Chrysalis by LEONARDO BARILARO is an intricately crafted composition that vividly depicts a mysterious, dormant cocoon awakening. As hinted at in the song’s title, the track is about transformation, growth, and new beginnings while also having an unnerving sci-fi twist. The process of Chrysalis in nature is the biological term for butterflies reaching adulthood and escaping their cocoon. It is also the name of one of Mars' moons.
The track does a great job of exploring the dissonance between the beauty of a new creature growing into existence while capturing this unnerving sense of the unknown through a diverse and textured register. Playing with the highs and lows of the melody creates this widespread sonic tapestry that allows the track to swing between articulate and sensitive to unsettling in a moment. The song captures the awe of the vast unknown of space with a unique style. The melody is beautifully performed on the Zanta Pianoforti, a piano that Barilaro endorses. I must say, though, that the feeling of the piano compliments the intricacies of the melody. The piece was clearly composed with the subtleties of the Zanta Pianoforti in mind.
The more I learn about Barilaro and his music, the more interesting he becomes. Having a deep fixation on space and music from an early age, he decided to follow both dreams, performing around the world and becoming an aerospace engineer, as outlined in his book, Music From Space. Barilaro’s story gets even wilder. His next goal is to stream a live concert from space, a project aptly named ASTROBEAT. As a bit of a space nerd myself, this is incredibly impressive. Stretching music to the borders of human capabilities, to the bleeding edge of technology, takes intelligence and solid planning but also creativity and a tonne of courage. It also says a lot about how essential music is to the human condition that through the millennia of human history, we’ve barely been able to go to space for sixty years and we’re already trying to capture music from there. It’s an astonishing mission due to the technical challenges they will have to deal with, but it’s the ideas behind it that make it so special. It shows that where life goes, music follows. That's a message I can get behind.