LPR Presents: Joep Beving at Murmrr Ballroom, located at 17 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn NY 11238
Tickets on sale Friday, April 5th at 10am
Joep Beving has been one with the piano from an early age. He was forced to end his musical studies at the conservatory and instead continued at university to get a degree in public policy and public administration. However, his love for his instrument never perished. Where once his goal was to hit as many notes per minute as physically possible, his style of playing has changed over the years, searching for a particular aesthetic essence. His path was illuminated by a piano that Beving inherited from his grandmother when she passed away in 2009. This German instrument insisted on a more gentle touch and a gracious pace, which eventually led Beving to adapt to a more classical vocabulary to tell his story.
This story started to manifest itself relatively late in life, when in 2014 at age 38, he was forced to stay home from work and decided to answer the draw of his piano. In search of tranquility of mind and some form of essence, music started to present itself that he had never played before in his life. Minimal pieces that he later once described as ‘simple music for complex emotions’. Turned down by the only label he approached, Joep decided to self release his debut album Solipsism in 2015.
The sound of his piano found its way to the ears of Deutsche Grammophon’s A&R manager Christian Badzura when visiting his favorite Bar in Berlin. This led to the signing of Beving to the worlds foremost classical label and consequently the release of equally succesful sophomore album ‘Prehension’ in 2017, making Joep one of the most listened to living pianist in the world at that time.
He has attributed much of his music’s broad appeal to the stream of consciousness in which some of the pieces were conceived. Claiming that the music is already out there and that one has to ‘just’ create the circumstances for it to land. In 2018 he took this idea one step further with the release of ‘Conatus’ of which he said: “If you see music as a living organism then it is not unthinkable that it has it’s own innate inclination to continue to exist and enhance itself.” On Conatus, Beving sees compositions from his first two albums, travel through the minds of artists he admires (a.o. Suzanne Ciani, Collin Benders, Andrea Belfi) and result in new pieces of music adding new layers and dimensions which would serve as the upbeat to his next major solo project as would become apparant in April 2019.
As part of the art piece ‘Franchise Freedom’ by acclaimed artist duo Studio Drift, Joep travels to Burning Man at the end of 2018 to perform in the desert of Black Rock City in front of his largest audience to date. Inspired by the display of human creativity and inclusivity he returns home to finish his third solo album.
April 2019 sees the release of HENOSIS, Joep Beving’s closing chapter in a trilogy of albums – marking the end of an intensely personal four-year spiritual and philosophical exploration.
On HENOSIS the Dutch composer continues his minimalist and at times romantic style of writing, but this time explores new territories. It sets off where his sophomore album Prehension left us, the warm intimate sound of the Schimmel piano. With the help of producer Gijs van Klooster and through collaborations with Cappella Amsterdam, Echo Collective and Maarten Vos, Joep Beving opens up new musical worlds using orchestral and electronic sounds alongside the familiar piano.
His debut album ‘Solipsism’ investigates the self and how it is related to the other by trying to show we have a shared understanding of what it is to be human. For ‘Prehension’ Beving describes realizing he had zoomed out from the individual level to the level of the collective. HENOSIS is the last step, in which Beving’s destination is the vastness of the cosmos – that great, black void – in search of “ultimate reality and emptiness of the mind”. Asked about the album Joep says:
“I envisioned it as a journey into the cosmos, far away from the self where it had started. In search of what is fundamental in reality, beyond the immediate perceivable. Henosis means oneness or unity with the source of all that is. The outward journey reflects the inward journey, much as the build up of our inner workings reflects that of the macro-cosmos. Once that idea starts to dawn on you, the level of connection deepens beyond imagination.
Everything is connected. Think about it. If you see the other as merely a physically alternate representation of yourself it will be very difficult not to feel some form of empathy. The same goes for any other life form. I realize it is not all that straightforward and I don’t want to postulate this as being the truth. However to me this realization has come closest to a somewhat hopeful and admirable version of it. It completes the circle that started with a growing sense of alienation from reality I dealt with at the time of Solipsism, to a growing sense of becoming one with it.”
In November 2019 Henosis was awarded with an Edison.
Henosis is the title of Joep Beving’s newest solo album, released on April 5, 2019. It is his third solo album and the final piece of a trilogy. This trilogy started in 2015 when he released his piano album Solipsism independently. For his sophomore album Prehension from 2017, he signed a record deal with the iconic Deutsche Grammophon label. In September 2018 Conatus appeared, an album on which compositions from his first two albums are interpreted in a different way. Among others by Eefje de Visser, Colin Benders and Italo-American synth legend Suzanne Ciani. “A wonderful prelude to Beving’s new style in 2019?” according to Dutch music magazine OOR. And that is how Conatus seems to be intended. On Henosis, the Dutch pianist explores new territories and we will hear orchestral and electronic sounds alongside the familiar piano. For this he collaborated with Cappella Amsterdam, Echo Collective and Maarten Vos, with whom he performed several shows at the crossover festival Cross Linx in 2018.
Beving’s story reads like a modern day fairytale. The Dutchman managed to build up a worldwide fan base in a relatively short time with his minimalistic and introspective piano compositions that seem to touch the spirit of the times. By now he is one of the most streamed pianists in the world, mentioned in the list of post-classical composers like Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds and Max Richter and he has performed in the Sydney Opera House and the prestigious German concert temple the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
In 2019 Beving will continue to give solo piano concerts playing pieces from all three albums in the trilogy. Selected shows will see him perform together with Echo Collective, Maarten Vos and in some cases joined by Cappella Amsterdam where the emphasis shall be on the new album Henosis.
Joep Beving grew up in the east of The Netherlands and had been involved with the piano from an early age. His path lead him via a study in public administration in Enschede to Amsterdam where he worked in the advertising industry for years. Only at a relatively late age did he regain his love for the piano and during the nightly hours he worked on his debut album Solipsism. The daring simplicity of his compositions was found to resonate with millions of listeners so it became clear when he made his album available on the various streaming platforms. That same simplicity also lead to criticism especially from the more serious classical press. The German newspaper Welt recently wrote about this: “The music of Beving has something that is difficult to comprehend, as easy as it sounds, as simple as it seems. Style maybe, truthfulness. It is not leaving. It’s helping. We tested it.”