Genre: Classical / Soundscapes
Release Date: 8th September 2016
Charming French seasides, passionate flamenco, Italian fishing villages, Istanbul markets full of all sorts of wonderful spices.
Tradition-defying pianist Belle Chen's new album Mediterranean Sounds combines the structural construct of concept albums by artists such as Marvin Gaye and Frank Zappa with the language of classical music and sounds of field recordings.
The project has been 2 years in working. During this time, Belle captured hours of on-location field recordings and sourced additional samples in attempt to construct sonic images specific to her experiences and observations. The hours of listening back to captured material allowed her to pick out specific ambience and musicality of interesting sounds that might have otherwise been overlooked or subconsciously filtered by our ears in a phenomenon commonly known as the “cocktail party effect.”
While listening back to field recordings and determining the general ambience and sonic image, Belle also researched libraries of classical music composers that were specific to the location and/or wrote works inspired by the location. Then from the filtered list, there were hours of experimenting to find the repertoire of best fit to illustrate Belle’s experiences. The composers featured in this album include Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, Isaac Albeniz, Federico Mompou, Domenico Scarlatti, Franz Liszt, and Fazil Say.
In the end, Belle’s vision is to explore how sounds from the ‘real world’ can be integrated into the realm of classical music to create a different listening experience- much alike how sampled sounds are very frequently used by DJs and producers in mainstream and world music. All her works are inspired by her love to travel and exploration, and motivated by the stories and shared experiences of the people she meets through travel. We hope you will enjoy this album!