Maarten Rischen - "Serenity?"

Experimental Rock Musician and Composer Maarten Rischen takes a headstrong deep dive into the unknown on his chaotic and deeply affecting new single "Serenity?", released June 23, 2023 via The And Scene Records. Maarten, who creates his extraordinary music from The Netherlands, is truly the personification of “man with no plan”, unless the plan would be to do a completely different thing every other day. 

Maarten Rischen's musical approach is wholly unique and effortlessly challenging, freely drawing from the avant-garde, rock, alternative, emo, ambient, alternative and experimental sounds. "Serenity?" is a singularly sprawling 8-minute opus that demands one's full attention. 

With his "Serenity?" release, he regards the powerful accompanying music video as essential viewing. In fact, it's impeccable that fans watch the video in full to imbibe the full effect of the piece. Filmed in Koh Phangan, Thailand with the accompaniment of the fascinating movements of dancer Alina Spittan, the "Serenity?" music video is an epic, must-see.

“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. 

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. 

So in many of my videos I want to only be seen with an instrument if you  actually hear that instrument, in the case of “Serenity?” it’s the Rhodes /  piano parts. Moreover, none of these parts were written in advance, and  completely improvised on the spot as soon as the camera started recording. The same goes for dancer Alina Spittan, who in fact heard nothing of the  song before we shot the one-take video, and had no idea of the big shifts  that would occur midway, or the chaotic ending. Her dance is therefore  maybe the purest form of expression-in-the-moment I have ever had the  pleasure witnessing, and her interpretation and interaction with me on  camera dictated strongly the direction in which may own improvisation  flowed. Equally big parts were played by the completely impromptu camera decisions of In Between Raw Frames, and the bipolar weather patterns of Koh Phangan in the background." 
- Maarten Rischen 
Maarten Rischen - "Serenity?" Maarten Rischen - "Serenity?" Reviewed by Albert Miller on 11.8.23 Rating: 5

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