Aspen Edities

Out now: this here empty room by Frederik Leroux

This here empty room
Frederik Leroux

‘This here empty room’ is a collection of thirteen miniature compositions for solo acoustic guitar and solo piano. Pieces i until vii are played by Frederik Leroux on steel-string acoustic guitar, pieces viii until xiii are played by pianist Heleen Van Haegenborgh.

This album is another exploration of the acoustic space, as you might expect from Leroux. What is new is the purely composed nature of the music, giving Leroux full control over the soundworld he wants to create. The music is intimate, quiet, small and slow. The pieces can almost be seen. The playing with light and darkness, opaqueness and translucency, makes the album a space. The recordings are very natural, preserving the detailed sounds of the instruments and the acoustics of the room, emptied yet with presence.

In the guitar pieces, Frederik Leroux combines fretted notes with carefully plucked harmonics so the sounds sustain longer. The soft, lingering overtones slip away into a thick silence. Heleen Van Haegenborgh’s delicate touch and gentle use of the sustain pedal conjure a timbre that suits these compositions beautifully. While the guitar stays close and surrounds the listener’s ear, the piano keeps some distance, almost like trickles of light falling into a darkened room.