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Troublezine [It]: Entrevista "The Long Way Home"

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The Magic Theatre, The Long Way Home



C'è classicismo, grazia, eleganza e reale trasporto in questo secondo disco dei Magic Theatre. Dan Popplewell and Sophia Churney non abbandonano la via di un chamber pop ricco di arrangiamenti orchestrali e barocchi, ma nello stesso tempo pieno anche di dettagli adorabili e soluzioni melodiche varie ed entusiasmanti che spingono il disco in un paradiso pop dove suggestione, epicità e sentimento s'incontrano e si fondono.

E' un flusso unico, costante, avvolgente ed esaltante qualle che accoglie i nostri sensi fin dal primo brano, l'incantevole The Sampler, che ha quasi un taglio cinematografico, capace di lasciarci sospesi e trepidanti con la magnifica orchestrazione curata dalla Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Una vera e propria porta che si apre su mondo fatato: si può restare interdetti e spiazzati per un brevissimo attimo, poi è come essere conquistati da una forza invisibile che ci spinge ad andare avanti. E subito è il singolo It Was Glorious a rapirci con quel gusto pop frizzante, fatto di cambi di tempo e carezze '60. Un tripudio vero e proprio.

Impossibile rilassare i propri sensi con l'imponente e ritmata Festival Of Fire che diventa cavalcata interminabile e incalzante. Come in un favoloso gioco di montagne russe il ritmo che si era fatto alto tende a ritornare contenuto, ma solo in apparenza, perchè il folk-pop di I Got The Answer in realtà viene animato da splendide percussioni brasiliane che impreziosiscono una canzone già di per sè favolosa. La voce di Sophia è realmente valore aggiunto, adattandosi ogni volta al clima del pezzo in modo perfetto.

Se la riuscita cover di Love Is Blue è una dolce passeggiata in un giardino fiorito ricco di fiori profumati e inebrianti,Your Hateful Armchair diventa momento più alto e intenso dell'album con un climax epocale che trasforma una soffusa ballata pianistica in un fiume in piena così melodrammatico da dare i brividi, salvo poi finire con la stessa dolcezza con cui si era iniziati. 
Aspettavate qualcosa che ancora potesse farvi battere forte il cuore? Aspettate di lasciarvi ammaliare da I Want To Die By Your Side, splendida dichiarazione d'amore realmente toccante e struggente: un sentimento mostrato in modo così limpido e sincero che non può lasciare indifferenti. Arpeggi fatati nell'inizio di The Long Way Home, altra ballata intensa che da il titolo all'album e ne rappresenta completamente lo spirito con quella raffinatezza e gentilezza che ha contraddistinto tutte le tracce dell'intero lavoro.
Chiudete gli occhi e iniziate un viaggio meraviglioso, ci penseranno Sophia e Dan a prendervi per mano, non abbiate paura e fate il primo passo...

In chiusura della recensione siamo orgogliosi anche di pubblicare questa lunga intervista realizzata via mail proprio con Dan e Sophia, che molto gentilmente hanno risposto alle nostre domande. Ci tenevano molto che ci fosse una pubblicazione in inglese, quindi li accontentiamo subito...

Ciao, how are you? where are you writing from?
Sophie: Ciao! I'm very well thank you - I've just been to yoga so I'm feeling very relaxed. I'm sitting in my house with my dog lying across my feet.

Few days left till your new album is out: can you describe us your current feelings? Do you feel confident because you sure made a good job or do you feel excited ?
Sophie: I feel pleased that people are going to be able to listen to it! I do feel confident because I know these album songs so well and I love them, so I am excited to hear what other people will think and to find out which their favourite song will be.

I'm glad that the album label is going to be the "Elefant", it's a really good label and I love their relases. How did you get in contact with them?
Sophie: I am very glad that we are on Elefant records too. We are big fans of the label - it is really special.

After the positive reviews about the first record how did you approach to the work related to this great second one? In my opinion the second one, beside some great strings arrangements in several traces, focuses on simplicit and on melodies very crisp and clear.
Dan: we made a conscious decision to try to make this album a bit more positive and melodic, with more of a constant rhythm so it feels uplifting and like a celebration of being alive. I had an idea to capture the feeling of being 21 and full of possibilities and optimism. In the end though we did what we always do which is just to narrow down the best ideas we had and make them into an album.

I guess there is a bit more simplicity than previous things and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just that this time the best ideas were the more simple ones.

Is there still a love story that runs through the album as in first album?
Sophie: Not a specific love story about two people like the first album was, but I think there are many songs about love as a powerful force. There is also a strong, important theme running through the second album of love for life, seizing the day or the moment and making the most of your life.

Emotional, engaging and melting: your music totally involve me. 
Sophie: Wow. I am so happy if that happens for people when they listen to our music. We couldn't get better than that. I think many of the songs are very emotional and I think they definitely appeal to sensitive souls and yes, they are thought- provoking too.

You used full live orchestras from Slovakia and Estonia on the first album. Who plays the orchestral parts on this record?
Dan: we have players from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. I work with them all the time when I write music for movie trailers so we have a great working relationship.

Why did you choose to do a cover of a song so famous as Love Is Blue?
Dan: We didn't know it was famous! Luis from Elefant Records is always sending me his favourite music and to me this stood out as a tune I really loved, then Sophie agreed and we thought it would be nice to do. I like the baroque chords.

I like the epic look of your music, as in Festival Of Fire. All this is completed with the melanconia of songs as Heart Strings or Your Hateful Armchair. 
Dan: I think maybe when you think of songs as stories and know how to arrange strings, you work a bit like a film composer, enhancing and conveying the emotions with strings. This probably makes it seem epic and cinematic but the intention is really just to tell the story using what knowledge we have available about music.

How was born the idea of including Brazilian percussion in the beautiful I Got The Answer?
Dan: When I first came up with the tune in 2005 I always imagined it working well with some Brazilian Percussion. Then in 2006 I saw a Samba band playing in Manchester, approached them and agreed to record them. Finally 6 years later I used the recording on the song!

Do you have an example from the record of something popping up that you weren’t expecting?
Sophie: Well, actually I became very ill while we were recording it and (I am sorry if this is too serious) I thought I was going to die. When I recovered and we started recording again, the songs had even more meaning for me because I had been through a personal journey that made me appreciate life.

Do you like to spend a lot of time in the studio?
Sophie: Dan spends more time in the studio than I do, but yes, I love recording my singing. Except when Dan doesn't like the way I am doing it and I have to record so many takes that I feel like throwing the microphone on the floor in a tantrum, ha ha

Would be great to see Magic Theatre in Italy! Have you ever been in Italy, as a tourist perhaps?
Sophie: I have been to Rome twice, both times with my mum and younger brother. I felt emotionally moved by the overwhelming beauty of the city. It has such a vibrant energy and the fact that all the historic buildings have been preserved gives it such a unique and powerful atmosphere. I was so happy there. We walked for 10 hours a day exploring the whole city and everywhere we looked, every corner we turned, there was another beautiful church, or statue or garden or ancient ruin. It was amazing. Rome (and New York) are the only places I have visited where I felt I would be happy to live for the rest of my life. And I think Rome is the only place I have visited where every single person looks like a beautiful film star.

Thanks for your kindness! Now to end this interview I'd like to ask which song from your album you'd chose as a soundtrack for our chat...
Sophie: I Got The Answer because your questions are very positive and warm. And also because our chat has reminded me of Rome and I can picture myself riding through the Roman sunshine on a Vespa bike heading up to the Villa Borghese gardens and I think I Got The Answer would be a great soundtrack for that experience.





01.  Sampler             
02.  It Was Glorious             
03.  Festival of Fire             
04.  I Got the Answer             
05.  Your Hateful Armchair        
06.  Cathedrals of the Mind             
07.  Love Is Blue         
08.  I Want To Die By Your Side             
09.  Heart Strings         
10.  Long Way Home











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