Adhal is a brand new release of piano-based work from the Italian composer under the moniker of Oberlunar. The first public release from the artist, Adhal is a unique collection of pieces that express a deep complexity of feeling and experience. Through the journey of seven individual tracks, we are taken through a rich tapestry of emotion, sensation and personal understanding. It is intimate, dark and raw in its portrayal of its feeling. Each piece, through its own unique working, is unafraid to express its own complex melding of mood and thought. They are whimsical, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and unafraid to express what they want.
As a composer, Oberlunar comes from a very musical background, having been exposed to the piano at an early age. Growing up, the artist explored many themes and styles in playing, including jazz and contemporary Italian music, which served as a foundation for his unique lens. In a brief interview, he tells me how his classical and humanistic studies have influenced his music greatly, and that his academic understanding in computer science has informed the work present in Adhal. Using his PhD in Artificial and Computational Intelligence to inform his work, Oberlunar explores the interconnectedness and relationship between human and machine processes. Hearing the work in and of itself, that much is evident. There is a certain balance he achieves with this album; a strange and eery space that lives between the dynamic world of human empowerment and error, and the pristine, unsettling perfection of artificial intelligence.
On an even deeper, technical level, Adhal takes inspiration from machine algorithms themselves to compose many of its motifs, intentionally worked with his own musical style and purpose. Yet this technique is approached in a very human way, and its feeling of bridging the organic and the mechanical is intensified with every note played. It furthers the ideas and thematic grounding of the whole album, which seeks so fervently to embrace and explore the modern space – or lack thereof – between man and machine, particularly in the context of composer and musical algorithm. It is a most curious work, and this philosophy that drives it succeeds in furthering its unique and mysterious nature. It raises questions that are important for all of us in this modern age, as we seek to bring our connection with technology closer and closer. It is an album of self-discovery and assessment, urging the listener to sit in a quiet and enclosed space of inward contemplation and unbiased perspective.
Adhal seeks to challenge and empower, inspire and engage. Plunged in a deep sincerity of personal exploration, this album is an intimate and raw testimony to Oberlunar’s experience and understanding as a musician, a computer scientist and a human.
Adhal bridges the unseen spaces of reality and inspires deep meditation on ideas and feelings that often lay dormant. This is a truly remarkable work that presents itself as a powerful first contribution from a talented composer and is highly recommended to all who are willing to explore the intricacies of the human condition.
Benjamin T. Steed