The third solo album by Italian composer and producer Saro Cosentino, ‘The Road To Now’ features singers Peter Hammill (on four songs), Tim Bowness (of No-Man) and Karen Eden, plus instrumental contributions from the likes of Gavin Harrison, David Rhodes, John Giblin and Trey Gunn. Available on heavyweight colour vinyl, CD and digital formats, it is the long-awaited follow-up to 1997’s acclaimed ‘Ones And Zeros’.
Having issued a video in September for ‘The Joke’ (featuring Peter Hammill), Cosentino has made another available today for the album’s opening song, ‘You Are The Story’, which sees the soothing voice of Tim Bowness matched with a suitably sumptuous yet melancholic backdrop. Bowness, who has also recently issued his latest solo album, states that “‘You Are The Story’ was my second collaboration with Saro and it was written and recorded over twenty years since we’d first worked together in the late 1990s. As before, the writing luckily came very naturally.”
The new video was made by Maria Boutylina, an artist and photographer currently based in Prague, with the footage being shot mostly at night in various locations around the city. Cosentino himself also lives in Prague.
Born in Rome, Cosentino formed a blues outfit in his late teens but soon became more interested in experimental and electronic music, beginning a lengthy association with the popular Italian singer-songwriter Franco Battiato, who had been juggling his own love of the avant-garde with record company pressure to produce ‘hits’. The duo co-wrote Italy’s entry to the 1984 Eurovision Song Contest (which Battiato also performed) and collaborated on two operas later in the decade.
Cosentino released a self-titled debut solo album on EMI in 1988 prior to successfully dividing his time between composing film/TV soundtracks and writing for/producing numerous international artists that have included Peter Hammill, David Rhodes, Tim Bowness, Pandit Dinesh, Tony Levin, Natasha Atlas, Jakko Jakszyk and Gavin Harrison, as well as further work with Battiato plus other compatriots such as Milva and Alice.
‘The Road To Now’ was recorded in the UK and US as well as at Cosentino’s own studio in Prague, with final mixing taking place at Real World in Bath. The opening ‘You’re The Story’ is followed by ‘The Joke’, the first of four songs featuring the unmistakable tones of legendary prog singer Peter Hammill. ‘November’ (on which Bowness provides a backing vocal) is a tale of long lost love, the outstanding ‘Time To Go’ contemplates the very end of the road (hopefully a long time from now), while the closing ‘When Your Parents Danced’ considers the first central figures in one’s life in their younger days, ‘before life’s stories made them what they’ve become’.
Having contributed to ‘Ones and Zeros’, as well as records by the likes of William Orbit and Chris Rea, the versatile Australian singer Karen Eden returns to perform on two contrasting tracks; the portentous sounding ‘Pray’ and (by way of contrast to everything else on the record), the pop song ‘Us (Scars on Skin)’. The album also contains the instrumental ‘Howl’, which switches from strident to atmospheric midway through and showcases the skills of the musicians involved.
THE ROAD TO NOW
1 You’re The Story (feat Tim Bowness)
2 The Joke (feat Peter Hammill)
3 Pray (feat Karen Eden)
4 November (feat Peter Hammill & Tim Bowness)
5 US (Scars on Skin) (feat Karen Eden)
6 Time To Go (feat Peter Hammill)
8 When Your Parents Danced (feat Peter Hammill)
Peter Hammill – vocals, guitar
Tim Bowness – vocals, backing vocals
Karen Eden – vocals
Dorota Barova – cello, vocals
Gavin Harrison – drums
John Giblin – bass
David Rhodes – guitar
Trey Gunn – waar guitar
Nicola Alesini – saxophone
Radim Knapp – trumpet
Saro Cosentino – guitars, keyboards, bass, strings, piano, arrangements, programming, sound design
THE ROAD TO NOW
LP / CD / digital