FM premiere. Presenting Belle Chen’s ‘Three Birds’ – A journey into nature and self-discovery

“The most important aspect of this record is the listener, and how his, her, or their own imagination enables them to find that wonderful, inquisitive forest from within”
19th January 2024

Taiwanese-Australian pianist and composer Belle Chen, based in London, unveils Three Birds, the first preview of her upcoming album Ravel In The Forest, set to be released on February 16th, 2024, through Platoon. Inspired by her pursuit of tranquility in nature, Three Birds translates this search into a creative musical landscape.

In Three Birds, Belle Chen invites listeners into a vivid, cinematic realm. This piece beautifully combines intricate piano melodies, creating a rich tapestry that draws the audience into Belle’s colorful and whimsical world. Inspired by a moment of observing three birds on a tree branch, the composition echoes a motif from Ravel’s ‘Oiseaux Triste’ (Sad Birds) from Miroirs, capturing their brief interaction before they part ways.

Belle’s compositions, inspired by her own experiences in nature, are not mere representations but impressionistic creations, leaving space for listeners to weave their narratives. Her music is filled with soft melodies and sympathetic synths, reminiscent of a gentle breeze rustling through leaves.

Belle, an Australian Music Prize nominee, has kept her compositions impressionistic, encouraging listeners to fill in their narratives. The album pays homage to French Impressionist composer Maurice Ravel, with short melodic motifs woven into pieces like ‘Kingdom Animalia’ and ‘And It Rains’.

“I’ve kept things impressionistic – with space for the listener to fill in the narrative,” the Australian Music Prize nominee reveals, “the most important aspect of this record is the listener, and how his, her, or their own imagination enables them to find that wonderful, inquisitive forest from within.”

Ravel In The Forest plays with the concept of ‘ravel’, symbolizing the music’s growth and development, much like the balling of wool. This is contrasted with the unraveling, particularly in energetic pieces like The Dragonfly and My Deers, where listeners are invited to view the world from the perspective of the forest creatures.

Boasting state-of-the-art production, the album has been expertly mixed at Platoon’s studio by Dougal Lott and mastered in New York City by Dave Darlington, featuring an immersive spatial audio mix by Stan Kybert. It highlights Belle’s eclectic style, including collaborations with the Budapest Art Orchestra on tracks such as ‘Closer’ and ‘Moonrise.’

Ravel In The Forest defies easy categorization, presenting a collection of works that connect with the audience in various ways. This album is a reminder of the importance of reconnecting with nature, music, and ourselves.

Belle Chen, known for her fusion of piano melodies and evocative synths, has a sound that bridges acoustic and electronic realms. Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and raised in Australia and New Zealand, Belle’s music is as influenced by her travels and interactions as by her classical training, spanning multiple genres.

Chen’s global performances have been notable, including stages at the Royal Albert Hall, Milano Piano City, and the National Theatre of Korea. Her compositions have been sought after by esteemed entities such as BBC Sounds and Gucci Archive. As an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London and a Yamaha artist, Belle Chen persistently pushes the limits of musical expression.