For Sofiane Pamart, creativity is not found within the confines of daily routine, but beyond his horizons in the unfamiliar world. The Moroccan-French composer and pianist, who is one of the ten most streamed classical artists on Earth, finds that his muse awakens when he plunges himself into foreign climes, whether stylistically, as with his collaboration with Belgian hip-hop artist Scylla in 2018, or geographically, as with 2022’s Letter, which he wrote while touring Asia.
It was the latter technique that fostered this third solo album, written during several months of travel from Mexico to Chile. Listening to Noche, there is nothing that tells us that we are in Latin America, but we do share in that relatable first rush of excitement that comes from the discovery of new beauty in the world. The spiritual clarity and refreshment that elucidated these fifteen tracks for Pamart carries over to the listener, and we are transported out of our own routines and into the new.
The stillness of moonlight serves as the album’s setting, a cool, unblemished space broken only by Pamart’s piano notes. They trip elegantly on the title track, like a breeze billowing against net curtains; on the tremulous ‘Miedo’, they flutter like nervous heartbeats. The more we listen, the more our ears adjust to the quiet and the extraneous buzz of our outside life fades away.
Pamart cannot resist melody, luring us into a singalong on the pop song-structured ‘Estrella’, and ‘Pelicula’ is driven by bolder, bassier playing than the rest of the album, while the aching reverb in the pregnant spaces between the high notes of ‘Muerte’ suggest the pang of something that has been lost.
With Letter, Pamart was primarily concerned with engaging in an exchange with his audience, but on Noche, it seems that he has retreated into his own solitude, and the effect is that Noche is an album brimming with the assured contentedness that so many of us long for. By escaping from the daily churn of his own life, Pamart has provided a place where we too can do the same.
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