When The World Ends by Matias Bacoñsky
“When The World Ends” is the third official album release from, Matias Bacoñsky, a pianist and composer from Argentina. His first official album was “Life And Death,” released in 2016. His second official album, “Straight From The Heart,” was released in September 2017.
This solo piano album, “When The World Ends,” is a concept album, a story, encompassing the theme of a man living at the end of the world, sharing memories and bidding farewell to his loved ones. Is there hope for a life beyond the end of the world? Will they meet again? This is “dark piano,” and nicely done.
In contemporary New Age music, we currently have a lot of what is termed “healing music,” particularly in the solo piano realm. If we open our minds a little, we can perhaps see that even in “dark piano,” there can also be what we call “healing.” After all, the piano keys themselves consist of both ebony and ivory, dark and light, black and white. It’s an instrument that is meant to be played using both, not just one or the other, and not just one register, upper or lower.
It’s like life. Try as we may, we can’t live our lives only just in the middle, because life often has a whole different idea. And living in the middle, with no ups and downs, no contrast at all, could be not only supremely boring, but also not conducive to any kind of growth. And if we don’t want growth, we can probably all just go home.
Any piece of music is a communication, a conversation of sorts, and like a regular verbal conversation, we just need to interpret what we think we are hearing in order to receive the message; to benefit from the conversation. What is this person saying? If we go into any conversation with our already pre-conceived point of view, or not really listening, then we close ourselves off from the opportunity to learn anything.
“When The World Ends” is not about depressing or oppressive darkness. That doesn’t seem to be the intention. If you look at the cover art, you can see the piano in the middle of chaos, surrounded by wisps of light. If you really listen, the music actually has a great deal of life, light, and hope in it. While not what we think of as “traditional” New Age, the album is deeply passionate and emotional, very thoughtfully composed and played, and Matias tells this story beautifully. If you’re willing to embrace the darkness along with the light, as intrinsic parts of each other, you will like this.
The album starts off rather simply and gets more intricate in composition as it goes along. The more I listened to it, the more I liked it. A few of my personal favorites are: Track 5, “Not Strong Enough,” which has a kind of dreamy ambiance and a sweet surrender kind of feel. “The Sky Is Falling,” track 7, also a favorite, is flowing and melodic, although no less intense than anything else here. My ultimate favorite on the album is track 9, “One Last Breath.” Contrary to what might garner from its title, this feels open and expansive, perhaps intentionally leading us without fear into whatever lies beyond. One final note is the last track, “The Final Page.” This gets very deep again, fast paced and intense, yet slowing down at times, and with emphasis on the lower registers, perhaps all to symbolize and underscore the “full circle” aspect of life, death, and existence.
Definitely interesting, dark piano as a “sub-set” genre is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you like to explore the deeper nature of things rather than just the “nicey-nice,” give this a try.
Get “When The World Ends” here: https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/MatiasBaconsky