Antonija Pacek composer, pianist
Composer and pianist Antonija Pacek impresses with FOREVER, an album of soulful, aesthetic piano music – in a minimalist style somewhere between classical and popular music. Pacek, who holds a degree in psychology, is no stranger to the conditio humana, and while the temperament of her pieces is distinctly melancholy, their gentle expressiveness spans the whole gamut of human emotions.
Remarkably, the spirit of a true author not only shines through in these compositions, but also in the way FOREVER was produced: Pacek not only invented, but also performed, recorded, and mixed the pieces. In a century where all these steps are customarily split up between several people, this practice might raise eyebrows, but here, Pacek has done everything exceptionally well.
The album's eponymous title track, Forever, is by far the brightest and most optimistic piece in the entire selection. Pacek, who exhibits an extraordinarily soft, singing touch on the piano, plays this creation of hers with a spring in her step. Almost Goodbye brings with it a sense of hopeful finality. Some tracks, like Before the Rain, are dark and somber. Deep Red is a jazzy, velvety concoction of mystery and comfort. Yet other pieces titles' defy expectations: such as the brooding Wanna Dance.
All of Pacek's works are tied together by a strong, recurrent theme: a perpetuating, unwavering tenderness. It wouldn't be far-fetched to imagine this kind of music in a well-made, profound film, romantic or otherwise. The pieces are neither quite classical nor popular, but something in between: the levity of popular piano music mixed with hints of classical profundity. One is tempted to liken Pacek's music to Ludovico Einaudi's – except that Pacek's is, no doubt, more interesting.
FOREVER is a fantastic fourth album for Pacek: uncompromisingly sentimental, yet minimalist enough not to stray into the dreaded territory of unbridled kitsch. Romantically-inclined listeners will certainly enjoy Pacek's music; and all others will likely be easily convinced.
Release Date: October 23, 2020
Catalog #: NV6316
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