Skillful, slighted, and emotive, Maarten Rischen has delivered his best work yet with eight minute ambient mood piece, Serenity?
Sounds of babbling brooks inhabit the piano-heavy, damaged, and root beer-floated melodies of this piece. For as long as it is, it is surprisingly engaging, with each second being used to effective (and at times sublime) atmospheric waves of noise. To Rischen, Serenity seems to be a place of peddled precision, hollow bellows of acoustic guitar, and the slightest of swift-shifting drum work.
If you are a fan of Radiohead and their last album, A Moon Shaped Pool, Serenity? is an absolute must listen. Starting in the shallow end before diving head first into uncharted sonic territory, the mood shifts from happy to blissful, sad to agoraphobic, self-assured and forever questioned. You can probably tell, I like it!
Take a listen to the song below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
The piano/ Rhodes parts you hear are improvised live during the shooting of this music video. Also the dance performance and the cinematography are 100% made up on the spot. Nobody except Maarten had heard the song before. Moments are awesome.
The above is from a Youtube description of the song, and while it might be surprising to learn that such a key part of this track was improvised, I’m not exactly betwixt. Each instrument Maarten Rischen takes into consideration here is masterful in expressing itself; the darkest moments are just as impactful as the lighter side of his sounds.
In his own words, here is what Maarten Rischen had to say about the experience.
“I have a very strong negative stance on music videos in which the artist is pretending to play their instrument or lip syncing, as it takes away any and all risk and creativity that an actual recording or live performance has – leaving either an empty or overly exaggerated ‘performance’, and none of it is what I regard as making art.“
Interesting stuff right? And in this ever-changing world in which we live in, statements like that might sound dated as time crumbles before us… but I am willing to bet that Rischen, his sounds, and future tracks produced will be even better with bittersweet ambivalence. After all, in an age where so many people strive to replicate the individual genius of blip blop king Brian Eno, Maarten doesn’t have to.
All he needs to do is simply be himself.