Juan María Solare – Lo intransferible (Album)

The new album of composer Juan María Solare tells a story. Not an ordinary five-minute conversational one though. And certainly, the album is not like a small-talk-styled chat. The melodies will take you to a different place and grant you an intimate insight into the artist’s soul.

“Lo intransferible” contains a total of 11 tracks that are designed to be felt. Starting with “Puerta al jardín” (“Door to the garden”), the opening chapter of this musical journey has a dark base. Not pitch black, but rather like nature at night, a restless mind with so many questions it makes the heart heavy and the soul tired. As the melodies describe this scenery for me, the signature melancholy can be felt along the slow progressing notes. “Perfumado despertar” (“Scented awakening”) on the next page of this musical story does contain a vibe I only can describe as memories of things that happened a long time ago but are still present. You gotta love the bittersweet chords brightening the scenery, yet the melodic concept always reserves the right to transmit a tad bit of sadness.

This interchange between brightness and sadness is one of the most remarkable things in the album of Solare. I am stunned by the ability of any tune of the album to switch seamlessly between positive and negative, but never with brute force, it rather feels like the dawning of a day. “Lozanía de un caluroso invierno” (“Lushness of a warm winter”) is no different, with a heavy undertone, the tune for me tries to “hold the head up high” so to speak. As the sound creates pictures in the listener’s head, the track uses an expression that suddenly hits, as well as silky textures that feel like a daydream.

At this time, I’d like to state that the tracks do have a very specific meaning created and described by the artist, yet what you read here might differ from that. I chose to not state the intention of the artist for the sole reason of showing the beauty of music – while I do find similarities in how the music is intended, felt, and received, there are many other interpretations possible, and every other listener has a different perception. If you want to learn about the original idea behind the songs, I invite you to contact the composer to get insight. Today, I’m just describing the impact the sound has on me.

I chose to tell you this fact because the next track is the most intense and impactful for me. “Sin ellas, sin él” (“without them, without him”) describes the absence of souls in such a frightening clarity that it kind of hit me where it hurts. With single melodies fading into the void, with fragile playful melodies that won’t stay, this track finds a way to let you feel the loss, the grief, and the pain felt when loved ones are not with you. Added are some dense passages that get an almost desperate undertone into the tune, unanswered questions, and an angry demand for answers. To be honest, this tune got me in tears because of its relatable core.

“Esto también pasará” (“this too shall pass”) for me throws a lot of unanswered questions at the listener and feels a bit like being lost in a maze. You try to make sense of everything, you try to find a way out and to see the light of day again, and while there are brief moments where all of it seems to work out, in the end, there are still those dark clouds hovering over you. It’s a situation that the next track called “Como un cosecha de claridad” (“As a harvest of clarity”) tries to brighten. With more lightweight melodies, the track takes away some weight and heaviness from the general mindset happening throughout this phase of the album. You can feel what I’d like to describe as a “walk toward the brightness” happening with this and the next track. “Casa no es un lugar, es un tiempo, y ese tiempo ya no existe” (“Home is not a place but a time – and this time doesn’t exist anymore”). The core of the tune transmits a certain clarity, a way of acknowledging the facts at hand, while still acknowledging the bitter core of the situation. In a way, the tune is a companion to the next track of the album called “Lo que nunca nos dijimos” (“what we never said each other”). Being the second most expressive tune on the album in my opinion, the track dares to question the need for verbosity in communication, and it does so in a very sensitive way. (I did a detailed review on this track a couple of months back, you can read it here.)

“Lejana transparencia” (“Distant transparence”) uses a seemingly minimal basic melody, yet it’s exactly this special ingredient that gives the track a very vulnerable approach. To paint a picture, for me, the track feels like the birth of a thought. A final verdict at the end of a long thinking process if you will. One spark of thought evolves into an assertive vibe that needs to settle in. The great thing about this tune is its minimal approach which isn’t so minimal after all, because of the expressive atmosphere it creates. “Oculto en las hojas” (“Hidden in the leaves”) somehow uses the special momentum that the spark of thought initialized, turning the fragile single thought into a movement. The playing style along the chosen melody contains something flowing, moving with a stirring twist. There’s a confident emotion present that for me shakes the coat of darkness, standing up and looking forward. The album ends with “Aunque el cielo se derrame de presencia” (“Though the sky be poured out with presence / Even if the sky spills presence”), a track that feels like watching the sunrise. A conclusion that cannot be seen as an end but only a beginning, the soft melodies transmit a hopeful texture that has a certain understanding and peaceful aura.

All in all, the whole album doesn’t only contain music. It contains heart and soul, and for me, it’s the window to a very sensitive and emotional side of Juan María Solare. And by offering this window, the artist pointed out what it’s about in music: to move people. To make them think. To trigger emotions, and to tell a story. To make them feel what the artist felt when creating it. And finally, to give enough room for interpretation. What you read today is just one of many interpretations, and I invite you to find your own.

Connect with Juan María Solare:

The artwork was specially created for this occasion by London artist Alban Low.

The recording was made at Access All Areas Studios in Bremen, under the guidance of sound engineer Nils Völcker.

This project was supported by the Commissioner for Culture and Media of the German Federal Government as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR program – Scholarship Program of the German Music Council 2022.

Florian Maier

Owner of kms reviews. Drummer. Sound explorer. Music enthusiast. Critic. Writer. Husband. Father. All stacked up in 1.88 m, 84 kg.
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