Olivia Belli returns to the material of her album Sol Novo and presents the new concept EP Somnio Novo. The EP includes for new solo piano works, all of them different variations on Visions To Come, the first single from the album. “It’s the beating heart of Sol Novo because I was trying to find positivity in the strange, terrible moments we were living through with Covid, and a vision that the future could be better – for humanity and for nature.”
“When I finished Sol Novo, I realised I had missed the beauty of the light at night – the moon and the stars,” she explains. “I wanted to explore these colours and ask: ‘What is the colour of the nocturnal? What happens after sunset?'”
The EP was also a chance for Belli to explore the concept of dreaming and the link between daydreams and the more abstract dreams of our sleep. “David Lynch always talks about developing the ability to daydream – of letting your mind be free and reacting to everything around you,” she says. “Somnio Novo is the idea of this kind of dream, but at night, and a desire to seek out this dreaming energy. I need this energy myself as much as possible – so I’m trying to find it everywhere.”
After developing all the possibilities and potential of Visions To Come‘s melody, Belli settled on four versions – the ones most connected to night-time and to dreams. She also took inspiration from one of the greatest Romantic piano composers – Frédéric Chopin. “I thought: ‘Who is the best pianist poet of the night?'” says Belli. “It’s Chopin. So I said to myself: ‘If I were Chopin, what would I do?’ And I tried to write using some of the same forms: Nocturnes, Impromptus, and Préludes.”
The EP includes first-ever remixes of her work – label mates Hugar and Ed Carlsen, alongside American ambient composer Slow Meadow, reworked further tracks from Sol Novo. The artists were given total freedom to choose the song, and to rework it as they saw fit – “I wanted them to be as free as possible,” says Belli.
Stream Somnio Novo here.