Giving form to a broad personal project of deep contemplation and quiet emotionality, Happy Floating marks the debut album of South Tyrol-born, Leipzig-based musician Damian Dalla Torre on Munich imprint Squama Recordings.
Conceived from sketches dating back several years and completed during last year’s moment of collective reflection, Happy Floating is a stunning result of genre collapsing and unexpected metamorphoses. A highly collaborative work, the record features contributions by nineteen musicians, including Ruth Goller, Alex Binder, Heidi Bayer, Theresia Philipp, Antonia Hausmann, Jan Roth, among others.
Released in the spring of 2022, this rich collage of field recordings, brass instruments, synth-strings and delicate sampling techniques oscillates between gentle familiarity and dreamlike distortions, inspiring a warmth that extends across time. Visually, this is underscored by Maximilian Schachtner’s uncanny cover artwork pairing a cotton-candied sunset with playful hand-drawn clouds next to an image of rustling plastic texture, applying the record’s theme of ambivalence to the vinyl sleeve.
Throughout the record, Damian Dalla Torre seeks to explore a state of Happy Floating: in this pursuit, he remains self-aware of the fickle nature of carelessness, powerfully concentrating it in sonic form.
Of the work, he says, „it’s ambivalent–you are melancholic, but at the same time blatantly hopeful.“ Damian Dalla Torre’s work encapsulates the collective feeling of a generation in challenging times, where a careful sense of optimism persists against the backdrop of an increasingly murky world outside one’s own four walls. This is reflected in the tonal shifts of Happy Floating: from the computerised yearning and levitating flutes on „Bolzano“ to the shapeshifting „heyheyhey“ and blissful organ chords erupting onto brass stabs on „Where To Go“; to the intriguing juxtaposition of analogue guitar plucks and piano experimentations against the call and response of the Casio synth on „8:45,“ and the unsettling drone of the album’s closer, „SO,“ disrupting the expectation of settling into the ease of resolution.
Buoyancy rises through the soaring melodies of the album’s title track “Alles Neu” like the symbolic phoenix from the ashes; a metaphor for the opportunities that arise with new beginnings. Euphoria may seem elusive, but in the determination to make peace with a world in flux, Damian Dalla Torre offers a compelling glimpse into an essential new artistic voice.
About Damian Dalla Torre
Damian Dalla Torre is a Leipzig-based tenor saxophonist, composer and producer who works in the areas of improvised and experimental music.
After completing his studies at the Vienna Conservatory and the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre in Leipzig in March 2018, he founded the LOBSTER ensemble.
An active member of formations such as Wild Brush, Antonia Hausmann Quartett, Brigade Futur 3, Beyond w / Bernhardt, or the Euregio Jazzwerkstatt, he has toured some of Europe’s most renowned festivals and clubs. Happy Floating is his first solo album.