Clade “Vietnamese Piano”

28 May 2015 — Richard Greenan

An intriguing solo piano tape here from the previously unbeknownst to me Scottish musician (or group?) Clade, which came carefully sheathed in one Vietnamese Dong note. Recorded on nothing more than a happened-upon upright across a single evening in Hanoi, Vietnamese Piano sounds as if it was recovered following a devastating nuclear blast.

An obvious reference point is the aquatic, shimmery daydreams of Harold Budd, but this is even more decayed. The piano in question appears to be sitting in a derelict building surrounded by rice paddies, with missing teeth and vines sprouting from the lid. There is complexity here though, not just in the chords that pleasantly cluster and orbit like moths around a lantern, but also in the range of frequencies and timbres eked out of this old box. What's left is a meditation on something man-made being gently reclaimed by the earth around it; denatured by nature.

A few cassettes of Vietnamese Piano are still available, grab one while you can here.