Sebastian Plano composes passionate, emotionally stirring pieces that fuse acoustic and electronic instrumentation. Layering piano, cello, and percussion with electronic sounds and treatments, his solo recordings often give the impression of full chamber ensemble performances. He has received notable attention for co-writing the score for the 2017 video game Everything, as well as his Grammy-nominated 2019 full-length Verve. After the release of a collaborative album with Maarten Vos, Plano issued his fourth solo LP, Save Me Not, in 2021. Plano was born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1985 to parents who played in the city's symphony orchestra. Influenced by classical music as well as tango, he began playing the cello when he was seven, and started writing music at 12. He was awarded full scholarships from institutes such as the United World College of the Adriatic, the Boston Conservatory, and the San Francisco Conservatory. He was also highly interested in electronic music, with Vangelis being a formative early influence, and experimented with music software in his spare time. He found some success with his early compositions -- a four-movement orchestral piece premiered at Rosario's Opera House in 2008. Plano self-released his first album, Arrhythmical Part of Hearts, in 2011, when he was living in San Francisco. Performing anywhere he possibly could, from the park and the metro to art galleries and house parties, he drummed up interest in his work, and eventually Denovali Records expressed interest in releasing his music. Nils Frahm mastered Plano's second album, Impetus, and he also recommended the label, who simultaneously released Impetus and reissued Arrhythmical Part of Hearts in 2013. Before Denovali released these albums, Plano had finished recording a third full-length, as well as an EP with cellist Jeffrey Ziegler. However, a thief broke into Plano's car and stole his computer and two hard drives, which contained the completed recordings, and they were never recovered. He relocated to Berlin and started re-creating his lost material, but ultimately wasn't satisfied with the results, and he decided to move on and write new music. Plano and Ben Lukas Boysen co-wrote music for the ambitious, universe-building video game Everything, which was released to much acclaim in 2017. Erased Tapes issued the score, with the full digital release containing over three hours of music. In 2018, Plano participated in a project called Keynvor, which incorporated sounds from the Atlantic Ocean and aimed to raise awareness about sewage pollution. The EP Preservation was released that year by Mercury KX. The imprint then issued Plano's full-length Verve in 2019. The album was nominated for Best New Age Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The following year saw the release of &, a collaborative album he recorded with fellow cellist Maarten Vos in 2016. Plano's next solo release, Save Me Not, appeared in 2021.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
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Classical - Released July 16, 2021 | Mercury KX
Founded in 2017, Mercury KX (MKX) is a beautiful label, hosting a whole generation of unique musicians who have been called "neo-classical" or "post-classical." Often these are classically trained virtuosos who have decided to turn their hand to composing in the field of minimalist music, or electronic music—ambient preferably—or even pop. This is a label without borders, hosting artists from Germany, Argentina, Australia, Iceland, England and elsewhere, in which we meet Ólafur Arnalds, Anoushka Shankar, Jean-Michel Blais and Isobel Waller-Bridge. Often instrumental, MKX's music invites us to travel: it evokes images and landscapes. And its artists seem to be in constant conversation with the world around them and nature, as perfectly illustrated by MKX x SXSW, four previously unreleased tracks livestreamed during the (virtual) 2021 edition of the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. This EP features Argentine pianist and cellist Sebastian Plano ("Purples"), the Australian pianist Sophie Hutchings ("Surrender to the Deepest Blue"), the masked German pianist Lambert ("Niort") and Australian pianist Luke Howard ("Passion / Sleep"). A certain form of melancholy mixed with cinematic sensations binds these spartan pieces together. All in all, it's a beautiful snapshot of the planet Mercury KX. © Max Dembo/Qobuz