11 Songs, 56 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings
18 Ratings

From MainlyPiano

KathyPiano7

"Rising" is the second full-length album from pianist/composer Vicente Avella and his first album of all original compositions. His debut album, "All the Days of My Life," was released in 2013 and was named “Best Solo Piano Album” by One World Music Awards and received an “Award of Excellence for Instrumental Performance Solo” from Global Music Awards. Born and raised in Venezuela, Avella has been writing and performing internationally since 1998. He has scored numerous independent films, orchestrated and worked on music production for major network television shows, and written music for worldwide advertising. Where the first album was solo piano, "Rising" is piano and orchestration with live musicians (strings, bass, guitars, percussion and wordless vocals). The overall theme of "Rising" is “life, its joys, its struggles and especially the strength needed to overcome life’s obstacles” (quoting Vicente Avella). The eleven pieces are varied and often emotionally charged and intense, much like life itself! Avella recorded the music and most of the instrumental parts in Southern California and then traveled to Italy to work with sound engineer Michael Seberich on the mixing process. Avella wanted the music to have a wide range of expression and to have a sound that wasn’t classical or pop but a balance of both. It was well worth the trip, as the sound quality is excellent and very dynamic. I love "All the Days of My Life," but "Rising" is even more personal with a wider range of expression. I can pretty much guarantee that "Rising" will be one of my Favorite Albums of 2018.

"Rising" begins with “Yours,” a tender, graceful love song for piano and strings that’s sets a romantic tone. “For Always” is a nine-minute piece not unlike some of Ludovico Einaudi’s music. A rhythmic pattern runs through much of the piece to keep it moving forward, but the melody itself is actually quite spare, played mostly on the piano. Strings intensify the poignance and emotional quality of the music - beautiful! I love the title track! Mysterious and very intense, this one grabbed me right away. There are several themes running through the piece - some are very rhythmic with a strong beat, some are quieter and haunting, and some exude a buoyant joyfulness. You have to hear this one! Avella did much of the composing for this album either before his family woke up or after they went to bed, so I’m sure he’s quite familiar with the calm peacefulness of “Daybreak,” setting it to music. “Relentless” is another favorite. Dark and very intense, the piano, strings and percussion draw you in and never let go. Love it! “Everything” is much lighter and more carefree. It’s very difficult to sit still while listening to this one! “Turning Point” begins with a dark, ominous theme that is intense and compelling. As the piece progresses, it stays very dramatic, but begins to lighten a bit, ending with a triumphant burst of energy. “Looking Up At the Sky” is more of a concept piece and is somewhat more ambient. At 10 1/2 minutes, it has plenty of time to create a relaxing atmosphere that is warm and soothing while maintaining a slight edge. The piano and strings blend together well to tell their hypnotic story, building to an energetic midsection, quieting and closing with a flourish - another gorgeous piece! “Turning Off the Noise” brings this excellent album to a very tranquil close, keeping is simple, open and heartfelt.

"Rising" is an album that really demonstrates Vicente Avella’s versatility as well as his passion, and I’m sure it will be widely recognized as one of the best albums of the year. I give it my highest recommendation.

Elegant and passionate instrumental music

CandiceMichelle1

Vicente Avella is a Venezuelan pianist and composer who’s scored numerous independent films, as well as orchestrated and worked on music production for major network television shows. In 2013, he released his debut solo-piano album, All the Days of My Life: The Wedding Album. Vicente’s sophomore album, Rising, incorporates additional instruments and styles into the fold with its varying arrangements of piano, strings, guitar, percussion and electronics. Comprised of eleven songs spanning approximately fifty-seven minutes, the album beautifully showcases an overall compelling range of emotion, enthusiasm and passion.

“Yours” opens with gently waltzing piano chords that are played in a repeating pattern with the left-hand and accompanied by a subtle swell of strings. Soon entering the composition is a piano melody initially comprised of single notes played with the right hand, as this combined arrangement becomes increasingly fuller with the composition overall swaying gently to and fro. Subtly brightening the mood a bit is “For Always”, a comparatively more fluid piece that boasts a repetitious stream of piano chords within a melodic ensemble of strings, as starker, sparsely-placed piano notes perfectly lend bolder accents along the way. One particular highlight is the title track, “Rising”, which showcases beautifully resonating piano chords within a mostly minor-key motif. Entering periodically throughout is a stringed percussive type of rhythm that lends the composition an infectious power, as it proceeds along in a galloping fashion that overall conveys both a sense of cinematic drama and pensive thought. The ensuing “Daybreak” is an expectedly optimistic and engagingly lively piece, which boasts a more contemporary piano melody amid a dynamically colorful string arrangement.

Another notably intriguing piece is “I’m Ok”, which features a buoyant arrangement of piano and violin that’s underscored throughout by a steady, staccato drumbeat. Likewise notable is the lengthy “Looking up at the Sky”, which clocks in at nearly ten-and-a-half minutes. One of my favorites, it mesmerizingly moves along like a rushing river, eventually picking up course at about the midway point before winding down to another pause of calm towards the end. Another highlight is the aptly-titled closing piece, “Turning off the Noise”, which is perfectly understated and somewhat minimal, as drifty piano notes hover in the mid-to-higher registers amid softly suspended strings emanating from the lower range.

Sure to appeal to a variety of listeners although especially those who enjoy classical-crossover styles, Rising is an impressive fusion of neoclassical and contemporary instrumental music that's wrapped in both passion and elegance!

Love this album!

The Pasadena Dude

I can’t stop listening to this music! I really liked Avella’s first album but this one is something else. Get it! You won’t be disappointed.

About Vicente Avella

Vicente Avella is a pianist and composer, working on several projects and in several positions at once, as so many musicians have done for centuries to earn a living. Avella was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He was 17 years old before he took his first real piano lesson, but had already written rock songs for himself and friends to play during high school. When he was 20, he began pursuing a piano performance degree at Indiana University, which was followed by a Master's degree in composition at the Eastman School of Music. Since then, Avella has assisted with music production for the television shows Family Guy and American Dad; he writes scores for independent films, directs music at more than one church, and teaches courses for Berklee College of Music Online Extension. He also performs as a soloist and in chamber groups in the Los Angeles area. With the guidance of Windham Hill's Will Ackerman, Avella released his first album in 2013: All the Days of My Life: The Wedding Album. It featured his own compositions and arrangements of classics often heard at weddings, but with a much more contemporary sound. The album and his music has earned some recognition by contemporary music organizations, and he received an ASCAP award each year between 2006 and 2013. ~ Patsy Morita

HOMETOWN
Caracas, Venezuela
GENRE
New Age

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