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«26 minuten»

«26 minuten» was created when in December 2021 Belgian pianist Thijs Troch just finished some overdubs for an upcoming solo album with electronics and found himself with some time left in Gent’s Studio Ledeberg. Troch recorded himself playing on the piano for exactly 26 minutes. Not long in the terms of nowadays expansive digital releases, but as Guy Peters mentions in his liner notes, some of the iconic albums of the last century like The Beach Boys‘ «Friends», Bob Dylan’s «Nashville Skyline» or Nick Drake’s «Pink Moon» were about the same length and legions of grinding punks needed much less than that for their entire catalog.

This compact EP offers few focused and unhurried yet simple and distinct ideas, stressing Troch’s unique approach to the piano and the prepared piano and to sound at all. The opening, minimalist «Soundcheck I» begins as an exploration of the delicate, resonant and hypnotic qualities of the piano but morphs into a sinister and disturbing soundscape. «8 Minuten» is another minimalist piece, but Feldman-esque in its austere, meditative spirit.

«Soundcheck II» is a sound-oriented piece that shifts from chaotic, dissonant noises into patient hammering a sparse, almost free-form melody on the piano keys. The last piece «Hyper» is a subversive, curious child-like play with the prepared piano, sometimes quite innocent but at other times surprisingly insightful. This piece summarizes beautifully and in the most compact manner possible Troch’s unconventional, adventurous sonic vision.

Eyal Hareuveni

Thijs Troch (p, prep. p)

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