Music immerses Karluca’s life since the age of six when he first begins taking classical piano lessons at the conservatory. His exposure to different sorts of music during those early years shapes his musical trajectory from that point forward, but Karluca later branches out into styles beyond classical, baroque, and contemporary piano. He starts playing keyboards in his early teens for a variety of alternative, rock, and gothic bands and imbues his playing with a growing affection for electronic music. He parlays his penchant for memorable melodies into placing his instrumental compositions in a variety of documentaries, commercials, as well as short and feature films. His fifteen years plus experience as a composer and producer helps his collection Piano Sentiments One stand out in a genre that never quite enjoys the attention and respect it deserves.
You hear the skillful use of melody from the first. Elegant piano playing underpins the opening track “Amore” and it is impossible that Karluca’s deft juxtaposition of dueling melodies doesn’t impress. There is a melancholic atmosphere emanating from this composition but he never shrouds it in despair; instead, there’s a near poetic spirit filling the musical passages with gravitas instead of darkness. “Awaken” continues his wont for coupling keyboard textures onto piano driven foundations and has simmering energy listeners latch onto from the outset. He deserves fulsome praise for the seamless synthesis of traditional piano and electronic instrumentation he achieves; few compositions on Piano Sentiments One reflect this better than “Awaken”.
“Dream” connects with listeners immediately thanks, once again, to Karluca’s talent for counterpointing melodies and marrying the electronic with the traditional. There’s palpable energy running throughout this composition and choral styled vocals reinforcing the song’s mood. It marks a return of sorts to the melancholy of the album opener, but there’s a wider sense of grandeur present here. “In Love” adds more ingredients to Karluca’s unique instrumental blend with its light percussion and the composition approximates the emotional bounce experienced by those under love’s spell. It proves Karluca’s collection mixes moods in an effective way rather than positioning himself as an one trick musical pony.
The classical inclinations present in “Life Within” are impossible to ignore, but Karluca introduces synthesizer colors onto his canvas that bring the composition even more to life. The meditative quality defining almost every track Karluca includes in Piano Sentiments One remains prominent as well, but never lapses into the moodiness characterizing some of the other cuts. The album concludes with “Working Men”, a muscular piece driven by a terse piano riff and given extra oomph thanks to recurring percussion touches throughout the track. It’s one of the stormier numbers Karluca on this release and ends Piano Sentiments One in dramatic fashion.
Some fail to hear the value in instrumental music and the fault sometimes lies with the composer; they follow one line of attack throughout their work and the lack of variation dooms their efforts to capture an audience. There are no such failings present in Karluca’s work. The eleven songs comprising Piano Sentiments One possess abundant musical riches and Karluca presents an assortment of textures for listeners to enjoy. It’s a satisfying and fulfilling release from beginning to end.
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