When Italian composer Bruno Bavota and Dutch songwriter Chantal Acda first met several years ago, they knew almost instantly that they wanted to make music together. Bavota was already a fan of Acda’s dreamy, orchestral folk, and in Bavota’s intimate, picturesque piano compositions, Acda saw a potential for collaboration that was begging to be explored. As it would happen, the inherent loneliness and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic would provide a most unusual opportunity to craft an album together – without ever being ion the same room.
Originally conceived as a brief two- or three-song EP, A Closer Distance is the result of a month of seemingly endless and effortless creative connections between Bavota and Acda. Spawned from the opening piano phrase that became the album’s title track, the nine songs that make up A Closer Distance were written and recorded by Bavota and Acda in their respective homes. No stranger to long-distance collaboration – having worked with an array of artists from Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low to guitar legend Bill Frisell – even Acda was surprised by the ease and pace with which A Closer Distance came together: “This all came so weirdly natural. It woke up a part of me that had been asleep for a while.”
Mostly built around Bavota’s solitary piano arrangements and Acda’s layered, ethereal vocals, the songs on A Closer Distance reflect the intimacy and tranquility of their conception. It is a magical collection that connects to the listener with the same air of comfort and familiarity that inspired its creation.