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Album Review: Epochal
Matias Baconsky
Cover image of the album Epochal by Matias Baconsky
Matias Baconsky
2021 / Matias Baconsky
45 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
After releasing three incredibly powerful singles in 2020, Argentinian pianist/composer Matias Baconsky's Epochal is the anxiously-anticipated fully-orchestrated album (his first) that tells the story of a man who survives the end of the world and his search for other survivors as well as for reasons for why he survived. The three singles released previously are "The Immortal," "A Second Chance," and "Light On the Horizon." "The Immortal" was awarded "Best Classical Song" at the 4th Peace Songs Awards and was nominated as "Best Contemporary Classical Instrumental Song" at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards, so this music has already received some very well-deserved attention. Referring to the music as "Epic Piano" gives you an idea of the power and drama of this album.

Epochal picks up where Baconsky's 2018 album, When the World Ends, left off. In brief, that album told the story of a man anticipating the end of the world surrounded by his loved ones. As they share their beautiful memories, they hope to find each other in another life. Epochal tells the next part of the story in ten tracks/chapters, but the liner notes say "To be continued," so this isn't the end of the story! Epochal was composed and arranged for a symphony orchestra and choir in addition to Baconsky's piano. A fan of science fiction, the album tells a story that Baconsky created and includes an 8-page booklet that explains each track.

Epochal begins with "New Dawn," a piece about the man waking up for the first time after the apocalypse and trying to remember what happened. He is surrounded by debris, but tries to stay positive despite the devastation around him. Dark and mysterious, but not without hope, it's a very powerful start. "The Immortal" expresses the wide range of emotions the survivor experiences as he walks through the destruction in search of other life. This piece began as a piano solo, but this version is fully orchestrated and includes piano and choir - epic! "A Second Chance" continues the search for other survivors who also got "a second chance." "Reason To Believe" expresses the hope and anticipation of seeing a weak light on the horizon while camping on the roof of a tall building. Excitement sends this piece soaring even with the realization that it might be an illusion. "Breakdown" describes despair setting in as the protagonist plans to end his life. Then he sees something that restores his feelings of hope. The "Light On the Horizon" reappears and he considers going in search of its source. Piano, orchestra and choir express intense emotions and create vivid visual images. This one will leave you breathless! "Ambivalence" sets in as he struggles with the decision of whether to end his quest altogether or seek the source of the light. "Tree of Life" overflows with hope, excitement and optimism as the seeker approaches the light and discovers a large tree with butterflies fluttering around it. The tempo of the music steadily increases as the piece progresses, expressing the anticipation of nearing the source of the light. "All in Vain" is mournful with the disappointment of not finding anyone living near the tree. The seeker follows a green path to discover another tree nearby and this time there is a figure standing under it! In "You," the seeker recognizes the voice of the woman singing as the love of his life. Such a blissful reunion until she whispers "I'm sorry." Oh no! And that's where the album ends with the notation "To be continued." Talk about a cliff-hanger!

A limited number of Digipak CDs are available from www.matiasbaconsky.com. The album is available from Amazon and Apple/iTunes, as well as Spotify and other streaming sites. Highly recommended!
July 2, 2021