"Fragile" is a third full-length album by Endless Melancholy. Recorded during 2013-2014, it was released on 21 October 2014 via Hidden Vibes and AZH Music labels.
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L’affrancamento emotivo conseguito da Sakevych attraverso la musica trova nel suo terzo lavoro sulla lunga distanza a nome Endless Melancholy una manifestazione tanto più emblematica quanto più lontana, per temi ed esecuzione, dalla realtà contingente. Se già il precedente “Epilogue” aveva visto l’artista ucraino ampliare i propri orizzonti all’esplorazione di universi sonori parzialmente diversi, ancorché complementari, con il suo minimalismo pianistico, le dieci composizioni racchiuse in “Fragile” ne confermano la tensione evolutiva attraverso non una modifica dei cardini espressivi, bensì soprattutto un attento dosaggio di tempi e registri.
Il palpitante neoclassicismo di Sakevych rappresenta infatti la fragile delicatezza di cui al titolo del lavoro non più solo lavorando sugli interstizi tra le note, ma anche costruendo melodie pianistiche strutturate e romantiche (“Little Hands”, “Rêverie”), amplificate da un’ambience ovattata, percorsa da echi e minute irregolarità appena sopra il livello della percezione. I brani di “Fragile” sono prodotti del cuore e ponti verso la speranza, incastonata tra gli estremi delle austere miniature di due minuti “Wherever” e “Somewhere”, anche quando le frequenze di Sakevych sfiorano per un attimo il grado zero (la prima parte di “Lost”) o, al contrario, si aprono a un ventaglio di possibilità strumentali. La solennità di viola e violoncello che compare in più punti a conferire spessore al sicuro incedere armonico del pianoforte e l’abbagliante apertura ritmico-elettronica di “Glory Of The Sun” (residua testimonianza di una concettuale ascendenza post-rock) alimentano in maniera soltanto apparentemente diversa la profondità cinematica delle composizioni dell’artista ucraino, denotandone una certa vocazione “orchestrale”. (c) Raffaello Russo // Music Won't Save You
This is the third album from Oleksiy Sakevych and his Endless Melancholy project, mastered by the legendary James Plotkin (ex Earache metal heads O.L.D.). It's mostly piano-led apart from the odd viola and cello that is a beautiful modern classical sound which recalls Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds and the more epic soundscapes of Yann Tiersen.
There are varying moods across the album that start with big orchestral themes and can quickly turn towards dark brooding melancholy (as the title suggests!). As I do get a lot of this sort of stuff thrusted upon me I do sometimes find it hard to differentiate one artist from the next but this has a special kind of something, embrace the melancholy. Sadness is underrated you know! (c) Ian // Norman Records
Strings. Gentle piano chords. Drift off or come round, dependent on the time of day. The opening moments to ‘Fragile’ provide the sound of a world slowing down. The record is Endless Melancholy’s third and there’s a dynamism on show here that indicates the maturity of the project, how Oleksiy Sakevych is able to create compositions that differ in register and tone, but come together to work as a single piece of neoclassicalism with delicate fragility that captivates and sooths.
Hailing from Kiev, Ukraine, it’s difficult not to juxtapose the tone of the album with what is going on in the country politically. That something so ethereal can be born in such a tempered environment is testament to the power of music.
Endless Melancholy is pianist Oleksiy Sakevych’s project and the arrangements he has created on ‘Fragile’ work fluidly, creating emotionally transformative music. The switch in tone from ‘Wherever’ to ‘Glory of the Sun’ is a fine example of this – Cello fading out as sharp piano notes arrive. ‘Glory of the Sun’ is in fact one of the more interesting and layered tracks on the album – and one of the few to utilise electronics, while the addition of drums half-way through takes us from subtle ambient into something with far more punch and pace. More of this development within tracks would have been interesting.
This is an album that is far more butterfly than bee however. It soaks through the listener, imbibing a sense of warmth and, yes, melancholy. Like any ambient work of this nature, there are times when it is easy to drift, to lose concentration on the music itself, but can this really be such a bad thing?
Despite the minimal instrumentation – all tracks are piano led with just a viola and cello (and occasional drums) for back up – there is a real emotional resonance.
On ‘Rêverie’ a more cinematic sound emerges, the melody more focused, while on shorter pieces like ‘Write Me a Letter’ there is more of a haunting atmosphere. The change works well, the album progressing in movements much like a symphony.
While Sakevych has excelled here, mention must go to Anatoliy Gavrilov and Vladimir Babutin for their contributions on viola and cello respectively. Adding depth and vibrancy, their work has helped create a brave and comfortable sound (one that isn’t even sullied by the cliched sound of running water on ‘You Are the Moonlight’). There is nothing groundbreaking here, but there doesn’t need to be. It will, however, be interesting to see where Sakevyvh goes next and whether the hint of electronics being introduced on ‘Fragile’ is developed.
With neoclassical artists like Max Richter and A Winged Victory For the Sullen gaining popularity, there is perhaps a solid niche that will see Endless Melancholy being given the sort of exposure music this good deserves. It is an album of hope, not despair. Fragile by name and nature. There’s a time in everyone’s life when an album like ‘Fragile’ is prescriptive. (c) Kevin Scott // Echoes and Dust
released 21 October 2014
Piano by Oleksiy Sakevych
Viola by Anatoliy Gavrilov
Cello by Vladimir Babutin
Mastering by James Plotkin
Special thanks to Anton Belov, Konstantin Naumenko
Photography by Aldona Pieniążek