Joep Beving launches new single today, 17 April 2020,
live from the legendary Amsterdam Paradiso
Video for Solitude shot by Indian film-maker Supreet Cheetah
available online on 22 April
Single Release follows world premiere of Solitude as part of Deutsche Grammophon’s 2020 World Piano Day virtual festival
Like musicians across the globe, Joep Beving has been working in isolation in recent weeks, and now the Dutch composer/pianist announces the release by Deutsche Grammophon of his brand-new single Solitude, available to stream or download as of today, 17 April 2020.
The piece received its world premiere on 28 March 2020, when it was streamed from Beving’s Amsterdam studio during Deutsche Grammophon’s World Piano Day virtual festival
. The artist performed it again today, as part of a concert from the (necessarily empty) Paradiso, Amsterdam’s iconic pop venue
. Streamed live at 14.00 CET via his Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels and Deutsche Grammophon’s Facebook page, the Paradiso concert is accessible online
until midnight on Sunday 19 April.
Separately, Solitude will also be accompanied by a strikingly original music video, shot during lockdown by Supreet Cheetah from her apartment in Mumbai, and available on YouTube from Wednesday 22 April. Cheetah is part of Indian creative collective Jugaad Motion Pictures, recently lauded by Rolling Stone for their pioneering development of the music video format.
Introducing the piece at its World Piano Day unveiling, Beving explained he had written Solitude a couple of days earlier in response to the current international situation. He added, “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who’s experiencing the darkest end of this global crisis, or will have to experience it in the coming weeks. Let’s hope that when we get through this we will see some form of global change. I’m very hopeful for the future in that sense. Be well, be safe, be healthy.”
Solitude is, unsurprisingly, a remarkably personal composition for solo piano, its bittersweet tone heightened by the recording’s intimate quality, complete with the sounds of the pedals and Beving’s creaking piano stool. Identifying something beautiful and unsettling in equal measure about the emptiness of normally bustling places, Solitude underlines both the peace and the loneliness to be found in stillness, its subdued mood shifting intermittently, almost imperceptibly, between light and dark.
These quiet contrasts are reflected in Cheetah’s video: birds and animals roam free, by day and night, while humans are confined to rooms often obscured behind bars that were once meant to keep others out, yet are now symbolic of newly restricted lifestyles. The film-maker captures a world in which people must keep to themselves, aware of, but separated from, the lives of others.
Beving, who had just returned from an Australian tour when lockdown began, and Cheetah, who spent its first days documenting aspects of her habitat which would normally go unobserved, first crossed paths on the internet. “Finding beauty in a moment of distress gives form to hope,” observes Beving. “It felt like I had accidentally created the sound for these beautiful shots, and they had to come together.”
“Solitude reminds me of a day without a hug,” says Cheetah. “Isolation can be home to a mood of many kinds, and this video somehow reminds us of those nostalgic musings, those hours of longing to meet the one person you haven’t yet met, those nights filled with ache and wonder alike. I find so many minute details of our daily life, all with so much significance now, which may very well have gone unnoticed for a lifetime. At its essence, the film is about the human need for love, filmed from a perspective in urban isolation. Call it fate, or the most random assimilation of improbable algorithms, but this collaboration with Joep just feels right.”
“I have never met or spoken to Supreet,” Beving concludes, “yet there is a deeper connection through our work. It’s that deeper connection that I hope will grow for humanity in these times. I’m very grateful to Supreet, and hope the future will present an opportunity for me to give her a hug in ‘real’ life.”
Joep Beving has recorded four albums for Deutsche Grammophon. His most recent, Henosis, was released in April 2019 – a deluxe edition has been available since February 2020 – and its predecessor, 2017’s critically acclaimed Prehension, has now been certified Gold. With over 1.5 million listeners per month on Spotify, and sold-out shows across the world – from the Sydney Opera House to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, from Lowlands Festival to Burning Man– he’s become one of the most prominent and revered figures of the contemporary classical music world.