Track By Track: Dmitry Evgrafov – The Quiet Observation
With his second release on FatCat’s 130701 imprint, Russian pianist & composer Dmitry Evgrafov returns to a more stripped back and less digital format. The main theme and two other pieces are taken from his soundtrack work with Russian director Vladimir Back, and inspired by Hans Zimmer's score for 'Interstellar', he used a church organ emulation to recreate those etheral sounds. We asked him to talk about the story behind this seven track EP, and he also shared a video premiere to one of the tracks for us too.
This EP is an experience of the quiet observation. You can’t alter them or participate in any way, you are here just to watch.
When I compiled this EP I had a very prominent feeling that this release should work as a transit between my previous album “Collage” and an upcoming and yet unannounced LP coming out in 2017. Usage of a massive church organ track as an opening title instantly shows a stylistic and sonic shift in comparison to my previous piano-led works toward a move versatile and less “modern-classical” approach from which I tend to detach myself as it’s a rather limiting way of making music.
The main theme written for a feature film of the same name, ‘Ptchika’ by Russian director Vladimir Back. It was the second time I made a music for a film, and this one needed a main theme. It’s a dramatic piece appearing at the culmination of the movie. It was recorded at Mosfilm, one of Russia’s most famous studios, where countless film scores and performances have been recorded. Thanks to Rafael Anton Irisarri who mastered the album and made it sound really nice.
What you hear is my attempt in capturing the feeling of something disguised, hidden and yet to be discovered, but not in an intimidating or “horror-style” way. It’s called “The Painting” because initially I wrote this composition for a video that tells about the new Tretyakov picture gallery exhibition in Moscow. Yeah, it’s that simple, no m̶y̴s͢͞tè͟r̸io̢͡ư̷̡s P̢̡͞ąi̷͡n̵ti̢̕ng̶͝ behind the composition. That said it does feel like an integral piece, thanks to real strings that were used. They do magic!
This one is special, it is the warm beating heart of the album. Originally it’s a sketch dating back to 2011, before the time any of my music had been released. I wrote it one day with my wife Vika, just for fun. I sketched out a chord sequence on a virtual piano, and she added a melody. I picked up a violin (which I couldn’t play because I’d never learned to) and recorded the arrangement, and Vika added a cute glockenspiel. It was completed in an hour or so. During the following years I returned to this recording a number of times, and despite its very rough quality there was always something very special in its naive, simple approach and a perfect pacing. And I could never play violin that well again!
The Lofty Sky
When you add a huge church organ in your album it’s quite a statement already, huh? I have decided to add the second organ composition to develop the theme of transcendence and timelessness that this EP pursues. The title here is self-explanatory: this is the music of the very moment when you look up at the high, lofty, sky. It’s always been there and it will remain the same after you’re gone. The sky is the quiet observer.
This is actually a leftover from my 2012 album ‘Pereehali’. I had recorded eleven tracks for the album but only seven could find their place on the final release. It was a hard choice for me to leave this track out, but luckily I have now found a home for it on this EP. I really love how it works narration-wise: The track itself is soft and nourishing and yet it ends off abruptly and cold-bloodedly in a way. It works as a suspension point, a bridge toward something new, something which will be in the future.
Initially the previous track was meant to be the closing one, but after few test listens I have decided that in this EP it’s more important to give the listener an integral and self-contained experience rather than showing-off my quirkiness.
This composition was born whilst I was reading ‘War & Peace’ by Leo (Lev) Tolstoy. The composition is formed of very conservative moves, but because of the fact that I never follow tempo or time signatures in my music it resulted in a very personal feel without that pretentious academic gloss. I have used it as a contribution to this year’s “Piano Day” celebration and it seems that people liked it.
'The Quiet Observation' is released on 14th October 2016 and can be pre-ordered HERE.