Carlos Cipa :: All Your Life You Walk (Denovali)

With elegant ebb and flow maneuvers, Cipa slides effortlessly through contemplative, wistful, uplifting and hopeful districts while maintaining a dreamy cinematic glow.

It was an exciting year for Munich-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Cipa. Well, it still is. All Your Life You Walk, his second album, was very recently released. During August he was still working on it, “having loads of fun in the studio creating sounds” as he put it in one of his FB posts. In October, his friend Dieter Dolezel (aka Surrogate Sibling) released an eponymous debut album which features Cipa on piano and Sirius Quartet on strings. I haven’t had the chance to listen to this debut in its entirety yet, but based on the SoundCloud previews it sounds like something worth checking out. Throughout the year Cipa performed in several locations in Europe, sometimes sharing the stage with other talented musicians like Hauschka and label mates Sebastian Plano and Poppy Ackroyd. And, before all that, at the start of the year, he released the wonderful Relive, a collaborative mini album with Sophia Jani. The grand finale though, the icing on the cake, will surely be the forthcoming mini tour with Ackroyd, which after five shows in Germany will end in London at Café OTO, with the extra magic of the fantastic Piano Interrupted project.

Just like on Cipa’s debut, The Monarch And The Viceroy, which was released in 2012 on Denovali as well, the main instrument on All Your Life You Walk is the piano. Cipa sets the tone and firmly leads the way with it. He even uses it as a percussion instrument (like on Relive). With elegant ebb and flow maneuvers, he slides effortlessly through contemplative, wistful, uplifting and hopeful districts while maintaining a dreamy cinematic glow. Of course, since Cipa is also an experimentalist, this work is far from being a typical piano album. With a peculiar use of an eclectic array of other instruments (some more exotic than others) and a bit of electronic enhancement, he forms shimmering shadows that lurk and drift around his orphic piano streams. Although the young musician is classically trained, the classical elements don’t dominate the fifteen pieces. There are classical scents, but the overall feel is contemporary and fresh. Some recent mixes he has compiled paint an interesting picture of his consumption as a listener: classic mix on Fractured Air, non classic mix on Mix Grill. Although there’s nothing by Ludevico Einaudi on either of these mixes, I feel there is some sort of an Einaudi aura in Cipa’s music. I felt it in Relive, and I feel it in All Your Life You Walk . With all that being said, Cipa certainly has a voice of his own, a distinctive sound and style.

In genre terms, this work could be found under modern classical or ambient at your local record store. It can certainly resonate with fans of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Einaudi, and Vassilis Tsabropoulos, but to be honest I think it can resonate with anybody who enjoys a good use of melody and space. There is structure here, but like in the creations of the aforementioned artists, it’s fluid and open rather than stiff and restraining. As usual from Denovali, the album comes with beautiful artwork that looks great both on the CD and LP—always a nice thing for those of us who still appreciate physical mediums. Consuming this work as a whole is definitely recommended. It’s a cohesive, deep, highly expressive heartwarming ride.

All Your Life You Walk is available on Denovali.

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