut – there is so much more from him we have yet to hear.
Fans of ‘Present Past’ will not have to wait too long as Lorenzo Carulli has said he has another album to release later this year. It will feature about a dozen or so songs. Stay tuned for that, and in the meantime add ‘Present Past’ to your playlists, album collections, and heart as it is out now on all major music and streaming platforms.
Written by Kendra Beltran