Published Sep 10, 2018While preparing his upcoming third LP, Dutch pianist Joep Beving reached out to some of his favourite musicians about reworking select pieces from his previous two releases. The language in presenting Conatus as a series of "reworks" is very specifically chosen. Rather than serve the function of a typical remix album, these songs don't merely redress — they entirely reimagine Beving's minimalist classical piano compositions in a variety of styles.
Since the original pieces are relatively simple, it gives his collaborators a wide open canvas to paint with. For some, adding a beautiful vocal performance or subtle ambient sound textures is enough to elevate and personalize the music. Others, like the already once-reimagined "Hanging D" (the previously released cello version is also included here) rebuild from the ground up, here conjuring a moody beatless techno epic that's one of the album's highlights. The hazy orchestration and wavy electronics of "Sleeping Lotus" also point to how much additional emotional texture can be woven into these pieces through shared perspective.
Nearly every iteration presented enhances the original, so if Beving's lovely Max Richter-light romanticism was a little plain for your tastes in the past, Conatus offers a lot more to chew on sonically than his unadorned solo efforts. (Deutsche Grammophon)