Joep Beving at the launch of his album ‘Solipsism.’ Photo credit: Dieuwertje Heuvelings.
Last week we were invited to the launch of Joep Beving’s music album ‘Solipsism’ at fashion designer Hans Ubbink’s studio. Beving is not just known for contributing to Amsterdam Ad Blog, but primarily as one of the (strategy and new business) faces of MassiveMusic, one of the biggest and international music agencies we have in town. And of course we always bump into the friendly giant at the many agency parties in town. We asked Beving a few questions about the creative process of making Solipsism.
First of all, what does the title mean?
De title refers to the philosophical idea that reality only exists in your own mind. Everything outside of that, the external world and other people’s minds, cannot be truly known and therefore doesn’t exist.
How did your album come about?
I have been playing and recording music all my life. When my first daughter was born I decided to quit my band (the Scallymatic Orchestra) and to build a simple studio in our house. My quest was to become a better producer and work on my own electronic sound. I tried different routes – a ‘chill wave’ direction and a deeper ’emo-techno’ direction – but was never really satisfied.
Then, when my second girl was born, I had to move my studio outside of the house and it became more difficult to find the time to write and produce. But I was quite pragmatic about it; whenever I had done a piece I would check with my team at Massive to get instant feedback on whether my time was invested wisely.
In Cannes during the Lions Festival I had grown the tradition of going to the Carlton on Thursday or Friday and play the grand piano. At one occasion people started to cry when I was playing. That’s when I realized that maybe my strength should not necessarily come from production, but simply from me playing the piano. I then organized a dinner for my close friends in January 2014 and played my own music. It was the first time my friends heard the kind of music they thought should travel outside of my living room. It was the push I needed to pursue the dream of doing a solo album with just my instrument. I started in March 2014, spent quite a few nights playing, and the rest is history.
How would you describe the style?
I consider my album neo-classical or even soundtrack music. Which is something that is actually quite close to my daily work. It’s the type of music that can easily tell stories. Music that enhances images, creates a space for the audience to fill in the gaps with their imagination. It’s pretty emotional stuff and that’s what I like about it. I never really played or wrote like this. It’s the outcome of inheriting a (German) piano that just demanded to be played like this and on top of that a deep longing for tranquility and essence.
What kind of expectations do you have in terms of sales?
As I am doing this project on the side and independent, I don’t have a lot of time nor power to give it the hard push it needs in todays music environment. But based on the feedback so far I think this music can travel for a while. My first goal was to just create something that resonates and makes me feel more alive and connected. Then, also with the artwork from Rahi Rezvani, it turned into a more serious release. Now I just hope that more and more people will listen and enjoy the album. I haven’t really reached out to any press yet. Most of it has gone through social media.
Do you have a tour (or something) planned?
I am planning a show in Berlin with the help of some friends and am also getting in requests for new concerts here in Amsterdam. Rahi [responsible for the album art, AAB] is doing a huge exhibition at the MOOOI and Marcel Wanders show at the Salone del Mobile. He played my album to them and today I got confirmed that I will be performing live at the opening of the exhibition. On top of that they will be playing my music there all week long. Which of course is a fantastic honour. So I guess I could say that things are in motion.
The album can be bought through joepbeving.com.