Listen, London: First Impression 


Belle Chen (Piano/Sound Design)

Genre: Experimental/Classical

Year: 2014


"Original and provocative...feels like the sense of discovery."  Brian Eno 


"Impressive... an excellent introduction, with seven original pieces focusing on the aural soundscape that is our capital city." 

The Musician, 2014


The Opening from Listen, London: First Impression

Curator's Choice for Music Award from 2014 NOISE Festival



Listen, London: First Impression depicts the multiple facets of life in metropolitan London as heard by a classical concert pianist. The performance combines the traditional framework of classical piano recital with sound design constructed from recorded and sampled sounds captured in London. Sounds and music are integrated carefully to connote various narratives, presented in a series of sonic scenes, providing the audience a unique aural experience of the big city and its occupants—from bustling streets to subdued offices, the morning commute to vibrant nightclubs in Soho, businessmen in city parks to immigrants in China Town.



From the Pianist: On arriving in London in 2011, I was immediately captivated by the sounds of this city; from the assault of emergency sirens on the street, the flapping of the ticket gates in underground stations, the momentary peacefulness in the parks, the eclectic mix of multicultural dialogues and the bustling Friday nights. I became fascinated with London and its people, and I wanted to capture specific and impressionable moments of London into ‘time capsules’ that I could recreate and share with others at any time, and at any place. As a classical pianist, I saw the potential to utilize my craft to create and share many different stories of London through performance. But that was not enough. I wanted London to also be a performer, and to speak directly to the audience. The result was the creation of Listen, London: First Impression.



Listen, London: First Impression aims to provide first impression snapshots of London, and each piece of music has been specifically chosen for its potential to interact with the soundscapes of London. The album features the works of Francis Poulenc, Franz Liszt, Jean Sibelius, Shui-Long Ma, Alberto Ginastera, and Breffni O'Byrne.

Track Listing:


1. The Opening || Francis Poulenc: Intermezzo No. 1


2. The Tree || Jean Sibelius: "The Spruce" From the Tree Suite, Op. 75


3. The Gates || Franz Liszt: Bagatelle Sans Tonalité

4. Memories || Breffni O'Byrne: Dark Sky, Meditation On a Taiwanese Folk Tune


5. Illusion || Ma Shui-Long: "Night Views of the Harbour" From Sketches of the Rainy Harbour


6. The Lonely Man in the Bar || Alberto Ginastera: No. 2 "Danza De La Moza Donosa" From Danzas Argentinas


7. Alberto Ginastera: No. 2 "Danza De La Moza Donosa" From Danzas Argentinas (Live)

CD Retail Price: £10.00


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