A bold reimagining of classical music fueled by a childhood love for the piano and finessed with innovative sound design, 'Waterpiano' is the latest evocative cinematic vision from Berlin-based Italian electronic composer Julian Zyklus. The 4-song suite follows up his 2019 debut solo album 'Four Dimensional Waves' and continues Julian’s tradition of exploring conceptual sonic words, this time adding a whimsical aqueous twist on a timeless sound.
Following decades of studying piano and synthesizers, and a handful of years playing synths as a member of the veteran Italian alternative rock band A Toys Orchestra, Julian Zyklus connected with Hush Hush Records in 2019 for the release of his adventurous solo debut album 'Four Dimensional Waves.' Based on the cyclic idea of a universe born through a white hole that moves and grows through four-dimensional waves before arriving at its final black hole, the celestial-minded album confidently showcased Julian’s mastery of synthesizers and his innate ability to conjure up fantastical soundscapes through intricate sound design.
Upon closing the chapter on 'Four Dimensional Waves,' Julian was summoned back to the piano. Propelled by his childhood memories of feeling free, airy, and weightless with the classical instrument underneath his fingers, he soon began obsessing over the music of Frédéric Chopin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Claude Debussy, and Erik Satie. For nearly two years, his sole passion for music was found in playing and studying pieces by these iconic classical composers known for their whimsical and serene melodies. Their distinctive expressive style soon seeped into Julian’s own work, as his solo compositions began to take on an enhanced and elevated nostalgic tone.
Julian’s love for digital synthesis – specifically his passion for delay – soon crept back into the picture. Combining his classical piano motifs with the endless possibilities of modern technology, Julian began experimenting within Ableton and creating different patches with Max for Live, filtering his piano through an array of digital and modular delays to capture an aesthetic that began to mimic the sound of water. During this creative burst, Julian serendipitously found himself immersed in the works of pioneering Italian composer Luciano Berio, with a particular draw to his seminal piece “Wasserklavier.” The German word for water piano, Julian had stumbled upon his muse with “Wasserklavier” at the helm and he dove deep into fully realizing his own take on the 'Waterpiano.'
The result is a magical four-track suite that finds Julian Zyklus putting a distinctive underwater spin on contemporary classical music. With its determined shift away from the outer-galactic terrain of 'Four Dimensional Waves,' Julian revels in an immersive aqueous sonic experience throughout 'Waterpiano' that captures a visceral yet delightfully slippery sound where the past and future beautifully co-exist.
released February 22, 2022
Recorded between Kasataie Studio and Goldmine Records.
Composed, produced and mixed by Julian Zyklus.
Mastered by Zino Mikorey.
Cover artwork by Paolo Barretta.
Tape artwork layout by Chris Robles.
Special thanks to Marco Landi.
Stunning work from everyone involved! Each track is perfectly placed in the the compilation, so relaxing and beautiful. This project is so meaningful to me as a female/queer artist and as someone who focuses a lot on my own mental health... it shines light on an area that needs more representation and attention. This vinyl is already a treasured part of my collection, thank you!