- Winter lullaby I
- Hollow city
- Peace loop
- Winter lullaby II
- Bonus - Marine (piano & strings version)
Since Vivaldi to Enya, winter has always been the most inspiring season for music. Above all, when talking about ambient music. It seems the icy winter pictures are an evocative starting point to build musical themes, sometimes cold as the snow, others warm like a fireplace. Late winter tales belongs to the second group.
Behind the Halo moniker is young italian composer Pasquale Riviezzo, and this is his first EP album, published by Dewtone Recordings. Riviezzo plays the piano since ten, and in Late winter tales this instrument is the protagonist. From its sound's warmth, and through subtle electronic atmospheres, Halo creates the snowy pictures the title suggests. However, the cold is on the other side of the window: this is music to the interior, to the small microuniverse of a living-room with fireplace.
The themes in the EP stand out for their simplicity, revealed in their melodies and arrangements, which are perfect examples of subtlety and contention.
The album starts (and finishes) with the short lullaby 'Winter lullaby', an indication that maybe everything between them is just a dream. 'Kiri' is a piano theme over field recording and guitar accompaniment. This is probably the theme in which Riviezzo's classical training and Debussy's influence is more patent.
'Hollow city', the longest theme, is where the pieno is more electronically treated, although not breaking the disc flow; the electronic atmosphere has also more presence. 'Marine' is a real treasure, with the most beautiful melody in the album building in a slow crescendo. The version of Late winter tales in BandCamp includes, as bonus track, a wonderful version of 'Marine' for piano and strings.
'Angel' is totally ambient: the piano is gone and the synth layers sustain a gliding theme. But it is a short pause, for the piano comes back soon in 'Peace loop' with a dancing and reconforting melody. Maybe it is winter, but there's still room for happiness.
And 'Sunset' encloses within the melancoly of the end of the day, the end of the winter, the end of life, the end of the dream... Ready to get up again with 'Winter lullaby'.
While the snow melts into crystalline waterdrops, listening to Late winter tales winter doesn't seem so cold.