By Blake Parker
Moisés Daniel’s album Forgotten possesses immersive and unique atmospheres. Within the first moments of the album, the listener feels thrust into the piano’s interior – inside the very instrument itself. The piece quickly envelopes the ears and the mind, causing visual imagery of what a piano’s inward appearance might be – rough, unpolished wood; hard, simple angles; metal pegs and steel strings exposed when usually concealed.
As these thoughts float by, dramatic synthesizer accompaniment joins the rolling descents of the higher piano keys. In this moment of musical tension the realization strikes that we, as people, have the same façade as the instrument… we too polish and smooth our exterior surface, adorn our edges with curves and flair, and hide our most vital interworkings – well – inward. These kinds of self-reflections are Daniel’s intention of the music in Forgotten, as he hopes most of all that the album can serve to connect us with ourselves.
Daniel is a Spanish computer engineer and hobbyist composer, who experiments with both traditional and modern instrumentations throughout the album; Forgotten is anchored by a strong presence of expressive pseudo-classical piano, but one that is tinged even in the most covert moments by a sheen of soaring synth chords or by a lower, more gritty synth bassline. This duality is played out in a way where neither element steps on the other but instead, the two intertwine in a harmonious way.
While tracing a unique musical past ranging from composing entirely with 1990s computers, to songs appearing in Spanish video games, to the epic genre and gigantic sounds, and now to Daniel’s current technique and sound, I am personally confident Daniel has arrived at his destined niche in the musical universe. While technology fads come and go, and we may well need music for video games, the music found in Forgotten is far more wholesome and purposeful. Within these notes lies the character of an individual: a lover, a caring father, an entity in this vast emptiness called existence, and most importantly, someone reaching out.