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På skive


«this here empty room»

Belgian guitarist-composer Frederik Leroux composed thirteen acoustic and intimate miniatures, seven of them played by him on a steel string guitar and the other six are played by fellow Belgian pianist Heleen Van Haegenborgh, all presenting Leroux’s natural soundworld that plays with light and darkness, opaqueness and translucency. this here empty room references Japanese writer Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s essay on Japanese aesthetics from 1933, In Praise of Shadows (陰翳礼讃), where Tanizaki wrote: «We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates».

Leroux’s pieces, the A side of a limited edition of 150 10’’ vinyl (with a download option), were recorded in March 2022. These pieces sketch sparse and soft, meditative yet almost tangible sonic images and combine fretted notes with carefully plucked harmonics so the sounds sustain longer.  The soft, lingering overtones slip away into a thick silence.

Van Haegenborgh’s pieces, the side B of the vinyl, were recorded in August 2018 and suggest corresponding delicate sonic images that resonate from a distance, emphasized by the gentle use of the sustain pedal to conjure an almost ethereal timbre.

These concise pieces preserve the detailed sounds of the instruments and the acoustics of the room, emptied yet with presence. Just like what Tanizaki meant about that elusive and inspiring thing that exists between light and darkness, and suggests trickles of light falling into a darkened room.

Eyal Hareuveni

Frederik Leroux (steel string acoustic guitar), Heleen Van Haegenborgh (piano)