Antonija Pacek - Spark  - Stereo Stickman

Antonija Pacek Spark 


Since the release of her timelessly evocative project Seasons Of Life, back in 2022, composer and pianist Antonija Pacek has remained immersed in the creative process, and this summer launches a brand new album of breathtakingly delicate and melodically enchanting originals.

The compositions of Spark are Antonija’s original scores for the theatre play Woman Anthem, which premieres in Pula on June 28th. The play explores the life of Paula Preradovic, who wrote the lyrics for the Austrian national anthem.

Beginning with its distinct and moving title-track, Spark depicts a sense of instrumental story and precision united under a refreshingly humble, purposeful musicality. The work feels devoted to its story, this prolonged melodic venture of changing emotions – rather than simply a showcase of the quickness and skill of a pianist. That approach is rare these days, and allows the album to ignite its rightful spark within the first few moments of listening.

Reminiscent follows, again underlying the fact that these compositions are both impressively original and rooted in structure and story. Each piece has a recognisable returning thread – a neo-classical approach that permits the music a navigable mainstream quality; no doubt perfect to accompany any number of visual projects.

For now, things feel melancholic but hopeful, the latter evolving notably for this second track, but the former returning as things calm to uncertainty again; the idea of reminiscing bringing both longing and joyful nostalgia.

Gentle and purposeful playing is key to the Antonija Pacek style, but versatility in the creative realm is also a crucial aspect, and we hear that within the shift to the likes of a rhythmic and mildly colourful River – a beautifully unusual, unpredictable but still evocatively satisfying work; a sincerely original track, and a personal favourite.

For Night Orchestral, the solo piano meets with distant strings, to aptly represent the vintage reverb and unity of the title. The intensity rises sublimely, a boldly euphoric listen that effectively redirects the entire emotional journey of Spark.

We return to mild optimism and dreamy contemplation, for the intimate solo piece Stars, before the almost lullaby-like quiet and wonder of Elegy intrigues and provokes. Then for Shadow, a more familiar progression appears to reground things – those mainstream flavours and patterns soothing the mood just briefly. In Your Eyes afterwards has a similarly comforting warmth about it.

The mystique of Goodbye Heike is well placed, a spacious and engaging solo work, with long-form melodies and moments of stillness uniting across this thoughtfully unique arrangement. Then we get to the second single from the album, the wonderful rise and fall of an artistically focused The Wave. The authenticity of the sound shines well here, the gentle thud of the keys, the contrasting lightness and changing pace of the playing maintaining the wildness of waves.

For track 11, Once Upon A Time recaptures our attention with story and sentiments both uncertain and alluring. The imagined marching rhythm and the extensive melodic array provides a vastness that’s incredibly moving as it surrounds you. And to finish, Sun Will Shine gathers back the optimism of earlier, returning to the hopeful implications of Spark, and wrapping things up with joyful energy and something like an uplifting musical dance.

Also included is a bonus track entitled The Sea Lullaby, the second piece to incorporate more than just piano – a vocal cloud of togetherness and reverb, distance and unity walking hand in hand; one final nod to the creative conceptual undertones of Spark.

Antonija Pacek always presents new music with a certain realness and level of storytelling that’s revitalising to listen to, and forever reminds us of the power of music when crafted from a place of pure creative expression and a love for the process. Spark is a wonderful instrumental album, an easy one to let play, but all the more rewarding when you fully tune in to the sound.

Album out June 28th. Find Antonija Pacek via her Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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