Experimental rock musician and composer Maarten Rischen recently unveils his new single/music video, “Serenity?,” drawing from avant-garde, rock, alternative, emo, ambient, alternative, and experimental sounds.
Talking about the song, Rischen says, “‘Serenity?’ starts out as a meandering wistful ambient piano piece, but takes a dramatic turn for pretty much every human emotion there is – or at least the ones I’m personally capable of. But at least equally important to the music is the accompanying video, as the music is half written and produced in the studio, half written/composed and played during the shoot of the video.”
The epitome of the ‘man with no plan,’ Rischen has released a series of albums with bands such as Shaking Godspeed, Tommy Ebben & The Small Town Villains, produced dozens of albums in his music studios, worked in a circus, and established music venues in Asia, as well as writing and performing with world-class theatre and dance ensembles.
Filmed in Koh Phangan, Thailand, the video features dancer Alina Spittan and mirrors Rischen’s approach to music videos.
Rischen explains, “I have a very strong negative stance on music videos in which the artist is pretending to play their instrument or lip-syncing, as it takes away any and all risk and creativity that an actual recording or live performance has – leaving either an empty or overly exaggerated ‘performance’, and none of it is what I regard as making art.”
“Serenity?” opens on low-slung, sparkling piano tones, drifting and swaying on gorgeously evocative, rippling patterns, like shimmering notes gliding forth from the Empyrean. Suddenly, the tune ramps up, taking on a prog-rock flow that ebbs and rises on an alluring rhythm topped by the piano and a potent guitar. Then the melody descends to gossamer, glittering colors, sleek and coruscating riding low, pulsing rhythm.
The video provides an exquisite audio-visual experience, along with a surprising ending.
Simultaneously dream-like, elegant, and muscular, “Serenity?” demonstrates the innovative virtuosity of Maarten Rischen.