Witnessing pianist/composer Joep Beving performing “Hanging D” live at a Yellow Lounge in Amsterdam has left me feeling both nervous and exhilarated every time I listen to it. Nervous, because when I first heard it, the effect of the music rooted me to the ground, the pulse thumping through my brain, my heart squeezing tighter as the piece persisted. Exhilarated, because I am curious to observe the unexpected manner in which my body and mind reacts every time I hear the insistent D note coursing throughout the 5 minute 32 second duration of the music.
The constant and seemingly never ending D note reminded me of the persistent voices we can often have in our heads – the nasty little voices that try to convince us that we’re not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough or simply, not enough. As the world goes on around us and our minds fill with thoughts of our daily lives, the feeling of being eternally trapped, unable to break free from worries or negative thoughts, haunts us.
Sure enough, this piece symbolizes the engulfing anxiety that Joep experienced at times in his life. It was inspiring to hear him share the deep meaning behind “Hanging D” and refreshing to listen to an artist speak openly about his emotions. Some of the most powerful works of art come from the darkest places in our lives and can ultimately affect so many people. So, why be afraid of them?
Header Photo © Rahi Rezvani