Calma is Omar Sosa’s fifth solo piano recording, a work of singular artistry, featuring Omar’s unique and original approach to the genre. The CD is comprised of 13 solo piano improvisations, fusing stylistic elements of jazz, classical new music, ambient, and electronica. As the title implies, the overall feeling is relaxed and introspective, without any attempt to impress technically. Rather, the intent is to evoke a mood of reflection and contemplation.
As Omar describes: “Each song is an inspiration for the next, and improvisation is the basis of the musical expression. I wanted to play from beginning to end without thinking – just feeling where each note would take me, following the voice of my soul. It’s possible that silence, yearning, hope, optimism, and sadness all travel hand-in-hand in many of the songs”.
The recording features a rarely heard combination of acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, and various electronic effects and sampled sounds. All of these instruments were recorded live together in the studio, without overdubs – the artist interacting spontaneously, in real-time, with the various sonic elements.
Omar’s unorthodox harmonic sensibilities are evident throughout Calma. We hear surprising harmonic turns, with sonorities blending and resolving in unpredictable ways. And Omar’s subtle and integral use of the electronic elements lends a layer of sonic richness and depth to many of the tracks.
Rhythmically, the feeling of the CD is unhurried and meditative. Sensations of floating and suspension of time prevail. Melodically, the thematic material on Calma is quiet and restrained. We can imagine the melodic sensibilities of Erik Satie meeting those of Pierre Boulez.
Calma was recorded at Systems Two in Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 2009