A kaleidoscope of soundscapes inspired by conceptual and literary arts, Crossing, from bass player/composer Simon Sammut, incites the listener to reflect privately in moments of solitude. These are instrumentals, ambient and ethereal, designed for the individual to savor and assess their meaning. They impel the audience to mull over one’s life, the decisions pursued, and the outcome of choices made. Although Sammut’s inspiration for the instrumentals are personal to him, his source of inspiration is not immediately gleaned by the listener. The compositions are personal to the individual in other ways, setting the mind on a course to drift into one’s inner thoughts.
Instruments have a soft sonorous through “The Tin Soldier’s Last Dance,” as the keyboards blend into a whispery field of horns and guitar strings. The mood is solemn, as the rhythmic drumbeats form a buttress made of a marching cadence, giving audiences the impression of a soldier’s repetitive taps. Sammut’s inspiration for the piece is Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” a story about a toy soldier who experiences an escape from the toy chest, falling out a window, and being thrown into a hearth where it is melted down. The soldier is steadfast through each stage of its life. The music, like the story, incites audiences to reflect quietly and come in touch with their gentler emotions.
“Promethean Man” is equally introspective, exuding a calmness in the guitar strings that is ambient in texture and ethereal in its timbres. Inspired by the Greek myth about the God-like figure, Prometheus, who stole fire from Mount Olympus to give to humans, the music has a liquidity density, moving like air brushing across the surface of a stream. It grazes the top layer of one’s mind, stimulating sensations that make one ponder freely.
The guitar chords switch to a rootsy rock twang in”Frontier,” as the rollicking beat of the drums rumble with a country western esprit. The track is inspired by the concept of the states in America coming together, uniting communities newly developed as many territories merge to make one nation. The music is a sonic representation of the birth of modern America. The meaning is not easily discernible to the listener, who hears a bluesy twang in the guitar chords likened to Kenny Wayne Shepherd and an Allman Brothers-heat in the gamboling beat of the drums. The track could be interpreted as a homage to country western motifs.
Bass player Simon Sammut chose works of art that relate to life as the inspiration for his compositions. Though listeners may arrive at a different meaning for the soundscapes than the influences that moved Sammut to compose these tracks, the recording is a private experience, inciting listeners to contemplate the world around them, inviting them inside their thoughts. The music shows an appreciation for private solitude, offering a non-evasive companion for individuals who seek time alone with themselves.
Simon Sammut – upright and electric bass, Marc Galea – guitar, Tony Sammut – piano, Mark Attard – piano, Melchoir Busuttil – drums, percussion and programming, Jonathan Ellul – electric guitars, Kris Spiteri – melodica, Kevin Abela – trumpet, Ivan Borg – tenor saxophone, Godfrey Mifsud – baritone saxophone, Jesmond Azzopardi – bass trombone, Angela Grima – flute, Lena Sammut – voice
“The Tin Soldier’s Last Dance,” “Daruma Doll,” “Be the Change,” “Promethean Man,” “Crossing,” “Shades of Ember,” “Bell Ringer, ” “Fifty Something,” “Frozen Glass,” “Frontier,” “When Stone Comes to Life,” “Princes of Serendip”