Valse Triste

An old man puts on his favourite vinyl record. He listens, he imagines, he remembers…

Valse Triste by Jean Sibelius:

A Prelude to ‘Listen, London’

Piano – Concept
Belle Chen

Script – Camera – Direction
Maarten van der Glas

Dance – Choreography
Takeshi Matsumoto
Anastasia Kostner

Executive Production
Belle Chen

Video Production

© 2013

‘Listen, London’ premieres in London on 22nd August 2013. For more information visit

To read more about the composer, please see here.

Killer Heels

 Note: View in 720p HD! © 2013 Florian Mitrea, Belle Chen

The Music: No. 1 ‘Tempestoso’ from Sarcasms, Op. 17 (1912-1914)

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. The Russian composer developed a reputation for his dissonant, forward-looking, and virtuosic works early in his career. These qualities can all be heard in Sarcasms.

Sarcasms consists of five small pieces. The first piece, ‘Tempestoso,’ is featured in this music video, and exemplifies Prokofiev’s recognisable dissonant, percussive, and lyrical writing.

The Artists

Piano: Florian Mitrea

Concept and Editing: Belle Chen

With special thanks to Maria Chen for providing wardrobe and modelling.

Other Interpretations of ‘Tempestoso’ from Sergei Prokofiev’s Sarcasms Op. 17:

Marc-André Hamelin:

Vladimir Sofronitsky:

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Drawn Out

© 2013 BlackTea+SoyMilk, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Fiachra Garvey, Belle Chen

The Concept

A manga artist’s response to Debussy’s ‘En Bateau’ from Petite Suite. 

The Music

French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a crucial figure in the stylistic transformation of western art music into the 20th century.

‘En Bateau’ (‘Sailing’) is the first work of Debussy’s Petite Suite (1886-1889) for four-hands. It has been transcribed for various instruments, and a notable orchestration of the work was done by Debussy’s colleague Henri Büsser.

The Artists

Manga: BlackTea+SoyMilk 紅茶豆乳

Please see Featured Visual Artists for more information.

Piano: Masahiro Yamaguchi and Fiachra Garvey

Track recorded live at Philia Hall in Yokohama, Japan on 17th December 2012.

Please see Featured Musicians for biographies of the pianists.

Producer & Concept: Belle Chen

Other Interpretations of Debussy’s ‘En Bateau’ from Petite Suite:

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (orchestrated version):

If you like our work, please remember to LIKE us on Facebook, on WordPress, FOLLOW, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel @ HeardBehaviourMusic!


“Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.” – Charles Cook

© 2012 Belle Chen, Anastasia Kostner, and Maarten Van der Glas

The Concept

‘Bridge’ is a sequel to ‘Ravel in Merano.’ Based on Ravel’s ‘Oiseaux Tristes’ from Miroirs (1904-5) and filmed in South Tyrol, Italy, ‘Bridge’ examines the relationship between music, movement, and nature.

The Music

Miroirs (‘Reflections’) is a suite of five pieces for solo piano written by French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) composed between 1904 and 1905.

Around 1903, Ravel joined a group known as Les ApachesLes Apaches consisted of a group of forward-thinking French artists, writers, and musicians who met regularly on Saturdays to exchange ideas. Ravel dedicated each of the five pieces in Miroirs to members of Les Apaches.

‘Oiseaux Tristes’ (‘Sad Birds’), the second of the suite, was dedicated to pianist Ricardo Viñes. Of this piece,  Ravel wrote: “In this work, I evoke birds lost in the torpor of a very sombre forest, during the hottest hours of summertime.”

The Artists

Dance, Movement Composition, and Editing: Anastasia Kostner

Video and Editing: Maarten Van der Glas

Anastasia and Maarten’s collaboration with other incredible artists in ‘Patchwork Bodies’ can be seen as installations in the foyer of Spui Theater in Den Haag as part of CaDance Festival (Netherlands) until 9th February 2013. For more information, visit

Piano and Concept: Belle Chen

Other Interpretations of Ravel’s ‘Oiseaux Tristes’ from Miroirs:

Maurice Ravel (the composer himself):

Sviatoslav Richter:

If you like our work, please remember to LIKE us on Facebook, on WordPress, FOLLOW, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel @ HeardBehaviourMusic!

The Art of Writing

How is technology changing art?

© 2012 Madalyn Parnas, Takeshi Matsumoto, Belle Chen

The Concept

During the course of history, the arts have always been impacted by the technological advancements of the time. Whether it has always been a welcome change, we do not know. But just as French Impressionist paintings were born as a reaction to the rise in camera photography, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s tape loops were born out of electronic devices and recorders, the powerful computers and softwares today have created a market that heavily emphasises on production (where the ‘art’ is then mass distributed via satellite and internet to televisions, computers, and other personal devices).

But what effect does this have on the core essence of art? How does production and mass distribution affect how the composers write melodies, how writers pen words, and how actors perform? We present you a case study. Based on ‘Giga’ from J.S. Bach’s Partita for Violin No. 3, we strip away the production, the costumes, the make-up, and the lighting, to present you what is really behind a hit pop song in the 21st century.

The Music

The German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was one of the most significant composers in the development of western art music. J. S. Bach’s compositional use of counterpoint, harmony, motivic development, form, textures, and rhythm influenced, and is still influencing, composers generations after his death. J.S. Bach was a prolific composer; he had composed in all genres of his time, with opera being the only exception.

J.S. Bach’s Partita for Violin No. 3 is in the canon of violin repertoire, and is a work familiar to violinists worldwide. It consists of six movements, most of which are dance movements and exemplify J.S. Bach’s skilful writing in the style of various dance forms from differing origins. ‘Giga’ (or ‘gigue’), the final movement of the Partita, is a lively Baroque dance that originated from England.

The Artists

Violin: Madalyn Parnas

Madalyn and her sister Cicely Parnas are performing as guest soloists with El Paso Symphony, as well as a series of solo and chamber recitals, at the El Paso Pro-Musica Chamber Music Festival from 24th January 2013.

Actor: Takeshi Takematsu

For Takeshi’s biography, please see Featured Performing Artists. Takeshi will be on tour with Hagit Yakira in summer 2013. For more information please see

Concept and Editing: Belle Chen

Other Interpretations of ‘Giga’ from J.S. Bach’s Partita for Violin No. 3:

Jasha Heifetz:

Hilary Hahn:

If you like our work, please remember to LIKE us on Facebook, on WordPress, FOLLOW, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel @ HeardBehaviourMusic!

A Heart Personified

“If you haven’t loved, you haven’t lived.”

© 2012 Olivia Geiser, Belle Chen

The Concept

Love is an inevitable experience in life, and it is a double-edged sword that can bring as much happiness as despair. Based on Sibelius’ ‘The Spruce’ from ‘5 Pieces for Piano’ (1914), ‘A Heart Personified’ follows love through its birth and death. Still frames have been used to portray the personification of the heart from its initial awakening to stages of intrigue, curiosity, interest, happiness, bewilderment, anger, heartbreak, denial, disbelief, sadness, and the eventual aftermath of pretence and yearning.

The Music

The music of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) played an important role in the formation of Finnish national identity, both musically and politically. During his lifetime, Sibelius constantly drew inspirations from the nature, landscape, folk music, and literature from his country.

Forests, in particular, inspired many of Sibelius’ works. This may be no surprise, as Finland is the most forested country in Europe (with 86% of its land covered by forests, read here). Evocations of the forests can often be found in his musical writing, and Sibelius had never been shy to give away the programme behind his works. Such is the case with the ‘5 Pieces for Piano, Op. 75’ (1914), with each piece of the suite inspired by and titled with different trees that are commonly found in Finland. ‘5 Pieces for Piano, Op. 75’ is also widely known as ‘The Tree Suite.’

The Artists

Piano: Olivia Geiser

Photography, Editing, and Concept: Belle Chen

Sound Effects: Sound Jay

Other Interpretations of Sibelius’ ‘The Spruce’ from ‘5 Pieces for Piano, Op. 75’:

Izumi Tateno:

If you like our work, please remember to LIKE us on Facebook, on WordPress, FOLLOW, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel @ HeardBehaviourMusic!

Leicester Square on a Saturday Night

“Seeing the world from a different point of view.”

© 2012 Belle Chen, Burke Turner

The Concept

Continuing from ‘Ravel in Merano‘s’ exploration of the iPod phenomenon, ‘Leicester Square on a Saturday Night’ presents a surreal experience of the bustling square in London’s West End. The high-paced pedestrian path of Leicester Square, juxtaposed with an excerpt of the slower-paced yet highly emotional ‘Sonata in D minor’ by Scarlatti, creates a peculiar sense of detachment.

The Music

Sonata: (noun) A composition for an instrumental soloist, usually with keyboard accompaniment.

Oxford University Press

Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) was a significant contributor of Baroque keyboard repertoire. However, only few compositions were published during his lifetime, and most of his compositions appeared in print over the centuries after his death.

Scarlatti wrote 555 keyboard sonatas, all of which are single movements and most are written in binary (two-section) form. Only the first section of ‘Sonata in D minor, L. 108’ was used for this video. ‘Sonata in D minor’ is a fine example of Scarlatti’s slower sonatas, and demonstrates the influence of Iberian music through its harmonies.

Although originally written for harpsichord, ‘Sonata in D minor’ is most often performed on the modern piano today. It is also often performed on classical guitars.

Belle’s performance of the whole sonata will be released on 14th December 2012 at

The Artists

Piano, Concept, and Sound-Design: Belle Chen                                                                                                

Camera: Burke Turner

Other Interpretations of Scarlatti’s ‘Sonata in D minor, L. 108’

Daniil Trifonov:

John Williams (on classical guitar):

Ravel in Merano

“To allow ourselves to respond intuitively and openly, without hinder, to a piece of music.”

© 2012 Belle Chen, Anastasia Kostner, and Maarten Van der Glas

The Concept

‘Ravel in Merano,’ based on Ravel’s ‘Prelude’ (1913) and filmed on location in Merano, Italy, is the first of Heard Behaviour’s work to be publicly presented. It is a creative response to the iPod phenomenon, where the listening experience and emotional responses are often internalised while in public.

The Music 

Prelude: (noun) An action or event serving as an introduction to something more important.

Oxford University Press

‘Prelude’ (1913) was composed by French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Ravel is considered a French Impressionist composer, as he evoked shades of colours in his works primarily through specific use of harmonies and harmonic sequences, much like how Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet emphasised on depicting the changing qualities of light through brush strokes to create an ‘impression.’

The ‘Prelude’ was composed as a sight-reading test for conservatory students. A sight-reading test involves the student to perform a piece of music without previously seen or studying it. The student is normally given the score during the test, and am required to perform the music after one or two minutes of visually studying the music. Sight-reading tests are used to test a student’s ability to read and produce music with musicianship.

The Artists

Dance and Movement Composition: Anastasia Kostner

Video and Editing: Maarten Van der Glas

Piano and Concept: Belle Chen

Other Interpretations of Ravel’s ‘Prelude’ (1913)

Jean-Yves Thibaudet:

Grigory Sokolov:

In the Spotlight: Concert Theatre

In the Spotlight is a new section that features interesting and exciting projects in the music scene today.  Continue reading