Autumn Falls @ AB Club - Brussel (be)
Since 2000, we’ve been living in a post-apocalyptic world. An apocalypse which, admittedly, never took place. No worldwide system crash, no extra-terrestrial takeover, no enormous meteorite. The sun didn’t fall from the sky. Your favourite trousers didn’t even rip. None of this means, however, that our fear of the world ending has gone. In fact, quite the opposite.
People are more afraid than ever of other people and how they spend their days.
And of course, there’s Mother Nature. No-one ever knows what she’s up to. Apart from the cosmic radiation going on in the background.
Needless to say, as a pianist, approaching such heavy topics is quite difficult. The soul knows no difference between a tiger attack, an angry email from the bank or a stupid look from your neighbour.
If people feel threatened, it usually comes from a place of fear. And what is frightening people today is becoming more and more abstract, leading to an even blurrier fear of life.
Through the 12 very personal compositions that make up “Sweet Apocalypse,” Lambert faces up to these fears that have long been haunting people and that will continue to haunt people for many years to come.
At times he provides solace, at others he strokes the cat we call melancholy. From among the fear he elicits a larger-than-life pathos and allows us to unexpectedly hover above reality.
Lambert’s third album – his first for London-based label Mercury KX – once again proves the masked pianist can capture the complete emotional rollercoaster of life with enormous ease.
His flair for melodies both big and small is extraordinary.
Throughout the album, it feels like the exceptionally-talented Lambert will never run out of these delicate melodies, despite his horned, bullish appearance. Sure, this is down to his Sardinian carnival mask, which leaves him looking like the beast from the world-famous French fairy tale. Then again, you should never judge a book by its cover.
Time and again, fans and media get curious about the man behind the mask. But secretly, they don’t want the mask to ever come off so bit by bit, note by note, they can overcome their fear of his somewhat creepy appearance. Only this way can we face up to the beast within us all, the one that lives beneath the hard asphalt and concrete crust in a dark corner. Only then can we learn to love it as it is.
To accompany the pieces, Berlin-based artist Moki has created an associative, surreal world of images, a world of Pierre Pairault (“The Wild Planet”), Maurice Sendak (“Where the Wild Things Are”) and dystopian wall calendars of the 80s, so you can quite literally come face to face with the unusual whilst listening.
Moki was involved in the early development process of the album. She listened to the first drafts of the songs and painted them. Lambert dropped into her studio and, inspired by her images, added small details to his recordings; a chorus voice here, an echo effect there. He even composed a complete wind set.
So, in the end “Sweet Apocalypse” became a wonderful synthesis of many individual pieces of art. And as we listen, we wait with fear for what we know in our heart of hearts. That once the last piece is finished, we must simply start again from the beginning. Yes, tomorrow is another day. That was the case yesterday at least.