Open to the Sea are Enrico Coniglio and Matteo Uggeri. Recorded in Venice and Milan, Watering A Paper Flower leaks light into the darkness. Nostalgia is a powerful force, pulling at the heart no matter the age. It can still be felt today, is still relevant and real, extending into and influencing present actions and decisions. It seeps through and enters from the past, as if it were delayed sunlight.
Relics can still be precious and relevant to modern life. They teach us a lot about who we are and where we’ve come from. They shouldn’t be cast aside; they’re important documents, detailing essential steps on the journey. Without those moments, we wouldn’t be who we are today; a single event can influence and shape the rest of the path. Watering A Paper Flower is the same, as one note leads it on a thousand steps, and its journey derives from that singular moment.
Even during the darkest hours, we can look back on better times and find comfort or some semblance of solace. The past is ever present, and like a distillation of light, it leaks into the narrative of today. As light will leak into corners constructed out of darker shades, making the concealed visible when orbits align, so too can memories resurface and illuminate the mind; when the sun lights up the eyes and the smile, rather than the room.
Both the piano and cello feel old, in need of water and sustenance. A general air of malaise sinks into the music. Coniglio and Uggeri are careful to water their paper flower, even though, on the surface, it would appear not to need any – would appear to be an artificial design – but somehow, it is still in danger of wilting, both in terms of its soul and in its physical appearance, the paper gradually creasing at the corners as time inflicts a slow death.
Although rustic, the music is able to slowly weave fine lines and slinking patterns, as if the muscles were not yet completely stiff. Its notes remain stuck in a sunken kingdom, but sometimes they ascend to melodic peaks, as on ‘It Comes, Ineluctable’. Piano, organ, a Yamaha TX7, field recordings, drums, trumpet, cello, drones, and samples leak into the record, with brighter notes pouring glimmers of light into a well of darkness.
Mastered by Ian Hawgood and with artwork provided by Daniel Crossley / Craig Tattersall, in which ancient, vintage prints are utilised, with freckles and light leaks covering the imperfect image, like lines creasing over ageing skin, the music is still able to recall images of the past, placing it in a kind of shrine, and it’s still able to convey the brightness of yesterday.
Enrico Coniglio: piano, organ, Yamaha TX7
Matteo Uggeri: rhythms, field recordings, samples, sort of backing vocals
Mattia Costa: drums
Alessandro Sesana: trumpet
Andrea Serrapiglio: cello, drones
Recorded by Enrico Coniglio and Matteo Uggeri in Venice and Milan.
Drums recorded by Gianmaria Aprile at Argolab, Varese.
Cello recorded by Andrea Serrapiglio.
Additional VOG treatments on “I Can Hear…” by Gianmaria Aprile.
“I Can Hear the Cherries Fall from the Hospice Room” is dedicated to Hiroshi Yoshimura (1940-2003).
Mixed and produced by Matteo Uggeri
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Design by Daniel Crossley
Print design by Craig Tattersall