How should we approach to this music. The most immediate is content, and because of an established prejudice, it goes around timbre. However, once one can trespass that hegemonic listening, one can see that this music is about form. It's a language. It's how Agustí deals with those materials. There's something about narration that makes the word "narration" become quite useless.
So the question is: is Agustí Fernández a great pianist or a great musician approaching the piano?
This album is called "Selfie" because I recorded it alone in my studio, with my piano, my microphones, and my recording equipment. It is or is supposed to be, an instant portrait of what I think/feel nowadays about music and the piano.
The recording method was very simple, I would even say primitive or basic. In the morning I would go to my studio, look at the piano and decide upon where to attack it. I would do a few takes and let it be. In the afternoon, I would listen and decide on which was the roundest take, the one that in my opinion had the most musical entity and got closer to what I was feeling when I was playing.
What's on this CD is a selection of various pieces that I've recorded over the past year, except the last piece, which I recorded at Tots Sants Studio in 2013 and is a piece that I hold dear. The titles of the pieces are simple labels to identify one from the other. I give them names just like parents give names to their children, nothing more. I mean that I don't want to tell a story with the music. There are no literary or landscape references, I don't want to translate concepts or metaphors into music. I have nothing to explain but the music I make. I just want to play the piano, my own way.
And what is this way? To start with, I understand the piano as a box with the potential to make all kinds of sounds. I play from the keyboard in the traditional way, but not exclusively so. For me, the essence of the piano is in the sounds that the vibrating strings emit, not the keyboard. You can make the strings vibrate in many ways, with different objects (as are the key hammers) or directly with the hands and fingers, which I also do.
It's my hands, fingers, ears, and spirit that are set in motion to create this music. When I play, I am the sounds that I produce. I bring them to life and they give life back to me. When I play, I let the music penetrate me and say what it wants to say, and I try to put as few impediments as possible. I listen intensely to the different colours and I seek to capture each instant, that's all. Pure music, or at least, that's what I attempt.
And so, what is reflected on this album is my sonic imagination based on what the piano gives me. With sensitivity, I let the sounds carry me to their depths, right to the limit of consciousness. Because I believe in the transformative power of sounds. When we listen to them carefully, they have a lot to tell us. About the world, ourselves, our society, or about the time in which we're living. And we can learn a lot from them. We just need to listen carefully.
This music (abstract from a certain viewpoint, which for me means purer, cleaner) is the soundtrack to my life, the one that reflects the musician that I am nowadays. My sounds might put some people on edge. I understand that. It also happens to me sometimes, and that might even be why I do it, to let them out and share them with you. I sincerely hope that you like them.
Sant Pere de Vilamajor, October 2020
released November 20, 2020
Tracks 1-10 recorded in 2020 at Estudi Les Orenetes, Sant Pere de Vilamajor, Barcelona, Spain
Track 11 recorded by Tots Sants on March 13, 2015 at La Casa Murada, Banyeres del Penedès, Tarragona, Spain.
Mixing and mastering engineer: Ferran Conangla
Liner notes: Agustí Fernández
English version: Sarah Claman
Graphic design: Enric Jardí
Produced by Sirulita Records