We haven’t found them yet, the words to talk to each other about the worrying signs of climate change. Feeling worried when walking on autumn leaves in the beginning of August should be completely normal. But how do we communicate about it? We don’t want to be
just the next hysterical doomer.
With this music I try to focus on the climate pain itself, gently inviting the listener to investigate their latent feelings of unease and growing concerns about the environment. As in real life, we circumvent the real issues because they are just too big, there are no words,
no expressions yet.
This album tries, in four different attempts, to carve out a path towards communicating about a deeper pain that eventually will connect us all. My general method is to start with a comforting melody, full of fake nostalgia, which, after changing gear to autodestruct mode, morphs into a painful question mark.
The first part sets off with an idyllic melody, accompanied by repeated notes, as a far, muted echo of an alarm. The melody starts to explain itself painfully into a dissonant whirlwind in the high register, sounding not unlike Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit bravura.
In the second piece a warm Beatles like melody (And I love her) gets confronted with the weird hippie mantra of a later Lennon song War is over, if you want it. Sentences get reduced to syllables and result in lonely notes that crash and shiver under the burden of too much meaning. Like Shostakovich’s latest work, the Sonata for viola and piano.
The descending melody of Bach’s Erbarme dich, Mein Gott is echoed in the upper and lower voicings of the third piece, juxtaposed to a typical, threatening Ennio Morricone Western dotted rhythm accompaniment. This rhythm eventually evolves into citing the 1972 Captain Beefheart early ecological warning song Blabber and Smoke (there’s a big pane/pain in your window, it’s gonna hang you all,… dangle you all).
Towards the middle of the piece, the music explodes and the three layers get dispersed all over the keyboard in a virtuosic maelstrom towards another painful question mark.
The bitter answer is going back to business with a barely noticeable citation of the first notes of the RZA’s Liquid Swords album.
The final piece is some kind of mantra, the same 7/4 pulse all throughout the piece. The dampers of all A’s and B’s on the keyboard are released by the middle pedal, thus sustaining an ever present resonance. Melodic cells alternate in shifting quantifications with small, bell like percussive cluster playing.
While composing this piece an image crept up: walking out of the church on Sunday morning, tolling bells enthusiastically moderating the churchgoers’ small talk in the local dialect. Apparently I have tried to evoke this kind of conversation, but injecting it with fictitious alarming conversation topics, the contemporary.
Frederik Croene (August ’22)
released September 16, 2022
All music composed and performed by Frederik Croene
Recorded & edited by Frederik Croene, June ’21 at Concertgebouw Brugge
Recording support & advice Yannick Willox
Mastered by Yannick Willox & Gert Van Hoof at Cochlea Mastering
Cut at Dubplates & Mastering Berlin
Outer sleeve concept and artwork by Karl Van Welden
Silkscreen printing: Gerard Herman
Inner sleeve design by Jef Cuypers