Sol Sketches

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Film director Chris Teerink asked me to make the soundtrack for a documentary he would be making about American artist Sol LeWitt. This was in 2009. Chris and I agreed that the music and the images should both be equally important in his film. We didn’t want the score to overpower the images, but neither did we want it to become solely background ‘muzak’. I searched for a certain openness in the sound, while at the same time keeping a directness to it. Musical references for me were the piano pieces of Morton Feldman (a friend of LeWitt), alva noto’s collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Enrico Wuttke’s music project Flim. I must admit that I was relatively new to LeWitt’s work. Searching for more information and images, my admiration for his art grew and grew. I found it extremely inspiring, and I became so (over) enthusiastic that within a week or two, I’d recorded more than one and a half hours of music before any footage had been shot. These Sol Sketches can be seen as meditations on LeWitt’s work. With some books of his work opened in front of me, I started improvising on the piano. This resulted in a few hours of raw material, which were then chopped up and edited into shorter pieces. I made about 40 of ‘em, from which I’ve selected 21 for this release. The yet untitled documentary is still a work in progress, but the most recent footage I’ve seen looks amazing. I can hardly wait to see the film on the big screen, perhaps at the beginning of 2012. Some of the Sol Sketches may appear in the movie, probably in revised form. Others might not be used at all, and maybe additional music will be composed. But these ‘behind the scenes’ early versions of the soundtrack felt too good not to document.

The Liminal: “...Given the materials used, the influence of Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto is easy to detect, with the resonance of sparse piano notes tangling up with pulsing sine waves, but it feels more spontaneous. As a result, these seemingly open plains have hidden depths, cut into by loose trails of quiet logic that require repeated retracing.” Rutger Zuydervelt, July 2011

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