Mark Tranmer
Mark Tranmer

Mark Tranmer & Alessandra Celletti The Red Pages/How Scarlet The Leaves

25-track piano-based album recorded live in the studio in Rome with piano virtuoso Alessandra Celletti.

The album includes eight themes written by Tranmer: the struggle; the lake; gogol; costume drama; slow landscape; lullaby; as the fog thickens; and Halloween. The other album tracks are variations of seven of these themes,written collaboratively by Tranmer and Celletti.

Alessandra Celletti played almost all the piano on the album, with Tranmer contributing guitar on some pieces and occasional extra piano hands on others. The album was recorded live in Millennium Studio, Rome, engineered by Daniela Bombelli.

Artwork is by Timothy O’Donnell (4AD & 160over90.com).

Tracklisting

The Red Pages

The Struggle: Main Theme [2:14]
The Struggle: Variation One [1:47]
The Struggle: Variation Two [1:20]
The Struggle: Variation Three [0:49]
The Struggle: Variation Four [1:16]
The Lake: Main Theme [5:06]
The Lake: Variation One [2:22]
The Lake: Variation Two [1:43]
Gogol: Main Theme [3:10]
Gogol: Variation One [2:55]
Costume Drama: Main Theme [3:21]
Costume Drama: Variation One [1:42]
Costume Drama: Variation Two [1:37]
Slow Landscape: Main Theme [2:43]
Slow Landscape: Variation One [2:00]
Slow Landscape: Variation Two [1:44]
Slow Landscape: Variation Three [3:31]
Lullaby: Main Theme [1:39]
Lullaby: Variation One [1:24]
Lullaby: Variation Two [2:15]
Lullaby: Variation Three [1:10]
Lullaby: Variation Four [1:13]
As The Fog Thickens: 1 [1:18]
As The Fog Thickens: 2 [1:57]
Halloween [3:54]

The physical version of the album includes a second CD which comprises three sections: a keyboard-based solo album by Tranmer entitled The Unread Pages; demos for the Red Pages recorded live by Tranmer and Celletti in Alessandra’s flat; and home studio versions of tracks from The Red Pages recorded by Tranmer. The original CD was credited to gnac with Alessandra Celletti.

The Unread Pages

Moscow [3:20]
Console I [1:14]
Console II [2:58]
Icicle Forest [2:27]
Scuba [5:13]
Breathe [1:49]
Grandeur [4:38]
Old Friend [3:50]
Villa Borghese [1:35]
Rione Monti [2:54]

Review

The Red Pages is a collaboration that happened over two days (seemingly on the hoof) in a studio in Rome between composer and multi-instrumentalist, Mark Tranmer (who goes by the name of gnac) and pianist Alessandra Celletti. And they must have had a ball, because there’s a fair bit of music for a two day session; the first CD is around an hour in length, and the second CD is chockfull of demo’s different versions and the like.

Disc one is split up into sections named The Struggle, The Lake, Gogol, Costume Drama, Slow Landscape, Lullaby, As the Fog Thickens and Halloween respectively. Bits are very memorable indeed: the Lake suite comprises of three beautiful evocations of slowly moving or still water. Sometimes the music is bolstered by some soft guitar runs, (when this happens there’s a very close link to the kind of stuff Popol Vuh did in the mid ‘70s). Gogol - I presume we’re all thinking about the Russian comic writer here - is a good title for the two whimsical pieces that go by his name. And the pieces for As The Fog Thickens and Halloween are tremendously sinister at times.

Some of the more enigmatically named pieces sometimes seem to have little to do with their names, however. I can’t really visualize any struggle inherent in The Struggle, and I’m struggling to equate Costume Drama with the beautifully floating pastoral tracks on here.

No matter, this is a great LP to relax to.

(incendiarymag.com)

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The Red Pages
The Red Pages