Clem Leek – 2Pianos I

Musicians are but vessels for music herself. She’s channeled through the musician and the instrument. The first note – the first vibration that shudders through the air before reaching the ear – is already a year-old infant. Even before that first note was played, the music was already there, living somewhere beyond the physicality of the instrument (which is just a tool, a conjuror, in the hands of a human being). It’s there, living in the silence, in an undiscovered country of its own, a secret, unreachable place that will forever remain elusive.

She arrives from another dimension. Another plain.

Clem Leek’s music comes from the soul. Outside, the country air is crisp and clear, and the tranquil melodies are like an English day in their idyllic ways; these meadows seem to stretch on and on for as far as the eye can see, and the gnarled, bare trees of late autumn reflect Leek’s sparse instrumentation. The piano trickles down a country lane before being swept away on the wings of a windy day. In this place, there’s no need to rush. In fact, rushing is the last thing you’d want to do. It will do you well to stay here for a while as the music heals a frazzled, weary soul. Steam rises from the teapot in the same way that the smoke rises from the chimney; the arrangements are as comfy and as familiar as home.

Although the day is a bright one, the temperature is still chilly. These thoughtfully composed, flexible melodies run like streams of fresh, cold water, dousing the body and soul with a season of stillness. A radiant, soothing afterglow is left behind, like the last glint of cool sunshine on a day in October. The melodies are bright (but not glaringly so), fluttering lightly, and the music plays out like an unhurried programme of Slow TV.

Clem Leek has produced a sublime EP that glides over an unruffled, silver lake like a pair of silent swans coming into land.

2Pianos I is the first in a two part series; although written for two players, the music comes together and unites. As the two pianos play, they perfectly complement each other so that it gives the impression of one, playing with perfect balance in its posture. Continuity and flow are important – they always are, but they have to shine even brighter here. The thoughtfully written music features a tone that’s light, but it leaves a deep, lasting impression in the fertile soil of the heart. This is often how it is with beautiful music. It chooses to present itself in this way: slowly, sparsely, melodically. There’s a sense of the deeply meaningful, of shared special moments that are beamed out with every beating of its emotional heart.

‘In The Fields’ is a calm start, the music connecting the listener to something bigger as the notes walk through the fields. One piano plays a repeating melody, while the other part intricately steps around and through the grass. The cooler flourishes of ‘Under The Stars’ are at ease, while the repetitious, inquisitive phrasing of ‘Ask Me A Question’results in a golden answer. The warm playing segues into a new section, responding kindly to the opening piano and its light, recurring question. The deeper melody of ‘This Is My Home’ settles into its cosy environment, filling the corners with its serene light. The music has come out of her shell, but when the silence descends she fades, returning home.

“Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers” – Unknown

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