Joep Beving’s music speaks for itself. Henosis, the grand and sprawling closing chapter in a trilogy of albums, was a journey into the vastness of the cosmos and his most dramatic collection of songs to date. Now three new visual elements – a short film and two music videos – seek to help deepen our understanding of the ideas informing the record, adding further layers to Beving’s work and complimenting the richness of the sonic world he’s created.
‘Anamnesis’ is the concept of recollection, especially that of a supposed previous existence, and provides the central inspiration for filmmaker Michaël I. Sewandono’s stunning new short film, Henosis – Anamnesis. A longtime friend of Beving, Dutchman Sewandono is an acclaimed independent film director and artist in his own right, who has written and directed numerous short films and music videos, and has exhibited his art at prestigious institutions and film festivals all over the world.
Of this particular project, Sewandono says: “I wanted to create something that connects with the idea of Joep Beving’s new album: unity as the goal of all things and the idea of a presence of something larger, that we are all part of a constant movement where nothing endures.” The film follows the fractured narrative of multiple characters, unaware they are mimicking each other across time and space yet sharing an inner voice, and the innate knowledge that people are said to possess.
Shot in three parts of the world, the cinematography is beautiful and captivating in equal measure. The camera lingers poignantly: on a table laden with sand, a stoic old man sculpting the grains with his bare hands; on a woman’s fingers as she draws them gently through water in a dish. “I’ve always been a fan of Sewandono’s aesthetics,” says Beving, “and I’m really happy with the imagery and the whole atmosphere of the film. In a way it’s very simple, but it’s also very layered; you can look at in different ways, or just give into what you are seeing.”
That second option is the best way to experience the two music videos created by artist Floris Schönfeld. Images used in the videos are part of his NATURA* project that was shot at the legendary visual effects facility Trumbull Studios. Beving is at pains to stress that Henosis is as much an internal journey – “I believe that the answers are much more on the inside” – as one to the great, black void that is the edge of the universe, and the videos reflect that; ‘Henosis’ is the outward journey, ‘Klangfall’ the inward. The former, all mournful strings and woozy synths, represents “super deep space”; colourful, celestial flares blaze out from an eclipse, gradually replaced with an inky blackness as the song reaches its denouement.
For the otherworldly ‘Klangfall’, coloured oil was filmed through a microscope, the beads churning and roiling, creating epic, ever-changing patterns. At times, it’s like watching cells interact, the metaphor – viewing the very building blocks of life – crystal clear. There’s a real power to the imagery, one that chimes perfectly with the majesty of Henosis itself. “There’s a solitude there, but also this grandness; it can be experienced as very daunting or far away from you, but you understand that it’s within you too. It’s all part of the self.”
Bringing images and music together creates worlds for the mind to travel through and wonder about, leaving a lasting effect on those willing to explore. In Beving’s life, as in his music, he seeks to establish deeper connections between those he terms “wandering souls”; these videos, and particularly Henosis – Anamnesis, help achieve precisely this, adding vitality and complexity to an already stellar body of work.
JOEP BEVING - HENOSIS
April 2019 will see the release of HENOSIS, Joep Beving’s closing chapter in a trilogy of albums – marking the end of an intensely personal four-year spiritual and philosophical exploration.
“This is my journey, and my search for understanding,” says Beving, the acclaimed composer/pianist who rose to eminence in 2015 thanks to millions of streams of the contemplative, atmospheric Solipsism. By now he is one of the most streamed pianists in the world.
“I believe that the answers are much more on the inside,” he explains. “So this journey, in a way, is also an internal one. My hope is to give people a space to be in for a couple of minutes or hours where they feel things just seem to be right, like a recognition that they’re understood or that they can just be.”
On HENOSIS the Dutch composer continues his minimalist and at times romantic style of writing, but this time explores new territories. It sets off where his sophomore album Prehension left us, the warm intimate sound of the Schimmel piano Beving inherited from his grandmother. With the help of producer Gijs van Klooster and through collaborations with Cappella Amsterdam, Echo Collective and Maarten Vos, Joep Beving opens up new musical worlds using orchestral and electronic sounds alongside the familiar piano.
His debut album ‘Solipsism’ investigates the self and how it is related to the other by trying to show we have a shared understanding of what it is to be human. For ‘Prehension’ Beving describes realizing he had zoomed out from the individual level to the level of the collective. HENOSIS is the last step, in which Beving’s destination is the vastness of the cosmos – that great, black void – in search of “ultimate reality and emptiness of the mind”.
Fittingly, given the concepts behind it, Henosis is a vast, sprawling double album, twenty-two tracks that gently draw the listener in and lead the way, from the calm, contemplative ‘Into The Dark Blue’ to the otherworldly ‘Klangfall’. The deeper one travels, the grander the themes become; ‘Apophis’, a tense, drawn out blend of electronics and mournful strings, embodies evil and darkness while ‘Aeon’, the track that opens CD two, represents the battle against that very evil almost like (an) “intergalactic warfare between good and bad, with a choir praising wisdom and truth.” ‘Nebula’ – written and produced together with Maarten Vos, and one of Beving’s boldest, most experimental tracks to date – takes us even further, “a harrowing trip” to the very limit of both the cosmos and our mind.
Beving’s quest is “a genuine longing for truthfulness and for existential essence”. “We’re all part of one thing, we’re all connected. And so we need to love each ourselves, each other, and this world we inhabit.”
JOEP BEVING - CONATUS
Streaming sensation Joep Beving today releases Conatus,an album of
new reworks by acclaimed and up & coming artists, such as iconic synth
legend Suzanne CianiandrenownedAmsterdam DJ Tom Trago. The album features reworks of pieces from Solipsism and Prehension, as well as
already foreshadowing Joep's next solo album with a rework of one of the
The album follows on from
three singles released over the past few months: 'Sleeping Lotus' - Tom Trago’s SixtineRemix, 'Hanging D',
which received a rework from the acclaimed Cello Octet Amsterdamand Joep's own new
is a selection of reworks and a further expansion of Joep Beving's desire
to create a simple soundtrack to accompany our complex human emotions. Its
title comes from the philosophical concept of conatus – an innate
inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself. “If you see
music as a living organism, then it’s something that will always adapt to
new circumstances in order to stay present.
This project is not about me. It is about the conatus of my music and
for this album I’ve put their lives in other people’s hands.”
Beving invited a range of artists he knows and admires –
Cello Octet Amsterdam, Suzanne Ciani, Tom Trago, Eefje de Visser, Colin
Benders, Andrea Belfi, CFCF
and Thomas Bloch – to rework his music in their own way.
The results are not remixes in the club sense, therefore, but new and
original interpretations of tracks by Beving, woven together on Conatus to form a coherent album. As well as approaching legendary
American electronic music pioneer Ciani, Beving was also keen to involve
other musicians from his native Netherlands: “They’re all people I think
easily hold their own on the international scene.”
eSingle “Hanging D – Cello Octet Amsterdam”
Following his first two solo albums, streaming sensation Joep Beving releases new reworks by acclaimed and up- & coming artists, such as iconic “synth legend” Suzanne Ciani, CFCF, Tom Trago and more. Conatus features reworks of pieces from Solipsism and Prehension, as well as already foreshadows his next solo album with a rework of one of the new tracks.
Conatus, Joep Beving’s upcoming release, slated for 7 September, is a selection of “remixes” and a further expansion of his desire to create a simple soundtrack to accompany our complex human emotions. Its title comes from the philosophical concept of conatus – an innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself. “If you see music as a living organism, then it’s something that will always adapt to new circumstances in order to stay present. This project is not about me. It is about the conatus of my music and for this album I’ve put their lives in other people’s hands.” Beving invited a range of artists he knows and admires – Cello Octet Amsterdam, Suzanne Ciani, Tom Trago, Eefje de Visser, Colin Benders, Andrea Belfi, CFCF and Thomas Bloch – to rework his music in their own way. The results are not remixes in the club sense, therefore, but new and original interpretations of tracks by Beving, woven together on Conatus to form a coherent album. As well as approaching legendary American electronic music pioneer Ciani, Beving was also keen to involve other musicians from his native Netherlands: “They’re all people I think easily hold their own on the international scene.”
Joep Beving - Solipsism
"Solipsism is just me talking through my piano. To discover that millions of people are listening is wonderful – and pretty humbling at the same time."
Originally self-released by Joep Beving on Spotify in 2015, the album with its two lead tracks 'Sleeping Lotus' and 'The Light She Brings' has and continues to stream phenomenally. We now release it on Deutsche Grammophon additionally on CD and vinyl for the first time.
'Solipsism' refers to the philosophical idea that reality only exists in one’s mind. The album was recorded by Joep at home in the still of night and is filled with introspective and often filmic piano compositions. Joep Beving’s sound could be described as the opposite to over-produced and complexly layered music styles. His ambition for 'Solipsism' is to keep the music stripped back to its essence.
The gentle giant with the delicate touch
Joep Beving presents his DG debut album ‘Prehension’
"I call it 'simple music for complex emotions'. The world is a hectic place right now and I feel a deep urge to reconnect on a basic human level with people in general. Music as our universal language has the power to unite." Dutch composer and musician Joep Beving is a towering figure in the streaming world – and in real life too, thanks to his two-metre frame (nearly 6'10), wild hair and flowing beard. Joep’s delicate melodies instantly struck a chord with listeners when tracks from the album first appeared on streaming music playlists alongside the likes of Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm. His first DG album 'Prehension' displays introspective, melancholy, filmic and uplifting characteristics – presented in a simple, warm acoustic atmosphere which will help soothe the soul.