Tag Archives: Mark Hollis

Giancarlo Erra’s Adagio

Erra’s first solo album, ENDS (Kscope, 2019)

Crazily enough, Apple’s iTunes gave me the choice to categorize Giancarlo Erra’s latest album, ENDS, as either “new age” or classical.  I had no idea that “new age” was still a category or a genre or a label or anything less than a slur when still employed. The whole process of choosing this reminded me of how much I despise labels—for people or for music.

There’s really only one proper description for Erra’s album, ENDS: art. Best known for his rather ethereal and spacy art rock band (oh, those labels again!), Nosound, ENDS is Erra’s first solo album. Eight songs long, the album feels most like a wordless song-cycle, a meandering and a deepening and a widening of several achingly gorgeous melodies. There’s certainly nothing resembling rock—of any variety—on this album, but the various keyboards and deeper strings bring the listener very close to the music of the spheres, with elements of Henryk Gorecki and Mark Hollis informing but not shaping Erra’s creation.

Even the very titles of the eight songs–III, II, I, VII, V, IV, VI, Coda—seemingly offer us nothing in the way of personality. 

And, yet, ENDS is nothing but personality, beautiful and wide and deep—we are shown the very soul the artist. Not in an egotistical way, but in a perfectly humane way.

Above, I mentioned Gorecki and Hollis, but the more I listen to this glorious album, I feel as though I’m dwelling one of Bach’s adagios.