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Music Review: Pillow – From Dusk to Dawn

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Pillow is the nom de plume of musician Luca Di Mira, whose From Dusk to Dawn is a recording with a brilliantly perfect title. If the name Pillow, and the title evoke images of the nighttime world for you, that is most assuredly the intended effect. The nine tracks of From Dusk to Dawn bring to mind the netherworld of dreamtime in a variety of ways. There is a scenic quality to each of these haunting pieces, each in a very different way.

Do Pillow play “bedtime music” though? Not at all. And to be clear, what I mean to say is that while the tempos are low-key, this is no New Age drivel by any means. In fact, while the piano of Luca Di Mira is bathed in some gorgeous atmospheres, it all adds up to a mysteriously compelling 41-minute set of music.

The opening two-minute track “A Dream (part 1)” serves as a ideal introduction. This effect of From Dusk to Dawn is indeed dreamlike, but one of those ones where you catch yourself the next morning wondering just what the hell was going on in your head to produce such a variety of visions. “Northern Latitudes” follows, with Di Mira’s piano providing the key, amidst an unobtrusive, yet fully enveloping wash of sound.

Luca shows a bit more of his hand with the fully developed “A Dream (part 2).” The track fulfills the promise of the first part, and more. It is definitely a separate entity from the first part, and features the first appearance of drums on the album. They are subdued, but still sort of striking in context. The 6:31 song is something of a dream in itself, taking us in a multitude of musical directions along the way. There is a moment of sparkling incandescence towards the close of the tune, which adds yet another element to this most ambiguous recording.

The magnum opus of From Dusk to Dawn is “Silent Journey (The Fall/Drifting/The Awakening).” I imagine there is a progressive rock album or two in the collection of Luca, as the three-part track clocks in at 12:15. Beyond the fact of the tri-part construction of the piece, and the length, “Silent Journey” has none of the pompous connotations of prog. It could have been broken down into three separate cuts, had Luca chosen to do so. But I am glad he has presented it the way he has, because the blend is a fully engulfing one.

What other title could end such a journey other than “Lullaby?” The tune begins with a basic solo piano melody, repeated a few times, which (dare I say it), lulls us into a certain frame of mind. But a musician of Di Mira’s talent would certainly not be content with simply taking us out in this manner. While the mood remains subdued, the heavenly voices and musical atmospheres which close the song, and disc are brilliant.

Pillow’s From Dusk to Dawn is a recording of sublime beauty, and one which gives those of us who sometimes yearn for a bit of quiet a marvelous choice. This unusually charismatic work may be a little difficult to find, but one guaranteed source would be the wide-ranging North American distributor Forced Exposure.

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