Marco Ielpo’s EP Arranging is one that quite perfectly suits the title of the project. The instrumental musician and artist has taken four fairly well known musical releases, and re-crafted them under his own, uniquely creative light.
What’s particularly interesting about this release is that the tracks have been arranged so that the artist can play both the acoustic guitar and the keyboard at the same time – literally with one hand on each instrument. Whether you consider this while listening or not, the music undoubtedly comes through with a distinct level of somewhat unorthodox ambiance, and yet at the same time – you recognise each of these songs pretty quickly as they begin to play. It’s a clever and refreshing way to pay tribute to effective music, and furthermore – the skill and dedication showcased throughout this EP marks Marco Ielpo as a brilliantly talented and passionate musician.
Havana is the opener, a piece that satisfies in a similar manner to the original, though as suggested it also presents these familiar tones and notes in a slightly non-traditional way. I Just Want to Make Love To You follows, and at this point the balance between the instruments is much more striking. There are equal parts impressive performance abilities shown from both sides of the soundscape. The contrast between them keeps your attention from start to finish, and it also creates this somewhat theatrical back and forth that really brightens up the arrangement.
In Cerca di Te / Hit The Road Jack is a piece that brings a sharp and sudden increase in energy and vibrancy. The track explodes into action, the guitar playing is phenomenal, and without question the prospect of a live show becomes a must. However short this project may seem, the music chosen works perfectly in highlighting a number of different positives about the work and creative drive of the artist. There’s so much that takes place within the walls of the EP, and this particular track is a real highlight in terms of musicianship and mood.
The final track of the EP is one that you’re surely certain to recognise from the offset. Marco Ielpo’s take on the iconic Purple Rain is a delicate and dreamlike one. Fusing the organic crispness of the guitar with the slightly more retro, electronic energy of the keys, this song makes for a pretty blissful final few minutes, further reminding you of the artistry behind the EP, of the musical abilities and knowledge and experience of the creative, as well as bringing you that last moment of escapism. This piece is a gorgeous way to finish as it presents you with a mood or string of emotions that haven’t yet been explored elsewhere in the collection.
As stated, Marco Ielpo covers a lot of ground on this release. The music is completely refreshing, familiar yet original in essence, loyal to the art that inspired it yet also indicative of a brand new, exciting sound. The only thing missing is to witness it all unfolding before you in real time. Well worth checking out.