Looking at this recording, I marvel – the mind is such a wonderful thing. It gives us the power of creation and imagination, giving birth to things never seen or heard before.
QOPE, pseudonym Bart Koop (Almelo, 1984) comes from a musical family and has been fascinated by keyboard instruments all his life. Once he took his first steps in the field of classical piano, but QOPE soon chose his own path. Largely self-taught, he also threw himself into composing and playing in a band.
For the adventurous TRPTK, he and his eponymous band made the album Paper Motion (TTK 0006) in 2016, a production that makes ample use of electronics. He then sought musical intimacy in Nocturnal (TTK 0024), a solo exercise with the musician behind the grand piano in Schiedam’s Westvest Church: a place praised for its atmosphere and acoustics. In its artistic narrative, QOPE is closely linked to the neo-classical movement with composers such as Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannson and Nik Bärtsch. Music that seems to arise in the moment and has a kind of healing effect on the listener.
The new album Reverie (TTK 0074) was recorded in the same place and follows the track of Nocturnal: meditative and often cyclical musical expressions, with a spontaneous character. QOPE is extremely critical of the adjustment of the grand piano and makes ample use of sustain, using space as a second instrument. Rarely have you heard the piano sound fade away so beautifully, for which of course the high-end recording by TRPTK engineer Brendon Heinst also guarantees. A symbiosis that leads to an irresistible musical result.
Titles like Lament, Reverie, Liminal Spaces and Running Still speak for themselves. In QOPE’s music, which is largely improvised, time literally seems to stand still: the listener is forced to clear his head and create space for new thoughts and creativity. QOPE gives, as it were, a prompt and whispers encouragement to his listeners. Something that, especially in this world that is so complicated and infested with the corona virus, is a particularly welcome artistic gesture.
Listen to the romantic You Were Not Really Here, the hopeful The Vastness of Light, the percussive Time Lapses or the exciting Underneath the Umbrella Pines. Music to let wash over you: a moment of relaxation in complicated times.
Westvestkerk, Schiedam (NL)
May 21st, 2021