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An imaginative and quirky celebration of the forests’ colourful ecosystems.


‘Ravel In The Forest’ is a 16-track album of original music by pianist-composer Belle Chen. 

The word ‘ravel’ in the title serves both as a verb ‘to disentangle’ and a tribute to French Impressionist composer Maurice Ravel, whose melodic motif can be heard scattered throughout the album. 


From Belle:

“‘Ravel In The Forest’ is an internal forest that we carry within us. 


Inspired by observations of forests & drawing links between behaviors and lives of humankind, flora and fauna. Alternate feelings of safety, vulnerability, wonderment, awe, and acceptance of life and its natural cycles for the central thread in this album.


Within this ecosystem is also my tribute to French impressionist composer Maurice Ravel in my very own way - the album is in itself impressionist in its approach, bursting with colours and textures yet simultaneously full of space and a certain void that can only be filled in by the listeners.


In fact, the most important aspect of this record is the listener, and how his, her, or their own imagination enables them to find that inquisitive forest from within… An internal forest full of wonderment, play, imagination, and curiosity: an internal space safe for imagining and vulnerability. 


From the compositional side, at the starting point of each track were personal observations of a diverse range of life, behaviours, and events within the temperate, subtropical and tropical forests. From chameleons, dragonflies, trees, to the sound of rain falling on the canopy - I observe these movements and characteristics specific to forest flora and fauna, and translate them into musical textures, colours, harmonies, and melodies.


Positioning and spatial movement of each musical element were also an extremely important part of composition in this album. My intention was to give enough sonic information for the listener to serve as a sounding board for their imagination but not enough to convey a literal narrative to leave enough space for the listeners’ own experiences. As such, there are no sound design or field recordings used in this album. Instead, I opted to use synths and electric piano in surprising ways to mimic forest murmurs, bird calls, wolf calls etc, creating a sweet and impressionistic take on real-life sounds. The felt piano was also deliberately chosen as the foundational instrument, opting for a more blurry, warm, human, and intimate experience in contrast to the crystalline, clean, and clear quality of the grand piano.


All in all, ‘Ravel In The Forest’ is simultaneously a celebration of the forests’ colourful ecosystems and the humankind’s wonderful capacity to imagine.”


16 Tracks - 48 minutes

4  Panel Digipak

8pp Booklet with liner notes by Claire Jackson

Design by Adam Hinks
Photography by Matthew Johnson

Perfectly replicated from a glass master by Pure-Music Production.

Ravel in the Forest: CD

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