The question that arises when listening to an album like “Early Piano Works Volume 2” is why I enjoy it so much. Not whether I understand that I am dealing with something beyond the confines of conventional musical structures. Not whether I can comprehend the purpose of musicality in a project where sound is more important than notes. Not whether I can feel the process of recording sound first and then figure what to do with it. It intrigues me that in the end I manage to relish it in almost musical terms, parallelly connected with the theoretical approach of its concept and structure.
Forgive my theoretical attempt, but it just happens that I’m reading the thoughts of Henry Flynt about Kurt Gödel every time I’m listening to this cassette -I speak quite literally at this point, I actually do that, mechanically. I don’t know why I do this. Listening is an art that involves action, and the auditory creativity gives rise to sound art, they say, and I agree. Maybe no one else does.
The answer I give myself, to get back on topic, is that whatever Rinus Van Alebeek does, he does very beautifully or, even, soundingly. This aural construct is derived from magnetic tape collages, either from sounds of his own or not. You may try to recognize the sounds and some times you’ll succeed -oftentimes you won’t. You may wonder if they are relevant altogether, fantasizing that he recorded everything himself. But the main source of his sound is the audio tapes he received as a gift. You might need a little name dropping to pinpoint the coordinate pattern. Pierre Schaeffer? Pierre Henry? Luc Ferrari? Mixed Band Philanthropist? Broken Penis Orchestra? All these put together? None of them? And where is that piano?
Rinus Van Alebeek is a writer and dictaphone experimentalist. He is the curator of the revived Staaltape label, the cassette label of Staalplaat. He is also a member of the Dutch-French collective Diktat, whose “Tour De Force” was released by Coherent States earlier this year.
“Early Piano Works”, volume one was released by H.A.K. Lo-Fi Record in Paris
30 hand-numbered black cassette tapes with full colour labels and 4pp j-card covers on 150gsm paper.