Pianist Belle Chen’s Departure from Classical Music
The incomparable pianist Belle Chen releases her new album Departure, using prepared piano and extended piano techniques to evoke a pagan, naturalistic and surreal soundworld.
Handpicked by the legendary Brian Eno as one-to-watch and having gained plaudits from music industry heavyweights over the years, Chen has been distinguishing herself through her unique, experimental, and cross-genre approach to the classical music language.
In the making of Departure, Chen has spent a year exploring methods for transforming the western acoustic piano to evoke sonic palettes of traditional instruments from around the world.
Sounds reminiscent of instruments such as Indonesian Gamelan, Chinese guqin, erhu, and flamenco guitar are created acoustically on the piano using materials such as metal screws, putty, horsehair, wooden sticks, tin can, and ceramic plates.
With references to techniques used by 20th-century pioneering composers such as John Cage and George Crumb, production methodologies of more contemporary composers and producers such as Aphex Twin and Hauschka, and Chen’s own native classical music language, Departure is an album that is richly colourful, beautifully textured, poignant, and surprising.
The album is out now on all major digital platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and Deezer.